Traditional Market in Papua with Modern Facilities for Women Merchants

As time goes by and the world becomes modernized, traditional market is harder to find. People prefers to shop in the modern market because its is considered more comfortable, equipped with modern facilities, and maintained cleanliness. While in most traditional markets, the facilities are limited and the cleanliness is usually not well maintained.

In Papua, the traditional markets still exist and strive, as it is the base of the economy in Papua. Interestingly, now, there is a traditional market with modern facilities which is full of female merchants.

Besides taking care of the family, the Papuan women, called as Mama, plays an important roles in maintaining the family welfare. Many Papuan women, who the Papua people call as Mama, everyday sell various goods in traditional markets in Papua, from morning to afternoon.

These women do not only sell staple goods such as rice, vegetables, meat, spices, but also secondary goods such as clothes, bags, tools, and others to support their daily life.

The women’s traditional market in Jayapura is named Mama Mama Papua Traditional Market. This traditional market in Papua has a long process since 2003 to be realized in a permanent and proper place of business.

After a long 13 years of wait, on 27 April 2016, the establishment of the traditional market, built on 2,400 square meters of land was started. It is located in Jalan Percetakan, in the center of the city of Jayapura. Previously, it was a place for public transportation that is rarely utilized, hence it is a strategic place of business.

Later, on 30 April 2016, President Joko Widodo inaugurated the market construction. After several months of development, on 22 December of 2016, the permanent and proper traditional market has been completed and ready to be used after the inauguration ceremony took place.

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Traditional Market in Papua
Mama Mama Papua Traditional Market in Jayapura via Papua.AntaraNews – Foto Indrayadi TH

This women’s traditional market in Papua has 5 levels, which can accommodate about 400 merchants. There are 2 toilets and 2 bathrooms complete showers in every levels.

On the first level, there will be counters for meat, seafood and fruits sellers. There are also 24 sinks to maintain the cleanliness and drainage of liquid waste. There is also a big basin to hold 84 cubic meters of water. The second floor is allocated for dry market activities such as delicatessen, cakes, cookies, and more. While the third floor is directed for arts and crafts goods. On the fourth floor, there are training room, online library, and polyclinic for the merchants. On the last level, the fifth floor, there is creative workshop named “Tong Maju” to give the merchants a chance and facilities to channel their creative ideas. The training room and online library are provided to train and educate the merchants on how to sell their goods and keep their environment hygienic.

This women’s traditional market is not an ordinary traditional market in Papua, besides being equipped with modern facilities, it also has 20 security cameras (5 CCTV per level) to anticipate theft or other criminal activities. Other security facilities include automatic fire extinguishers and two ladders for evacuation.

The developer also made special stairs with 8 degrees of elevation in order to enable easy access for the merchants and buyers to go up or down to other levels while carrying their goods. Furthermore, there is a parking lot with 1,000 square meters and Generator facility of 1000 kilo volt.

Cited from Kompas.com, a merchant named Yosina Tabuni said” Mama Mama Papua market is the best Christmas present from President Jokowi for the Papuan merchants. It’s been years we marched to the local government without luck. Finally, President Jokowi can realize our dreams”.

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The new traditional market in Papua is now standing strong and tall for Mama Mama Papua. It also gives Mama Mama Papua the spirit for a bright future and better economic ability to increase their family income and welfare.


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