Papua Red Pandanus

This Papua Red Pandanus Blog is presented to you by Papua Cooperative for Red Pandanus Development, organised by the Baliem Arbaica Cooperative and BANANA Leaf Cafe Limited based in Wamena, West Papua.

This blog wants to tell a story of the "Red Pandanus" according to we Papuan story, about the past, the present and the future. We want to protect his precious fruit to benefit us the native owners of this heavenly fruit. We do not want our property rights to be stolen by foreigners in the name of medicine, patenting, commercialization, and others.

Vision

The Papua Red Pandanus Oil becomes a modern medicine that can cure various modern deadly diseases human beings suffer today that is produced by Papuan peoples on the Isle of New Guinea.

Mission

To promote and develop Papua Red Pandanus to become a medicinal herb that can cure various modern deadly diseases and at the same time fully owned and under the control of Papuan peoples across the Isle of New Guinea.

This blog is aiming at disseminating information on the potential substances contained in the Red Pandanus Oil and invite anyone that want to assist in helping the local Papuans to protect and develop the oil to become a modern medicinal herb.

The Red Pandanus Fruit; An Old World Living Tropic Enigma

Red fruit (Pandanus conoideus Lam) generally grows in Papua, especially on the mountain areas, along the star mountains ranges from Sorong in West Papua to Samarai in Papua New Guinea. Cultivars of this plant has been researched, such as Hynman (1984) who says this plant comprises of 12 cultivars. It has a wide distribution up to 2300 asl, stretching from Baliem valley in Wamena, the bird head region and other remote areas in Papua (Arfak, Jayapura, and Bintang mountains) to the Hagen, Goroka and down to Port Moresby Areas of Papua New Guinea, along the New Guinea mountain ranges from East to West and from North to South.

The plant is a family of pandanus plant, with Pandanus Conoideus Lam as its scientific or Latin name. The tree can grow up to 5 branches, with 15 meters high. The leafs are similar to ribbons, but have small thorns on the edge parts. The roots are hanging in the air with the height of 1 meter from the base trunk. The fruit has a long ellipse form or sometimes a bit square, with 30-120 cm length and 10-25 cm wide.

Usually the color of Red Pandanus fruit is “red”, brownish red, but sometimes there is also yellow in colour, which the Lani in West Papua call Wanggene, while the red one is called Tawy. The skin, however, is similar with the skin of jackfruit, even though the colour is red or yellow, when you touch it, you will feel like a skin of jackfruit. The difference is that the jackfruit has meat and big seeds, but Red Pandanus Fruit seed is as small as paddy seed, some in big and length.

Traditionally, in Papuan society it is consumed as additional staple food. Some researchers and foreigners mistakenly have concluded that we highlands Papuans are physically stronger body posture, stronger stamina and have been rarely suffered from any diseases because of consuming this fruit, and that we Papuans in the highlands have known this benefit from past generations. Of course, this is a false conclusion. We were consuming this because our ancestors had been consuming it, and we have more spiritual and social values than medical values in our knowledge that passed down from our ancestors. Some foreigners have for example written such a sentence as this “Among people living in Jayawijaya mountains and around, the Red Fruit has been since long ago used to relieve tapeworm disease, blindness, and dermatitis”, however, we would like to declare that this is yet another mis-information.a

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