Talk:Papua (province)

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May 14, 2004 Peer review Reviewed

Archived talk[edit]


Is there any reason to believe that "Ikut Republik Indonesia, Anti Nederland" is an actual etymology, rather than a "back-formation", a slogan devised to reflect an existing name? [1], refers to "the false assertion that… [Irian] had been an acronym for 'Ikut Republik Indonesia Anti Nederland"; I'm not sure how citable that is, though. [2], also not particularly citable, says "Irian may be an abbreviation for ikut Republik Indonesia Anti Nederland". [3], maybe marginally more citable, says "Irian, a Biak word meaning hot land was co-opted by Indonesian nationalists as an acronym, Ikut Republik Indonesia Anti Nederland"; it doesn't make it clear whether that cooptation led to or followed the adoption of the name. [4], probably the most citable thing I can find online (it's an op-ed piece in Asahi Shimbun says "In annexing West New Guinea, Indonesia avoided the name New Guinea, which the Netherlands used, and called it Irian, which means 'sun' or 'red hot' in the local language. However, the name was also given a political connotation during the operation to recapture West New Guinea during the early 1960s as the acronym for Ikut Republik Indonesia, Anti Nederland (annexation to Indonesia, anti-Netherlands)." This would seem to suggest that the acronym came after the fact. - Jmabel | Talk 22:28, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

the indonesian word "ikut" has a number of very similar yet depending on the context completely different meanings. The most common meaning is "accompany", "go along" or "follow". As in "ikut" to a birthday party, or "ikut" a car in front, or indeed follow another country over another. Any indonesian can tell you this and these meanings in the context are perfectly innocent. ie, papua follows, goes along with, or joins Indonesia. Yet the translation offered here is "submit". As a very competent Indonesian speaker (albeit non-native) i don't remember coming across this interpretation yet (i could have and just forgot) although i just looked it up in the most reputable of Indonesia-English dictionaries and I did notice "obey" as the LAST meaning after 1/2 page(!!!!) of other more innocent meanings. So it just goes to show how POV an intepretation can be. "join" INdonesian and "submit" to Indonesia are two extremely different interpretations of the phrase "ikut Indonesia". cheers. --Merbabu 08:37, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the work guys! I always wanted to know the scoop on that one! Dysmorodrepanis 01:03, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
The sense of ikut described above accords with how I've heard it used too. However, the idea looks like a blatant backronym to me, because the normal Indonesian word for the Netherlands, and all things Dutch, is "id:Belanda" not "Nederland". However, it strikes me as a very Indonesian thing to coin a backronym. It is a hallmark of Indonesian usage that acronyms are considered witty, educated, fun, or all of these, in all registers of the language. I'll poke around sometime to see if I can find reliable sources regarding the etymologies here.
Belanda comes from the name "Holland" not Netherlands, so there is scope for a more precise word, however I've not noticed the distinction being apparent in ordinary Indonesian usage, quite the opposite. Alastair Haines (talk) 02:22, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
OK, I'm finding some information now. Here's a little introduction.
The name "Irian" was suggested at the Malino Conference by Frans Kaisiepo, himself a native of the island. It is a Biak language word, attested in the poetic prose of Kumeseri, one of the nl:Manarmakeri stories. Kumeseri (the Morning Star) gives Manarmakeri (an ordinary villager) the gift of bringing peace. He leaves the island of Irian to gather support for his Messianic return. As originally conceived, the name "Irian" was intended to evoke association with a local legend of peace being brought to the island with the aid of friends from across the sea. Rather a nice thought for a local to put forward at a peace conference.
I'll keep working on gathering more sources. Alastair Haines (talk) 10:52, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Some sources:

Cheers Alastair Haines (talk) 11:57, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

There is a claim that the name "Irian" was used for the whole island by the Portuguese governor, Antonio Galvao in 1536; though this was recinded after nine years, in 1545, by a later governor, de Retes, in favour of "Nuvea Guinea". Alastair Haines (talk) 12:27, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

The definitive source on official documents of the time quotes Kaisiepo's reasoning from the transcript: papua means 'slave' in the Tidore language; so the people want the land to be called "New Guinea" and the citizens "Irian".

"De heer Kasiepo zeide, dat ... De band van het landschap Tidore met Nieuw-Guinea dient te worden verbroken. De naam Papoea moet worden afgeschaft, omdat dit woord in het Tidoreesch 'slaaf' beteekent. Het volk wenscht het land 'Nieuw-Guinea' te noemen en het volk 'Irian'."

— "Kort verslag van de vergadering van de Malino-conferentie op 17 Juli 1946", pages 5–15 in S L van der Wal (ed.), Officiële Becheiden betreffende de Nederlands-Indonesische Betrekkingen 1945–1950, vol. 5.
On the other hand, the derivation of Papua is claimed to be from the North Maluku dialect of Malay papuah meaning 'frizzy-haired' as attested in the context of an 18th century letter from the Sultan of Ternate to the Dutch Governor General dated 11 Sept. 1733—"empat orang budak [budak], tiga orang laki-laki seorang perempuan, tiga orang rambutnya betul seorang pepuah".
More detail is available in Waruno Mahdi's letter to the editors of the Jakarta Post 3 January 2000. Alastair Haines (talk) 13:30, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

unexplained major edits by[edit]

The user at IP address has just twice made major changes to this article with no explanation or comment. I reverted the first edit, requesting that the changes be discussed on this page first. The user then simply reverted back to the first edit with no explanation.

