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Tete Ohee’s Hope and Sago worm cattle

By Cinta Griapon
Image from google

“Yauw and Enggo wake up and help me to harvest the sago worm.” Said a middle-aged men while standing infront of the door and his appearence are showed in his tall, muscular arm and chest, and his bulged pattela. This middle-aged men usually called Tete Ohee/ Grandpa Ohee.
            Ohee is one of family name from Sentani tribe, who lived around Sentani Lake, Jayapura, Papua.
            Tete Ohee sis one of the older who still do the hunt and make traditional ingredients around Asei besar, Sentani.
            Eventhough he is old, it is seen from almost one fourth of his hairs are grey, his spirit to maintain the enviromental balance and to hold on to his culture stays young.
            It is proven by going to look after and re-plant the the sagoo seed abd take care of the sago plantation.
*Yauw is actually a term used by the Sentani to call their uncle or aunty’s son
*Enggo is a term used by  the Sentani  to call their uncel/aunty’s daughter.
But now in daily activity people usually use both of the terms to call all the Sentani by Yauw or Enggo, even if they dont have family bond.

Tete Ohee’s Sago Plantation
            Tete Ohee has hectares of sago plantations from his great-grandparents.
            The sago plantation was planted bu his great-grandparents, first is was only about 10 trees in the middle of the plantation in Kampung Harapan.
            When Tete Ohee is teeanger.
            Tete Ohee tell that at the time his father ask him to go with his father to see the sago plantation while teach him to take care of the sago plantation in ordr to preserve it.
            At that time a teenager Tete Ohee don’t want to waste time and neglect the instruction of his father. So, he start his sublime work, it is to take care and keep the sago plantation.
            After 5 years gone untill Tete Ohee married to Nene Taime (Taime is one of the family Name from Sentani tribe who lived around Sentani lake).  After married to nene Taime, Tete Ohee is no longer work alone in the sago plantation. The sago plantation itself is more like their lifeblood, from his child to the grandchildren and also a castle for animals and plants lived around the sago plantation.
            In his young age, Tete Ohee has come to realise that the existence of sago plantation around Sentani lake is really helpfull for the water absorption when rains or absorption from the highland.
            Generally the place which is surrounded by sago tree is humid so some animals can live around it. The animals in Tete Ohee’s sago plantation live as if they’re frineds and the keeper of the plantation when Tete Ohee is not there.
            Tete ohee always listen to the frogs’ friendly voice every afternoon and the cricket’s voice as if it tells him nene Taime is waiting for him at home.
            Usually Nene Taime is waiting for Tete Ohee at home with a bowl of Papeda and grilled fish or pan-fried sago worm.
            In the morning, Tete usually listen to sparrow’s song on the tree near the lake house as if it commands him to go to the sago plantation.
            Usually tete Ohee will cut down the sago tree if it’s old enough so it can fullfill their daily need. To cut down a sago tree Tete Ohee need about 5 days because he do it alone  using his stone axes.
Tete Ohee usually started off in Monday so when Saturday Tete can ask Nene and their childrens to harvest the sago worm and squezee the sago, take the sago bole’s pollen. All the sago worm which has been harvested comes from the shattered sago tree bole.
            Every Saturday tete can harvest almost one jar of sago worm.

            It’s been 45 years since Tete and Nene Ohee work on their sago plantation. Tete is happy because there are more sago tree are plants and there arevariations of animals live at the sago plantation.
            But in this past 2 years, Tete Ohee feeling sad because he sees there are a lot of black charcoal trace settle in the sagoo branch near the road.
            Tete Taime used think that it must me a humans doing it on purpose so he take initiative to not walk around in sago plantation a whole day, but to watch over that one sago tree with black charcoal on it.
            The traffic is crowded with motor vehicle at that time.
Tete watch closely together with the wind bring up the waste charcoal from the motorcycle and patch at the sago branch.
Some of it  are died becaue of it and also because of plastic rubish that is obstruct the growth of the small sago tree.
Tete Ohee go home with a dissapointment and tell all things that he sees to his first love, Nene Taime. After a long conversation, Tetet and Nene promised to work even harder to protect and take care of the sago plantation.

