Kuk Kir Kna Tradition: A Cultural Heritage from West Papua

Kuk kir kna

Talking about the richness of culture in the Archipelago of Nusantara is very endless. Sometimes, those hereditary cultures are even considered intangible cultural heritage. It includes West Papua, where a lot of cultural heritage still exists today. For example, kuk kir kna.

For those of you who still do not know, it is one of the traditional customs tribal ceremonies in Papua. To be precise, in West Papua Province. For now, this tribal ceremony has officially become an intangible cultural heritage. So, here are all the things you need to know about kuk kir kna tradition!

The Meaning Behind Kuk Kir Kna Tradition

Generally, there are three most important ceremonies for almost all indigenous peoples of Papua. Those ceremonies are when people are giving birth when people get married, and also when people have passed away. However, for some tribes, another ceremony is no less important.

It is a ceremony when a child reaches a certain age, whether as a kid or as a teen. Usually, the ceremony is held when a child is coming of age. But it is not always the case. Because, in kuk kir kna ceremony, mostly it is for a kid from the age of two until five years old.

Normally, the main character of this ceremony is a girl. Especially if she is the oldest daughter in the family, if her parents have sufficient financial conditions, then this ceremony can last a very long time. They can celebrate this ceremony together for three days and three nights.

The Purpose of Kuk Kir Kna Tradition

The Purpose of Kuk Kir Kna Tradition

For some tribes in West Papua, women who have earrings are indeed common. Most of them have pierced their ears so that they can wear earrings in them. In fact, they even have their own ceremony to punch holes in the ears of their daughter. People know this kind of ceremony as the kuk kir kna culture.

So, the purpose of this ceremony is to make holes in the ears of girls between the ages of two and five years. The presence of this ceremony is indeed very important for the local community. In fact, you can still find some families in West Papua Province who hold this ceremony nowadays.

In fact, some families still hold the ceremony for three days and three nights. The goal is to make the ears of their daughter softer. That way, the piercing process will be faster and easier. Apart from that, the girl will also not feel any pain because the preparation is great.

The Piercing Process in the Kuk Kir Kna Tradition

As you already know, this ceremony is a tribal ceremony, so the piercing method is still very traditional. Usually, before the tribal piercing ceremony, there will be a traditional dance performance. In addition, there were also several other tribal customs before they pierced their ears.

The peak ceremony, the piercing, will be on the third night. The person who will punch a hole in their ears is their uncle, the brother of their mother. He would use bamboo reeds that were sharp and soft. After their ears have been perforated, the uncle will give them gold earrings as a gift.

In addition, the other family members from the mother’s side will also give them gifts, whether it is a plate, cloth, money, and other items. Meanwhile, the family from the father’s side will prepare the raw food, such as sago, beans, etc. They will also prepare the money for the ceremony.

Even though it is not as common as before, some families still do the kuk kir kna tradition in some areas in West Papua Province because this is a cultural heritage that must be preserved.