One of the most breathtaking valleys in the world, Baliem Valley is enveloped by far-reaching mountain ranges and endless rivers. Also known as the “Baliem Grand Valley,” it is located in Wosilimo village, 27 kilometers from Wamena.
There are countless reasons to visit the lovely valley; we will list them in the following article. In particular, we will go over everything you need to do in the valley. So here are some ideas for things to do in Wamena, Baliem Valley.
1. Enjoy Yourself at the Baliem Valley Festival
In 1989, the festival was first made available to the general public. The yearly occasion has a lengthy history. The three tribes that lived in the valley initially engaged in this “battle” as a local custom.
Nevertheless, it was merely a symbolic performance intended to demonstrate their thankfulness for the affluence that had been showered upon their tribes. The message of the performance is “Yogotak Hubuluk Motog Hanoro,” which translates to a wish for a better tomorrow in the local language.
The males in the act wear “koteka” penis sheaths, which are covered in the skin of dried water gourds. Additionally, they don feathered headdresses made of a bird of paradise. On the other hand, female performers sport fern fiber skirts.
The event is Jayawijaya’s main draw for local and international visitors. The festival lasts three days straight in August every year.
Moreover, it features intriguing competitions like archery and spear throwing in addition to traditional dance performances. All in all, the festival, which is brimming with a local identity, is perfect if you want to discover a few things about the adjacent community, including the Dani tribe.
2. Hike Up the Jayawijaya Mountains
If you are adventurous, you should climb the Baliem Valley trek at the base of the Jayawijaya mountains. Most visitors explore the entire green area for two to three days.
The hiking trail is a narrow path with considerable ascents and descents. As you climb to the top, amazing landscapes, mountains, and rivers may be seen. The final route should be taken with caution as it might be fairly steep and covered in prickly bushes.
The reward for perseverance, though, is the breathtaking view that makes the struggle worthwhile. A cool, invigorating wind will blow on your face as soon as you take the last step towards the peak. On the other hand, you will be greeted by a group of magnificent mountains that are kissing the sky.
There are no paths down the mountain, only abrupt curves, rocks, and trees. Being watchful is advisable because each step is dangerous. It will save you time to work with a local guide.
3. Meet the Old-Age Mummies
The next activity focuses on death and the afterlife, two topics with great importance and significance to the prehistoric Dani people. The four preserved mummies at the moment are Araboda, Aikima, Pumo, and Yiwika.
The most popular of the four is Yiwika. The mummy is taken out of a thatched-roof cottage whenever visitors visit the Yiwika village, where it is stored. You can arrange to have your photo shot with the mummy for a nominal fee.
In fact, the Dani tribe also practices mumming in addition to the body burning in their ancestral rituals. Only traditional leaders with societal clout or warlords can use this strategy.
The tribe uses a traditional house for the mummification process. The Dani people initially smoked the body with wood after honoring the deceased. Then, a stone-burning party is conducted for the entire village.
The Dani smokes and lard-greases the mummies as a form of care. The selected members of the tribe have preserved them for millennia.
The Baliem Valley is one example of West Papua’s natural splendor that never fails to impress. If you truly appreciate nature, this valley will be a priceless gem to you. Grab your bags, buy your tickets, and get ready to enjoy life with your loved ones.
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