Natural and cultural opportunities abound in West Papua. South Sorong for example, is known for its weaving of traditional Timorese fabric. Others are timber, mining, agricultural, and seaweed exports. The Awaijale Rilejale dance, for example, is one of the cultural treasures that make up West Papua.
Traditional Dance in General
What exactly is traditional dance? Experts have several established meanings. In essence, traditional dance is a dance that has evolved through time and has been practiced for a long period in a certain place, custom, or tribe. As a result, it has classical and inherent artistic characteristics that are passed down from generation to generation.
Traditional dances serve numerous purposes in societies. It may be used for traditional rituals, coronations, deaths, entertainment, expressions of gratitude, and other significant occasions. Essentially, it is a form of communication in ancient civilization. The dances are now a cultural treasure that is being nurtured.
Characteristics of traditional dances include grip or basic movements, the use of regionally appropriate clothes, the presentation of philosophic meanings and messages about life, and so forth. There are times when a dance must be done at a given place and time, and other times when it may be performed only by a certain person or group of people.
According to Wikipedia there are more than 3,000 original dance forms in Indonesia.
Apart from that, each dance has its own distinction. The distinctiveness of footwork in Papuan dances, for example. Dancers’ feet move rhythmically and dynamically in typical of Papuan dances, including the Awaijale Rilejale dance.
In addition, Papua is home to a dance known as the Awaijale Rilejale Dance. This dance is often performed whenever there is a celebration or event taking place in the region.
Awaijale Rilejale is a kind of dance art that represents the natural beauty of the area around Lake Sentani as evening approaches and the locals begin their journey home from work by boat. From what has been described, it seems that the Awaijale Rilejale Dance is, in fact, performed for the purpose of providing entertainment.
A mixed-gender group of dancers will put on this performance for you. Pea Malo is the name of the traditional clothing that they wear while they do the dance. Papua is the only place in the world where you can find the Ganemo tree, which is used to make these clothing together with its bark and sago leaves.
The village of Sentani in the Jayapura Regency of Papua Province is the origin of the Awaijale Rilejale dance.
The Beauty of Lake Sentani
The village of Sentani in the Jayapura Regency of Papua Province is the origin of the Awaijale Rilejale dance. In this village, there is a Sentani lake whose beauty is shown through the dance.
According to legend, long ago, some Papua Fresh Guineans went on dragons in search of new land. However, the dragon they were riding was unable to go any farther and crashed into a vast lake. The dragon eventually drowned in the water.
People believe that the dragon’s head becomes an island on the lake’s east side, the tail becomes an island on the lake’s west side, and the body becomes an island in the center and is called Pulau Asei.
In this lake, the local government usually holds an annual event, the Lake Sentani Festival. The festival, which is usually held in the Kalkote area, on the shores of Lake Sentani, showcases a variety of local culture and arts. Such as the exhibition of numerous Papuan specialities and traditional rites like the crowning of Ondoafi and the Awaijale Rilejale dance.