Karamo Dance: How the People of West Papua Enjoy Life

Karamo dance

Every region of Indonesia has its traditional dances, including West Papua. One of the West Papua traditional dances is called Karamo Dance. Some people will perform this dance when holding certain events.

Not just a dance, Karamo also has its meaning and purpose related to local culture.

What is Karamo Dance?

What is Karamo Dance

One of the Papua traditional dances comes from the Isirawa language from Sarmi Regency, Papua. The name karamo refers to dancing activities in the Isirawa (Saveri) culture. His area of ‚Äč‚Äčorigin is Siaratesa Village, South Sami District, Sarmi Regency, Papua.

The dance is held at a certain time to express gratitude, pride, and happiness for implementing a cultural event in the community. For example, when moving ancestors’ bones, bringing children down to the ground, and several other situations.

Meanwhile, the accompaniment song made by the local community is called Karame. These songs generally tell the personal experiences of the makers, rhymes and satire, natural wealth, etc.

Personal experiences included in the lyrics of the author’s songs, for example, relate to feelings of heartbreak due to a breakup. So, karamo refers to the dance, and carame is the song played when dancing.

Due to the many sources of inspiration in making songs, automatically, the number of songs used by the community is also diverse, so listeners will feel energized. This can become West Papua facts because other people can find out the meaning of the song and its movements.

Karamo Dance Movement

west papua traditional dance

The formation in performing the Karamo dance is two parties facing each other. Both parties do not compete or compete, but only as a place to get praise by showing their achievements.

Some of the basic movements of this dance include hitting, tifa, holding arrows, and stepping with a little jumping motion. At the same time, the main movement is a back-and-forth movement that follows the rhythm of the song while playing the top of the nibun.

The cultural value of the Karamo movement and dance is about the need to be grateful and celebrate life today so that it can increase a sense of optimism. With this sense of optimism and confidence, everyone can believe that tomorrow and the future will be much better.

Karamo Dance Function

Karamo Dance Function

Some of the functions of the Karamo dance for people’s lives include:

1. How to Get Happiness

The poems written by the Isiwara community contain messages of peace, about the beauty of nature, and personal experiences, so that people better understand their meaning.

While the lyrics of sad songs can be a means for people who are heartbroken to cheer themselves up.

Apart from happy and sad lyrics, because they are intended as suggestions to express happiness, people who listen and dance will feel entertained by the music and songs they hear.

2. Suggestions for Finding a Match

Young men who do not have partners will usually observe female and male dancers who also do not have partners.

The way they find people to get acquainted with is by observing their behavior and attitudes. as well as their agility the person dances the Karamo.

They will pay attention to the good politeness of a woman, as well as her agility and flexibility. Meanwhile, to judge men is about how to hold arrows, beat tifa, and politeness.

After finding a suitable person, they will finally get acquainted. From here, the possibility of getting a mate can occur.

3. Interact with Many People

Everyone from various villages and ethnicities of various ages can participate when dancing. They can interact when dancing. This follows one of the meanings of dance to increase family values, politeness, and religiosity.


Karamo dance is a means for the community to entertain themselves and interact with others. The values in the dance are also very important for life and are one of the West Papua facts.