Papua (New Guinea) Provinces

Wiki quotes about Indonesian side of New Guinea Island:

The island has been known by various names.

The name Papua was used to refer to parts of the island before contact with the West. Its etymology is unclear; one theory is that it is from Tidore, the language used by the Sultanate of Tidore that controlled parts of the island’s coastal region. The name came from papo (to unite) and ua (negation), which mean not united or, territory that geographically far away and thus not united.

Ploeg reports that the word papua is often said to derive from the Malay word papua or pua-pua, meaning ‘frizzly-haired’, referring to the highly curly hair of the inhabitants of these areas. Another possibility, (put forward by Sollewijn Gelpke in 1993) is that it comes from the Biak phrase sup i papwa which means ‘the land below [the sunset]’ and refers to the islands west of the Bird’s Head, as far asHalmahera. Whatever the origin of the name Papua, it came to be associated with this area, and more especially with Halmahera, which was known to the Portuguese by this name during the era of their colonisation in this part of the world.

When the Spanish and Portuguese explorers arrived in the island via Spice Islands, they also referred to the island as Papua.However the name New Guinea would later be used by Westerners starting with Spanish explorer Yñigo Ortiz de Retez in 1545, referring to the similarities of the indigenous people’s appearance with the natives of Guinea region of Africa. The Dutch who arrived later under Lemaire and Schouten called it Schouten island, but later this name is used only to refer to islands to the north of the coast of Papua proper, the Schouten Islands or Biak Island. When the Dutch colonized it as part of Netherlands East Indies, they called it Nieuw Guinea.

The name Irian was used in the Indonesian language to refer the island and Indonesian province, as “Irian Jaya province”. The name was promoted in 1945 by Marcus Kaisiepo, brother of the future governor Frans Kaisiepo. It is taken from the Biak language of Biak Island, and means to rise, or rising spirit. This name of Irian is the name used in the Biak language and other languages such as Serui, Merauke and Waropen languages. The name was used until 2001 when the name Papua was used again for the island and the province.

Administrative Division :  For so long it’s the single most largest Island in the nation with only one province -Irian Jaya (1945-2001) and renamed Papua (2001-now) until its splitted off into another province in 2003 : Irian Jaya Barat (West Irian Jaya) and officially renamed into Papua Barat (West Papua) in 2007. The island is then subdivised into 38 regencies and 2 cities.

The Provinces on Papua :

1. Papua Province (capital : Jaya Pura)

2. West Papua Province (capital : Manokwari)

The provinces’ seals:


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