Indonesia is a multicultural country consisting of hundreds ethnic groups with different languages, cultures and traditions. Some ethnic groups on the island of Papua even have traditions that are classified as strange and extreme which cannot be digested by common sense. These strange and extreme traditions are ancestral relics that have been embraced by the Papuan people for a long time.
Here are seven unique traditions from Papua that you must know!
Finger Cut Tradition
The finger-cutting tradition is carried out by indigenous people in Papua who have lost their family members. This tradition is mainly carried out by members of the Dani Tribe. Every time a family member dies, one finger of their hand must be cut off as a form of love.
The Ararem ritual is a procession practice for transporting the dowry to the location of the wedding. The atmosphere will be quite packed by the community when the Ararem Tradition is celebrated. The Ararem Tradition is distinguished by the appearance of a red and white flag which is the Indonesian flag that participates in the dowry delivery parade.
The tradition of mummifying corpses does not only exist in Egypt, the Dani tribe of Papua also carries out the tradition of embalming the dead traditional leaders. The mummification technique was carried out by drying in a cave, then stabbed with pork bones and placed on a fireplace. This tradition is also carried out by several other tribes such as the Moni Tribe, Yali Tribe, and Mee Tribe.
One of the interesting things about this tradition is that the bodies that are mummified are not just anybody, but someone who is very meritorious to their tribe.
Tifa is a typical percussion instrument from Papua that resembles a drum. Some tribes in Papua make tifa in a way that is quite terrible. The animal skins used are not attached with glue or tied with rattan, but it is done with blood.They use their own blood that comes from the blood dripping on the thighs. They usually use a razor blade to make cuts on their thighs.
Baliem Valley Festival
The Baliem Valley Festival is a festival for the strength of the three major tribes in Papua which symbolizes fertility. Although synonymous with violence, this festival is still safe and fun for visitors to enjoy. The Baliem Valley Festival is held using a scenario that triggers inter-tribal wars like an action film.
The name Imeko is taken from the three spreading areas, namely inanwatan, accompanying, and kokoda. Imeko dance is so unique because of the rocking of the buttocks and hand movements that resemble the flapping of wings. Imeko dance is only performed in traditional events or when entering a new house.
People in some parts of Wamena have a pretty unique practice known as Barapen, or burning stones. Barapen is a villagers-only cooking custom in which stones are heated till smoldering as the primary cooking instrument.
This custom is generally led by a tribal leader who dresses in traditional attire and travels about inviting residents of his community. The residents then hunt animals in the forest or surrounding their settlement to utilize as key meal ingredients after collecting. Then some individuals accept the animal to be cooked as well as some new manata to be made into embers and perform their particular dance.
Well, those are five traditions originating from Papua that you must know. In addition to having a wealth of resources and beautiful natural scenery, it turns out that Papua has a very unique tradition.