MYTHOLOGY OF RAJA AMPAT
Raja Ampat area is located in the north-west of Papua Island, Indonesia. The Raja Ampat Islands comprise hundreds of small islands and four major islands, namely Waigeo Island, Misool Island, Salawati Island, and Batanta Island.
The name of Raja Ampat comes from local mythology that tells about a woman who found seven eggs. She brought them home, six of which hatched and became four boys, a girl, and a ghost, while one did not hatch and became a stone.
Later, the four boys became kings in Waigeo, Salawati, Misool, and Bantata. The girl got pregnant, but nobody knew to whom. The family felt shameful about it and to conceal it, her brother put her in a boat and drifted it out to sea. The boat reached Biak Island and the Biak’s king took her as his daughter.
The stone egg still exists today and is kept in its original place in a house near the Waikeo River. It is wrapped in white fabric and covered by a curtain. We are not able to see it at any moment as it is the local people’s worshipping object.
Raja Ampat’s indigenous inhabitants consist of 12 indigenous tribes. One of them is Maya who come from the Gulf Mayalibit, they live in the jungle and in the mountains. They never left rural areas to live in coastal areas until the 19th century. Later, the Mayans inhabited Waigeo Island, the biggest island in Raja Ampat. Until now, their descendants still live in Waigeo Island, but in rural areas.
Now, Raja Ampat has become an interesting destination for the world’s divers because of its breathtaking underwater scenery. Raja Ampat waters are one of the world’s top 10 dive sites. Raja Ampat waters have more than 1,000 species of coral reef fish and 700 species of mollusk. It makes Raja Ampat waters as number one for the completeness of underwater flora and fauna.