Raja Ampat and its habitants
Raja Ampat consists of over 1500 islands with a total surface of 40 000 square kilometers. Three oceans meet in the area and because of that the biodiveristy in the oceans is the highest in the world. It is a fantastic place to travel if you love life under the surface.
The name Raja Ampat has its origin in the local mythology and the tale of a local woman who finds seven eggs. Four of the eggs hatch and they become kings over the four bigger islands. The three other eggs hatch to reveal a woman, a ghost and a rock.
Up to the middle of the 20th century the west Papua had little contact with the rest of the world. Since then the Dutch and now the Indonesians have taken the area in possession. The main part of the habitants of Raja Ampat are Christian but in Misool, that lies in the south part of Raja Ampat, most are Muslims.
Only few of the local habitants understand English, but most people speak Indonesian. Between them they prefer to speak the local Papuan languages. The tourism in the area is growing, which gives more income for the local habitants but also better possibilities to protect the nature in the area.
All land is owned by the villages and there is no everyman´s right. You have to get permission from the villagers to camp on the islands.