Papua And Its Cultural Festival – The province and the easternmost island of Indonesia is named Papua. Its natural wealth and natural beauty are well known. However, Papua is also rich in the various customs and cultures of the various tribes that inhabit this island. And the most appropriate way to enjoy how the cultural treasures of various tribes in Papua is to visit Papua as a cultural festival takes place. During this time, people are familiar with the Raja Ampat Festival which is marketed on a large scale even on national television stations. But actually there are many other festivals held in Papua.

Some of them are:

The Baliem Valley Cultural Festival


The Baliem Valley cultural festival is probably the most internationally known festival. The festival is held in mid-August every year in Wamena. Many tourists from foreign countries who come. At this festival is displayed performances from various tribes who live in the plains of Wamena to the Baliem Valley. The Baliem Valley Festival features typical tribal dances of each tribe. Visitors see the uniqueness of the style painted on the faces and bodies of the dancers.

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At this Baliem Valley Festival we will also show tribal war attractions that begin with the determination of scenarios triggering war. The triggers of this war could include kidnapping of citizens, killing of children, or invading newly opened fields. The existence of these triggers, causing other tribes to have counterattack, so the raid was done. Meanwhile, the opponent will survive, so the battle was held with exclamation. In this war attraction does not make revenge or hostility as a theme. The theme is precisely the expression of positive value, namely Yogotak Hubuluk Motog Hanorogo or mean hope of tomorrow that must be better than today.

There is also a spear throwing demonstrated by tribal people there. Interestingly, visitors are allowed to participate in trying to throw this spear. In addition to throwing a spear, visitors will also be taught how to shoot the style of the people of Papua are daily hunting. Spear and arrows are culturally very close to the life of Baliem Valley.

In addition to the “war” attraction, the Baliem Valley Festival also features Pikon performances or traditional musical instruments. The songs played with this Pikon, usually tells about human life. There is also Karapan Pig which also became one of the interesting attractions and often cause the din of the visitors. In addition, visitors can also see and enter into Honai, traditional house of Papua, which so far may only be seen images in books or television. In addition, in this festival we also can see the mama Papua make handicrafts typical of the Baliem Valley such as noken bags and necklaces.

Lake Sentani Festival


Lake Sentani, located about 20 Km from the outskirts of the capital of Papua Province, Jayapura. Lake Sentani itself displays a charming beauty treats, with a comfortable air, a calm atmosphere and with a very beautiful backdrop of hills.

The festival is held in mid-June in each year. Showing the culture of the 18 tribes living around Lake Sentani, but it also displays tribal cultures of migrants in Papua such as Bugis, Makassar, Tanah Toraja and others. The festival is also filled with traditional dances on the boat, Papua typical war dance, traditional ceremonies such as the coronation of Ondoafi, and serving a variety of typical culinary Papua.

There will also be displayed some typical culture of the edge of Lake Sentani, one of which is Isosolo. This Isosolo dance includes the eagerly awaited attractions of the Sentani Lake Festival, Isosolo itself is a magical dance semikolosal by the people of Sentani tribe by offering crocodile animals that have a close relationship with life on Lake Sentani. Isosolo consists of two words, namely Iso and Solo or Holo. Iso means rejoicing and dancing expressing feelings of the heart, whereas Holo or solo means groups or herds of all age groups be it children, mothers or grown men men who dance. Isosolo itself means a group of people who dance with joy expressing feelings of the heart. Isosolo is done over a combination of several boats and in the terraces on land called Yau.

3. Kamoro festival

This festival is not well known compared to other festivals, due to the unpredictable time of the year, even within a year of the Kamoro Festival can be performed several times because of the festival scale which tends to be smaller than other festivals in Papua.

The Kamoro Festival organized by the Comorian Tribe is usually preceded by the Cassowary Dance, which is related to the life of the Kamoro tribe. In this dance about 20 Kamoro men form two long lines. Dancers with cassowary costumes danced themselves in the front row. In the midst of them, the man with the body paint spots was surrounded by other dancers who carried the spears. The man was then embraced and paraded around. This dance is based on the story of a young Kamoro who falls in love with a girl, but the girl’s father does not agree. The young man ran into the forest and became a cassowary. When he returned to the village, the villagers did not recognize him and he was almost hounded. But the villagers finally realized, this is the young man who ran into the forest. The young man then taught the villagers of cassowary dance.

In addition to cassowary dance, the Kamoro Festival also features mama Papua seedang making sago, burning fish and sago worms, and preparing tambelo worms to eat. While the men beat the drums and you can come dancing with them. In addition the Kamoro wood carvings are not inferior to the Asmat wood carvings that are already famous in foreign countries.

4. Asmat Festival


The most famous festival in Papua is the Asmat Festival. In this festival exhibited the Asmat wood carvings are very famous in the international world. Asmat tribe is known to have the ability to make fine woodcarving art where they can directly carve directly without drawing sketches first. The festival is held in mid-October every year.

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For the Asmat, the woodcuts they make are closely related to the ancestral spirits and are therefore not merely regarded as works of art. Many of the art objects made by Asmat tribes are a symbol of war, headhunting, and worship of ancestral warriors. For centuries, the Asmat tribe tried to fulfill the spirit desires of the ancestors by producing extraordinary works of art in the form of shields, canoes, sculptures, and drums. In addition to woodcut and auction exhibitions, the festival will also be enlivened by hundreds of artists who will showcase the skills of weaving, boating, dancing, and traditional music performances. At the closing of the festival there will be auction event of Asmat tribe artwork.

The art of Asmat carvings is well known for the Asmat Tribe which has 12 sub-villages each of which has a distinctive feature in every wood sculpture. There are subsuku that highlight the statue carving there is also highlighting my salaw carving (shield) and some have carvings for wall and war equipment. The most remarkable thing is that each piece of carving has nothing in common or a duplicate. Asmat tribe does not produce the same patterned carvings on a large scale, so if we have a single Asmat carving with a certain pattern, it is the only one that exists.

5.Humboldt Bay Festival


Held at Hamadi Beach, Jayapura every year in early August, the Festival is organized by the local government of Papua to advance local wisdom in order to advance the creative economy in the land of Papua, especially in Jayapura. This festival is younger than other festivals in Papua. In this festival there is a cultural performances, performances of Papuan batik, culinary, crafts from local residents, hair weaving competition and stringing pinang and many others. In addition there are performances of traditional dance, flute drum, traditional menu cooking contest, hair weaving competition and decorative areca nut. Then there are tours of World Heritage II, panoramic views of Hamadi Beach and other beaches in Humboldt Bay.
Cultural festivals are a great way to preserve culture and also bring tourism. Cultural heritage must be preserved, because Papua is very rich in tribal culture. An important aid that can be made by the government is to create a special calendar of the festivities. A good promotion is needed to make these cultural festivals widely known by local and foreign tourists, so this festival not only preserves the local culture of the tribes in Papua but also revives the local economy. Source:

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