Learn Some Unique Traits of Traditional Musical from West Papua

Traditional Musical from West Papua

Traditional Musical from West Papua

West Papua is rich in cultural works and arts. That is one of the reasons why so many tourists come to this beautiful land. One example of remarkable art is the traditional musical from West Papua. Music is indeed alluring for every ear. Visitors often want to witness the unique traits of Papuans by listening to their traditional musicals. However, it is not only a lively sound, but the music contains so much more about the land and the inhabitants. What are the special traits?

Distinct Traits of Traditional Musical from West Papua

There are several traits that make music from West Papua stand out from the rest. Others might know just by listening to the produced sounds because Papuans own a dissimilar manner of delivering their speech. This can be clearly seen in their traditional musicals. A specific trait also applies to their musical instruments, folk songs, and dance moves.

  1. Unique Sounds for Musical Instruments

West Papua has many traditional musical instruments with the most popular ones being Tifa, Triton, Yi, Guoto, and others. Made from diverse materials, each instrument creates different sounds. In ceremonial events, only men could play Tifa while women are forbidden to play the instrument.

Tifa produces sounds when hit with someone’s hands. While Triton is made from shell and Yi from made, both deliver sounds when blown. They are used to signal a summoning of a tribe from the forest. Guoto makes sounds by hitting the instrument and plucking the strings.

  1. Folk Songs Mirroring the Papuans’ Life

Many folk songs or traditional musical from West Papua deliver a specific tale to the masses. Sajojo, for example, tells a story about the most beautiful lady in a village. The traditional song describes how many people including her parents and admirers love the beautiful lady. 

Another song, Apuse, narrates a story about the separation or farewell of a grandson from his grandparents. The grandson was leaving the village for Doreri Bay in Manokwari. Both songs use simple words from Papua’s traditional language with some repetitions in the lyrics. Thus, the lyrics are easy to remember even for Indonesians.

  1. Musical Performance by a Group of People

The people of Papua love to sing a lot. They prefer to sing together with other tribal classmen and women. This aligns with one Papuans’ traditional value, to hold familial and tribal ties in high regard. 

When the Papuans hold a traditional, religious, or cultural event, a group of males usually plays musical instruments. The women can join them by singing certain traditional songs to elevate the festive mood. In addition, there would be simple dance moves to accompany the song in a musical performance. 

  1. Lively Music Melodies and Powerful Sounds

Songs from West Papua have two things in common. The melody is filled with a bundle of joy, while the sound is robust and high in volume. The songs have the power to make someone moves their body while listening to the melody and sound.

Another uniqueness comes from the people’s way of singing the traditional song according to their dialect. Their sonorous voice makes the songs rich and full of sound, especially with some resonance in them.

  1. Each Element Complement the Other

From the traditional musical instrument to the sound of the people, all elements complement each other to produce a great-sounding musical performance. Not only that, even though the people of Papua use simple words in their songs, there are particular meanings and resemblances of their daily life contained in traditional songs.

Traditional musical from West Papua has several distinct traits compared to other regions. If you are listening to one traditional song, you will find those five traits in it.