Etnolinguistik, etnomedis dan dokumentasi bahasa: laporan awal dari Merauke (Etholinguistics, ethnomedicine, and language documentation: a preliminary report from Merauke)

Agustinus Mahuze, Wayan Arka

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    This paper discusses the contribution and relevance of language documentation and ethnomedicine in the context of language and ethnobiological documentation projects in Merauke, Papua. The focus is on the issue of the transmission of ethnomedical knowledge by traditional and modern means. The research methodology includes ethnography, interviews and an analysis of questionnaires, in combination with the techniques of ethnobiology and modern language documentation (Dwyer, 2006; Himmelmann, 1998; Martin, 1995; Albuquerque et al., 2014). The findings indicate that traditional language plays an important role in the transmission of local knowledge, including medical knowledge, existing medical plants found in the local environment and ways of disease prevention and treatment. Traditional knowledge of medical treatment is transmitted orally through folk stories. Our research also finds indigenous concepts of physical/behavioural/spiritual healthiness and causes of illness based on local cultural belief systems that are not always in line with modern medical concepts. Such knowledge is very rich and linked to nature. Unfortunately, today, it is not well transmitted, which adds to the unprecedented marginalisation and rapid endangerment of minority languages in Papua. Ethnobiological and linguistic documentation is therefore important and urgent. This paper also discusses the teaching of ethnomedical knowledge and skills in school, taking the case at the SMK (Senior High School of Health) of Yaleka Maro, Merauke. Local medical knowledge has been accommodated in the SMK curriculum through pharmacognosy lessons taught in grades 10 and 11. However, there is no set standard associated with ethnomedical material and the extent to which local ethnomedicine can be integrated into the discipline of pharmacognosy. In addition, there is a lack of documentation of local ethnomedical knowledge. In this context, our ELDP-funded (ethno) linguistics and (ethno) biology project in Merauke intends to fill this gap. It could also serve as a model to demonstrate the practical benefits of our research for local communities in Merauke. We also outline the research direction, the complementarity between local and modern ethnomedical knowledge and what ethnolinguistics and biology can do for the documentation of rich biological resources through an innovative interdisciplinary approach. Keywords: Ethnolinguistics, ethnomedicine, language documentation, language endangerment, anthropological linguistics, ethnobiology
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventKIMLI 2016 (Kongres Internasional Masyarakat Linguistik Indonesia) - Denpasar, Indonesia
    Duration: 1 Jan 2016 → …


    ConferenceKIMLI 2016 (Kongres Internasional Masyarakat Linguistik Indonesia)
    Period1/01/16 → …


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