Jayapura is the largest city sitting elegantly on the northern coast of West Papua. Overlooking the exquisite bay of Yos Sodarso formerly known as Humboldt, the capital of the province of Papua is not only the hub of provincial administration but also the economic center. Comprising 5 districts, the top-full metropolis, home to Teluk Humboldt festival, offers a dazzling array of tourist attractions from Base-G beach to Mesran Park. And the most significantly, this city has a redoubtable historical side you need to figure out.
Jayapura and Its Ties with Indonesia and the World in the Past
Before the Dutch imperialism took place, Jayapura had already had the shape. It used to be a trade area recognized as Numbay. The merchants from across the archipelago bartered goods from spices to salted fishes back in the day. Lead by a tribal chief named Ondoafi, the village of Numbay had a close relationship with the kingdom of Ternate, one of the prominent Moluccan rulers whose expansion territory in the islands of Raja Ampat, in the 1800s.
Not only was the city of Jayapura associated with the Indonesian monarchies, but it also made a trans-border affair with other nations. According to a historical record, a Spanish explorer named Ynico Ortis De Fretes once made a stop in the city. His expedition was marked with the arrival of a yacht named “San Juan” at the mouth of Mamberamo River on June 16th, 1545. The keynote of the avid European cruiser’s trip is a special name given to the black pearl – the Nova Guinea. The urban area from which original name derives from the Sanskrit language was also once visited by Antonio Ma and Alvaro Memdana Ne Neyra.
Hollandia, the Old Name of Jayapura during the Dutch Occupation
The palpable evidence about the interference of Dutch East Indies authority in Jayapura began when the related government dispatched its navy under the might of Captain F.J.P. Sachse. The naval vessel was brought ashore at the estuary of Numbay river of Humboldt Bay. The operation taking place on the 28th of September, 1909 was aimed to make an exploration in the northern part of New Guinea Island. In addition to the journey, the goal of the Dutch regime was to investigate the natural border between German New Guinea and Dutch New Guinea.
During the stint, the military established a camp along the stream namely Kloofkamp. The troops were also assigned to cut the trees down and did the full clearance. The reimbursement for about 40 rijk dealders or 100 guldens per lumber was given to the landowners. From setting up a temporary camp comprised of dozens of tents, the clearing was finally loaded with wooden shelter. Then it turned into a nice village in the Papuan wilderness. In accordance with the historical note, the early population encompassed 290 people that included 80 Dutch troops, 4 commissioned officers, 60 blue collar workers while the rests were housewives and maids.
How Jayapura used to be called Hollandia, as a matter of fact, occurred accidentally on the 7th March of 1910. The term of Hollandia, on the whole, refers to the Dutch camp name – this one was to differ from the adjoining German camp known as Germanihoek or Germany’s corner in the border area. When the flag ceremony attended by four brigades was being held, Captain Sachse delivered a keynote speech. His motivating oration was filled with enthusiasm and good wishes in order to be blessed by God all the time. Once the flag was hoisted, the vibrant leader yelled something louder and the word of Hollandia was finally heard. Then the area which was initially a Dutch camp shifted into Hollandia.
Jayapura, the Final Name Heard until Present Time
The Dutch municipality which means the curving land became the capital of West Papua or the Netherlands New Guinea in 1945. As the center of government, Hollandia was the most developed region in the island. Unfortunately, the city had two names when it was taken over by the United Nations Temporary Executive Authority in October 1962 – Hollandia in Dutch and Kota Baru or New Town in Indonesian. The name of Jayapura was used under the reign of Soekarno at the end of 1968 especially after West Papua became the 26th Indonesian province. Jayapura derives from two words – Jaya and Pura. Jaya literally means ”victory” or “triumph” whilst Pura implies “city”.
To make a long story short, the city of Jayapura is not just a capital which is only striking for tourist destination or trading center. The gem in the northeastern piece of West Papua fascinatingly has historical background anybody can’t think little of. It turns out that the metropolis having numerous names from Hollandia to New Town has got influences from all around the world for many decades.