Friday, June 18, 2010

Artist Tonci Krey, Raja Ampat Art and Cultural Festival, and the Legend of Flying Dragon

This is the second post of this month that I wrote about artist Tony Mansiraken Krey. Every day his friends like to call him Tonci Krey. In our last conversation, he said that in his old age now, he is trying to be more productive in conducting research about Papuan art and culture and writing them. In his opinion, he has to record many of the folk stories and traditional ceremonies and rituals which are gradually forgotten due to the rapid development and modernization of Papuan society. He said that he can only be productive for ten years to come and he wants to do his best preserving the Papuan culture for the next generation of Papuan indigenous people.
Tonci Krey is now teaching young artists in Raja Ampat islands. He has formed an art group which he calls Sanggar Karerin Art Waisai (SKARWAI). If you visit Waisasi, the capital of Raja Ampat regency, you can meet him at Taman Wisata (WTC). A.6. The easiest way to contact Mr. Krey is by calling him through his cell phone: 081344937392. While making pulpit for GKI chuch of Jemaat Immanuel in Waisai, he managed to record an interesting legend about Flying Dragon.
Once upon a time, in a village of Urbinsopen of there was a flying dragon that could change its form into a human being. The dragon lived in a cave at Cape Morbandi in the eastern part of Waigeo island. At night it came to Urbinasopen village to meet its lover, a beautiful girl from the village. Before sleeping with its lover, the dragon took off its skin and turn itself into a man. This happened many times and the villagers had not known about it. Because of her love to the dragon, she became impatient with him. She wanted him to be human being forever. One night, while her lover was sleeping, she took his dragon skin and burnt it. Morning came and he turned into a flying dragon again. It could sniff its burning skin and realized that it could not wear its dragon skin anymore. In the afternoon when the sun was fully shining the surrounding weather became very hot. The dragon could not stand the hot temperature and died. Seeing that her lover had died, she regretted about her deeds and also died. Now, people can see the cave of the flying dragon that is located at Cape Morbandi of Urbinasopen village in the District of East Waigeo.
He also managed to organize the Raja Ampat Art and Cultural Festival from 2 to 9 May 2010 to celebrate the 7th anniversary of regency's administration. Thousands of people visited the festival including Regent of Raja Ampat Regency Drs. M. Wanma and a minister from the Indonesian government.
Mr. Krey has recorded a lot of folk stories. One of them is what I have just written above. Every time he visits a village and makes pulpit and interior decor of a church with other Papuan artists, he will try to collect information about folk stories and traditional ceremonies from the village and write them. This is one of the best ways that he does in his old age preserving Papuan art and cultural identity for future generations of Papuan people. by Charles Roring
Also read:
Raja Ampat islands
Papuan Artist Tony Mansiraken Krey
The Sea as the Source of Art Inspiration

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