West Papua


In 1961 the Netherlands set up a parliament in the colony of Netherlands New Guinea, responsible for preparing the territory for independence by the end of ten years. One thing the council approved was a national anthem to be used, “Hai Tanahku Papua”, which had been written by a Dutch missionary back in the 1930s, and the anthem was officially used in the territory until the territory fell under Indonesian government control in 1963. From that time on, performance of the anthem and presenting other national symbols of West Papua in the Indonesian-controlled province became illegal. The national symbols, including the anthem, are still used by West Papua independence activists both inside West Papua and throughout the world.

Special thanks to: Ben Cahoon for some of this information, and Paweł Ciupak for the music file.