Aluyen Dance: the Charming Traditional Dance from West Papua

Aluyen Dance
Sumber : Pinterest

The beauty of cultural arts in Indonesia is highlighted through its traditional performances, including dances, song, and music. These performances are generally managed for certain occasions or purposes, like expressing gratitude to God for abundant harvest, welcoming prominent guests, or being a part in local festivals. These arts and traditions are definitely close to their daily activity. Thus, they are more than just an art to perform; they are their life and identity.

Aluyen Dance is one of enchanting dances originated from West Papua. Dancers are likely to perform the dance for a certain occasion. It has unique movements and costumes. Dig more information about Aluyen Dance of West Papua below.

Aluyen Dance
Sumber : Kibris PDR

Top Facts about Aluyen Dance 

There have been numerous traditional dances from Papua and West Papua. The regions in the provinces vary from mountainous to coastal area, and the local dances are purposed depending one each occasion. Sorong of West Papua is enriched with various traditional dances, including Aluyen Dance.

Aluyen Dance isn’t named without any reason; it is based on the song sung during the performance. The word “aluyen” in local language is defined as the sung song. The term is derived from two sub-lexical forms which are “alu” and “yen”. Here, “alu” means the song, while “yen” means to be sung.

Unlike Wutukala Dance which comes from Moi Tribe of Sorong, Aluyen Dance is originated from Kalamasan. It is a region situated in the regency, too. Wutukala Dance is depicted in series of movements of people’s activity in catching fish as the people of Moi relatively live in the coastal area, while Aluyen is performed for something else. The tribal dance is occasionally performed for celebrating new installment. The dancers will manage this on the floor when there are people on the area who has just built a new house, has opened a new farm, has established a new village, and so forth. 

Some tribal dances are likely to perform at any time based on the events and occasions, but Aluyen Dance is normally only managed in the afternoon and evening. While other dances are performed once during the occasions, Aluyen can even be held for a long period of time. In fact, if it is performed in a customary house, the dance can be held for approximately one to two months long. Uniquely interesting, isn’t it?


The Movements 

When some dances from other regions are performed by only either men or women, Aluyen Dance of West Papua is performed by both men and women together. In a group of dancers, there is a lead dancer who is in charge for coordinating the movements. 

A lead dancer of Aluyen Dance normally stands in front of other dancers. Behind the leader, many dancers make two rows and perform on the given floor. The movements of the dance vary from walking, freely dancing on feet, and awlete. The word “awlete” in local language means dancing hip. These movements are performed along with the music in harmony.


The Costumes and Accessories

Kain Timor or Timor Cloth is traditional woven cloth that is quite popular in West Papua. The authentic woven cloth is occasionally worn in certain events or agendas, including during the tribal dance performance. 

When dancing Aluyen, men and women dancers wear kamlanan that is sort of Kain Timor. They also put on accessories, li (beads), saika (silver bracelet), medik (bracelet made of certain rope material), and eme (accessory made of pandan leaves). They creatively customize the accessories made of natural materials, like li which is usually made of shells or other sea animals, or eme which is colored in yellow or red by using natural pigments.

Those are some highlights about one of charming dances in Indonesia, Aluyen Dance of West Papua. You can enjoy the cultural art accompanied by the Tifa, the traditional dance from the region. The dancers moving their body and following the rhythm in harmony makes one of the best attractions to see.