It turned out that the President wanted to buy traditional Papuan hand-knitted bags – locally known as ‘noken’ -- from "mama-mama” or Papuan women who sell them on Hawai Sentani Main Street.
"What kind of bag is it?" he asked Paulina Adi, one of the merchants, as quoted by the Press, Media, and Information Bureau of the Presidential Secretariat, monitored here on Friday.
"The bag is made of tree bark, Sir," Adi answered.
After seeing the goods, President Jokowi decided to buy two noken.
Two other vendors, Anastasya Keren and Yulita Tebay, expressed the hope that the implementation of XX Papua PON would increase the sale of traditional bags.
Related news: President Jokowi to open PON XX National Games
The head of state arrived at Sentani Airport, Jayapura district at 4.20 p.m. Eastern Indonesia Standard Time on Friday.
Soon after his arrival, Widodo bought the noken and wore it.
The President and his entourage went straight to the hotel and were scheduled to continue the work agenda the following day, comprising inaugurating a number of infrastructures as well as opening the XX Papua PON.
He was greeted at the hotel with a Sentani welcoming dance accompanied by music from tifa – a native Papuan drum.
Commander of Regional Joint Defense III, Lieutenant General Jeffry Apoly Rahawarin, Regional Military Commander XVII/Cenderawasih, Major General Ignatius Yogo Triyono, Papua Regional Police chief, Inspector General Mathius D. Fakhiri, and Commander of the Regional Air Force Operations III, Rear Marshal Samsul Rizal, accompanied the President.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Papua, Lukas Enembe, greeted the entourage at the lodging.
Related news: Preparations for Papua PON opening ceremony 95% complete: official