HomeWorld NewsMen Will Be Fined If Entering This Women-Only Forest

Men Will Be Fined If Entering This Women-Only Forest

This sacred forest is located in Jayapura, Papua, Indonesia. Any man who sneaks in will receive a fine of 50 pounds. This is a place where generations of women come to collect clams and share stories of everyday life with each other.

Speaking to BBC Indonesia documentary filmmakers, villager Adriana Meraugje said that it has always been a women-only forest. It existed long before she was born. And for centuries, the rule hasn’t changed.

This is a place where generations of women come to collect clams and share stories of everyday life with each other.

In the forest, women are not allowed to wear clothes. If a man peeked in, he would be taken to the tribal court, punished, and fined. Another villager, Ari Rumboyrusi explained that it has always been a tradition for women to share their stories while collecting clams in the forest.

But their 8-hectare sacred space is facing more intrusion because of waste from neighboring cities, not just men. This poses a challenge for them. In the past, they only needed half a day to collect a boat full of clams. But now, it takes them a whole day, according to leader Enggros Kampung.

Every day, the women cling to a kole-kole (floating boat) that goes into the forest in search of clams. They will bring lunch to work throughout the day. The clams will then be sold at the traditional market. Collecting and selling clams is considered a women’s profession and becomes the main source of daily income for local people, especially at a time when men cannot go fishing.

Men are only allowed to enter the forest to collect wood when there are no women.

Collecting clams in the forest is very special to local women. Before going to the forest to get clams, they will gather, pledging to never leave each other while in the forest because they have to go in groups. Men were forbidden to enter the forest during that period.

Men are only allowed to enter the forest to collect wood when there are no women. This forest is the pride of the whole village because it is perhaps the only mangrove forest in Indonesia designated exclusively for women.

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