I will not engage in an edit war over this. User, you need to learn the ground rules of Wikipedia. First things first: the three-revert rule. You cannot just engage in repeated reverts. If you continue to do this without explanation, you will not succeed - an admin will block you and/or the page will be semi-protected against anonymous unexplained edits like this.

Step one: Register so you have a username - that way people can communicate with you.

Step two: Understand that you will not get away with major controversial edits without explanation and discussion.

If I see no comment or explanation from you about your edits within the next 24 hours, I will take action.

Wantok 06:20, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Wantok, i support completely your efforts to enforce wiki ground rules - such major changes are unacceptable without consultation or at least an effort to explain. But we must keep in mind that this is a controversial topic and POV is unavoidable. But it can be handled better in this article. I do agree for example, with some of this phantom editor's removal of overtly POV anti-Indonesian points. HOWEVER, i do not support their replacement with just as overtly POV pro-Indonesian comments. Perhaps what this editor is reacting to is a sense i get in this article that POV is OK as long as it only supports the anti-Indonesian case and that any pro-Indonesian comments/links etc are "propaganda" that have no place here. It works BOTH ways. But once again, his efforts so far to rectify are not appropriate. When i get chance i will carefully try and express both POV "sides" with more balance. --Merbabu 06:44, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
UPDATE: Oh gawd, i just skimmed through all the previous discussion over 2 years. This one is a thorny article. --Merbabu 08:17, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Agreed, this is highly controversial ground - which is why I wanted discussion or at least explanation. I'm not saying all of the edits made by the user at (i.e. someone at Wollongong University) were entirely unbalanced - some material about the governor and Papuan People's Council could be useful in the article, for instance - but the nature of the edits made, as a whole, smack of censorship and a pro-Indonesian government slant. Most importantly, discussion with the aim of consensus - or at least compromise - is necessary when the subject is such a hot potato. Wantok 08:49, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your consideration - something that doesn't really show. But i would like to make the point that there seems to be an automatic reflex in this article (and others that he has been editing) that anything that reflects Indonesian Govt opinion has no place in these articles. I whole-heartedly agree that his censorship should not be tolerated, but it works both ways - in some cases the Indonesian viewpoint (correct or otherwise) has been chopped. In these articles where POV cannot be avoided, then both POV must be clearly stated fairly. Really, is a seperatist's viewpoint any less biased than an Indonesian army generals??? We are writing an encyclopedia, neither an Amnesty International web-site or TNI page. ;-) Anyway, something we shoudl think about. By the way, i am not directing this at you solely and personally Wantok (i am sure you are already aware of what i mean) but to readers in general. cheers --Merbabu 09:00, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

I've just made an edit to the Government section that reinstates (with some minor polishing) a section added by the user at - the paragraph about the governor, the legislature, and the "Papuan People's Council". This seems worthy of the article, and is useful encyclopaedic information. Wantok 09:54, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

It seems the anon user got blocked but is back as Ntut ("receive" in Javanese oddly enough). Although i sympathise with any frustrations he may have that on wikipedia anti-Indo POV is OK, yet pro-Indo POV is not, i have reverted already some of his work, and left a message on his user page that hopefully appeals to his better nature. [5] --Merbabu 12:28, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Explanation of My Edits to Page[edit]

Some of my recent edits...

  • Within each section I have tried to put the undisputed facts at the start, and then moved the more controversial but unavoidable POV statements to the end of each section. This includes the naming discussion in the first paragraph.
  • Removed quote implying strong central Jakarta rule over Papua because although it may not be incorrect, that quote was referring to ALL of Indonesia. The article: [6]. Furthermore, that article is undated but appears to be written in the late-1990s (for example it doesn’t seem to refer to anything past the mid-1990s – but there was a major program of power decentralisation across all of Indonesia, of which Papua was a major beneficiary – although implementation was not always perfect including Papua). I did however rephrase that section to note the strong centralised control.
  • Shifted promise of referendum – not appropriate in summary discussion on etymology.
  • Tightened up etymology paragraph with the intention of providing some chronological order. Also, for consistency, undisputed put facts at the top, POV towards the end of the section (but in its own paragraph).
  • The reference to the MRP talks about an “arbitraging” role. This seems to be a financial term, so I guessed “arbitration” was the intention. Please advice if this is incorrect.
  • Changed poor (and arguably highly POV) interpretation of “ikut” to more accurate “follow/join”. See my comment on the etymology section of the discussion page for full explanation.


Good edits, well done. A pity that Ntut is still just repeating the same set of attempted edits without discussion. What you've done seems a reasonable and balanced approach. Wantok 13:03, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Thanks - i didn't get to do everything but that is enough for tonight. ha, ha - I don't hold high hopes for re-education of ntut. But i left a message on his talk page. --Merbabu 13:15, 24 July 2006 (UTC)


The number indicated in the infobox does not tally. It amounts to 104.12%. kawaputratorque 16:15, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Possibly reflects syncretism? -- (talk) 00:25, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Name of part of island[edit]

The scope of the area referred to as "Irian Jaya" is confused. It seems historically to refer to the entire 'half' island that belongs to Indonesia. But the opening paragraph of this article conflates Papua Province and Irian Jaya, then says West Papua was split off. That might suggest Irian Jaya meant only what is now Papua Province, whereas I think Irian Jaya was the name for the entire Indonesian part of the island of New Guinea. Inkwzitv (talk) 00:59, 23 September 2015 (UTC)


As far as I'm aware, it's politicisation to refer to the UN-led, ostensibly democratic transfer of power to Indonesia in 69 as "annexation". Recommend changing to something more neutral. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:06, 24 June 2016 (UTC)