The Dani tribe is one of the groups that can be found in the Jayawijaya Mountains area, Baliem Valley. This tribe has a unique way of dressing in Yokal clothes. There are specific criteria for the traditional clothes used by the indigenous Dani tribe, especially women. Are you curious about this traditional dress from West Papua? Read the following information!
The Geographical Location of the Dani Tribe
The Dani tribe predominantly lives in mountainous areas (highlands) or, to be precise, in the Baliem Valley, Papua. The air temperature, which is quite cold and extreme, is not a problem for those who wear traditional everyday clothes with only a few pieces of clothing. They are looking for other ways to stay warm while living life in the Baliem valley.
They warm the body in the honai or use a fireplace as the leading solution. For the structure of the Honai house, you will find its unique shape. It is because Honai’s house is made of straw and wood. As a result, it provides a warm effect in cold and extreme weather in West Papua. In addition, they also tried another way to warm the body by applying pork fat to the skin.
Traditional Dress Material
The traditional Dani clothing is Yokal, which is made from natural materials. The cover or clothes are made of dry sago leaves, which are neatly knitted. Meanwhile, the headgear is made of cassowary material. Mainly, traditional Papuan clothes do not use a top. But instead, they painted bodies with leaf and earth motifs.
Women’s Traditional Clothing
The Dani tribe does use traditional clothes to dress daily. Men usually use Holim or known as the traditional cloth called Koteka. As for women, the traditional clothes are called Yokal and Sali. When used by Dani women, these types of dresses have their own uniqueness and characteristics. In fact, both of the traditional clothes have meaning for women who use them.
Married women will use Yokal traditional clothes as their identity. The traditional clothing is made from natural materials, namely tree bark. The color of this outfit is usually striking because it tends to be rust-colored and reddish-brown. Meanwhile, the shape is similar to webbing wrapped around a circle. After that, Yokal’s clothes will be wrapped around the waist to cover the woman’s hips.
Even so, currently, tassel skirts are not only used by women. Men in West Papua will also wear tufted dresses to meet certain event conditions. As a complement, headdresses for Dani women will be made from several beautiful materials, such as cassowary feathers, palm fiber material, and dried sago leaves. Those are the essential element to make traditional skirts and cloth.
Apart from the headdress, there are also other accessories in the form of Noken or a unique woven bag typical of Papua. Woven from natural materials that are often encountered in Papua are usually made of woven bark and tree roots in the forest. Not to forget, there are also additional accessories in the form of teeth and fangs of dogs or pigs. Overall, the Dani tribe has its own uniqueness from its traditional clothes.