Drunk at the sago plantation
Saturday is finally arrive exactly at pay day. Tete Ohee and Nene Taime is on the way to the plantation to crop their plants. Nene and the childrens squezee the sagoo after they cut down one of the tree. Tete then go to other direction to squezee the sagoo and take the sago worm.
Tete felt a little bit different, it’s not like the usuall feeling. He felt like there are other people with him and his family at he sago plantation.
He then hands his stone axe while set his steps. He heard the birds sound unusual.
Tete ohee walk gently following where the birds sounds. As he comes closer to the sound of the birds he heard human’s noise. Tete heard someone said “yauw putar kah, sa belum mabuk nih”.
Tete walk slowly right to the noise and found a group of teenager enjoying bottles and cans of alcohol that’s usually sold in around Pojokan  Hawai, Sentani.
What makes Tete even more sad is that they sat on the rot sago tree where Tete harvest the sago worm.
Tete tries to counseled them and ask them to go home but they precisely said that Tete is an old people who don’t follow the trend or rube.
Some even chase him away.
After the talk between Tete Ohee and a group of teenager, suddenly a snake appear in between the teenagers. The group of teenager then run and left all the bottles and some plastic rubish there. Tete Ohee smile for a while because it’s like the sago plantation he protect is understand him and protects him from bad people. Tete Ohee then clean the rubish and harvest the sago worm right after the teenagers gone.
Sago worm : Tete Ohee and his family stay healty
The only disease Tete and Nene had is malaria if they are not rest well, and it happen continuously since long time ago until now.
Tete realise that some of his friends is passed away because of chronic disease. Those disease are known as penyakit kota. The categories of penyakit kota are: stroke, cancer, kidney disease, liver disease,etc.
Tete once asked Enggo Yoku who is a doctor and serving around Asei besar, Asei kecil, and Ayapo. Tete aske why he and his family rarely got sick even if they are work hard at the sago plantation everyday but they can’t easily feeling tired and always feeling healthy. The doctor then asked what is their daily food and what is their daily activity. After enggo Yoku finally found out that sago worm is their daily side dish, Enggo Yoku then curious about the information and benefit of sago worm.
During enggo Yoku’s search, she met yauw Darius Ohee which is at that time he also currently on his research about the development of sago worm outside the sago branch.
Enggo Yoku then asked about sago worm.
There are esesential protein in the body of sago worm that can help create new cell, Yauw Darius Ohee explained proudly, to help the movement of brain cell and body endurance to keep the stamina.
The protein intake is even more that protein intake from a cow.
Yauw Darius explanation really satisfied enggo Yoku. And then she come back to Asei besar and tell Tete and Nene Ohee and it makes him proud that he got a lot of supply in his plantation for his childrens and grand-childrens.
Enggo Yoku also didn’t forget to tell about Yauw Ohee’s success and got the appreciation of “The Best Future Work” at the prestigious research arena in Asia-Pasific with the topic sago worm development outside the sago logs.
Tete Ohee shed his tears and hopes that there would be more of Enggo and Yauw will follows the steps of Yauw Darius and Enggo Yoku, and also protect and preserve Sentani culture.
The explanation from enggo Yoku has convince Tete to take care of his sago plantation so it can produce food, sago, sago worm for more people not just for his family.
The sago worm cattle: threadtened to go bankrupt
It’s exactly 70 years Tete and Nene taking care of their sago plantation. One day Tete wakes up and realise that his child, grand-child, and great-grandchild has grow and occupy the house. Tete gather them together to commend the legacy of their ancestors, and ask them to continue his struggle.
              The struggle of protect, taking care, and defend it. Tete no longer go to the plantation from that time because his eyesight is no longer as clear as 70 years ago.
Tete Ohee has 12 children.5 are woman and 7 are men.
3 years since tee give commend to his family, three of his sons start to sell their land because of foreign cultures and for their life demands.
The deal is for the land investor or whoever wants to buy the land.
Slowly Tete’s sago plantation are gone cut down by the buyers.
They build a strong physical building .
This produce more rubish in the residue sago plantation.
The sago harvesting even not as much as 70 years ago. Sadly the sago worm be gone time to time.
The life of sago worm is depend on the enviroment (temperature, pressure, and food) when the tree are cut off and the air are polluted, the solid and liquid chemical from household will obstuct the expansion of sago worm.
A lot of  sago larva aren’t able to grow to be a worm which makes Tete Ohee even more sad because he no longer can eat sago worm.
Every morning when the sun rise Tete Ohee always sings his song about his sago plantatation from his house near the lake.
He has desire to be young again and keep taking care of his sago plantation.
He hopes that when he passed away, there would be more teenagers to realise the importance of sagu plantation because the plantation never dissapoint the owner.
Sagu plantation is source of life for human, flora and fauna.
Hopefully Sagu worm that is really useful can be cultivated, and grow day by day so it would never extinct.
Or the sagu worm will extinc.

“Tete Ohee is one example of Papuan community culture who is hold on to his tradition and cultures, you can evaluate yourself which part are you in? Tete Ohee? His sons? Or the drunker at the sago plantation.”

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