This book tells about Mika, a little girl of the Mee ethnic on Deiyai island, Papua. Mika is very happy because tomorrow is her first day going to school. She starts to think, “What can I bring to school ?
She comes in to the Honai, traditional house of Papua, and takes her Noken. Noken is a traditional bag of Papua, which is usually to be hanged up on the head. She has a plan to bring some school kit. Mika has a small pig and always follows her everywhere. Her small pig is very funny.
At first, Mika takes crayons, book, pencil, and ball. She put all the items into her Noken. She runs to the garden and looking around. Mika sees a lot of Ayay fruits and Koge flowers there. And then, Mika takes a lot of Ayay and brings it by shaking her clothes. Mika is also collecting many Koge flowers into a basket. Now, her Noken is full by school kit, Ayay fruits, and Koge flowers. Mika also plans to bring her small pig. Then, she puts the little pig into her noken.
Wow, this story sounds really great, right?. The little pig is rebelling because it does not want to be inside of the Noken. Suddenly, her little pig runs so fast and all the things inside of Mika’s Noken become a mess. What will Mika do after this? Let’s find out.
Ka Minda, Mika’s older sister comes to help her. Ka Minda counselled Mika to bring only important things. Ka Minda suggests Mika to not bring the ball. There is a ball at school. Crayons have also been provided by their teachers at school. Meanwhile, Mika also does not need to bring too much Ayay fruit and Koge flower. Ka Minda also reminds Mika that if she brings her little pig to the school, it will be disturbing her when she is studying.
Finally, Mika put her pencil, book, Ayay fruit, and Koge flower into her Noken. Her Noken is lighter than before. After all the preparation, Mika falls asleep in the warm Honai. When the morning comes, Mika is so happy to go to school with her friends.
Through this book, the author is trying to introduce the uniqueness of the tribes in Papua. Starting from the sour taste of Ayay fruit. Papuan children especially in Deiyai, they usually mix the white Ayay fruit with sugar in a bottle. The taste is sweet when it’s chewed. Meanwhile, Koge is a wild bushes which usually grows in the forest. White Koge flowers has a sweet taste.
The strength of this book is that the storyline of this book is easy to understand. The main topic is about a culture from a tribe in Papua, which is still rare in the children book stories in Indonesia. This book is also fully filled by colourful illustrations, so the children will be curious to read every pages of the book. Tri Sujarwo
Mika is so happy to bring her Noken
Title : Noken Mika
Author : Astri Riyadi
Illustrator : Rama Indra, Vannia Rizky
Publisher : Puspa Swara
Year of publication : 2018
Number of Pages : 32