Many unique banana trees are found on Kapotar Island, Nabire, Papua. Unlike most bananas, the Kapotar banana has a fruit handle facing up.
The existence of these bananas is known to the Jayapura Archaeological Center team, which is conducting research on the Momorikotey Site, Kapotar Island. “Kapotar bananas are about 20-30 cm long with a diameter of 5-10 cm,” said Hari Suroto, Balar Jayapura archaeologist.
“These bananas have thick skin, orange fruit flesh, when eaten soft butter taste and not too sweet,” he said.
Young bananas have green skin, old bananas are ready to harvest their brownish yellow skin. Based on biomolecular research it is known that this banana is native to New Guinea and Melanesia. In Maluku, this type of banana is known as banana tongka langit.
In prehistoric times, these bananas were widely cultivated with breadfruit and taro in the Pacific. Archaeological research conducted at the Momorikotey Site will look for traces of early settlements in Papua.