Modes of belonging in West Papua: local symbolism, national politics and international cultural concepts

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The traditional net bags of West Papua (noken) were recently declared
intangible cultural heritage by the UNESCO, which, all of a sudden, propelled
them on to a global stage. Given these new developments and given West Papua’s problematic relationship to the Indonesian nation-state, the net bags give expression not only to local identity but also to global cultural heritage politics, a global indigenous peoples’ movement and the integration into and resistance against the nation-state. Discussing the contradictory meanings of the net bags, this paper points at the problematic nature of the right to culture and diverging cultural policies on a local, national and international level. Culture here not only implies recognition and integration, but also folklorisation, exclusion, competition and the suppression of cultural citizenship of groups that feel marginalised by the national policies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35 - 66
Number of pages32
JournalR I M A: Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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