Orok Dance, Cultural Heritage of the People of West Papua


Orok – For the people of Sorong, Papua, dancing is important for various purposes, such as marriages, funerals, welcoming guests, dowries, building garden houses, and so on.

One of the traditional dances of the people of West Papua is the orok dance.

Knowing the Orok Dance, Cultural Heritage of People of West Papua

Orok dance is a traditional dance of the Tehit people who live in Sawiat District, Sorong, West Papua.

This dance is the main dance which consists of the baren dance, srar dance, sarawa dance, and the orok dance itself.

Traditional dances in Papua have different functions and purposes. Here are various facts about the orok dance, which is a cultural heritage of West Papua :

1. The Lyrics of the Song Contain Praise

Parenting is one of the traditional songs and dances of the Tehit people. Orok dances and songs have long developed in the culture of the Tehit people.

The song lyrics in orok dances contain praise or psalms. Orok songs were created by an ancestor named Semit Bolo Majefak.

Orok songs composed or sung by Semitic ancestors were usually inspired by natural conditions at that time, such as birds singing in the morning, at dawn, and so on.

Special this dance is performed during wuon or wofle customary education.

When singing orok songs, some of the children who are train will stomp their feet or dance to the rhythm of the song. It also often happens when he gives wuon an education.

Until now, the stomping movement has become a form of infant dance that is widely known. The dancers and chanters of the Orok dance are usually called Worok.

2. Played at Student Admissions

Papuan people usually also perform the Orok dance at the time of student admission, welcoming or inauguration, mid-education, and handing over students to their parents.

During the Dutch era and the arrival of the Bible to Tanah Tehit, the wofle or wuon traditional education was still ongoing, so the dance was often perform by the community.

Around 1965-1966, the last wofle or wuon customary education existed. It makes traditional wuon education diminish and even almost disappear.

In the end, there a shift in the verses usually sung in this dances.

In the past, the poetry of the dance contain praise for nature, mountains that were considered to bring blessings, ancestral spirits, praise to the Almighty, and so on.

While the poetry of this dance is focus on advice on building a household, economics, politics, and so on, orok dance at present also experiences little development.

3. Played Without Music

This dance is play without the accompaniment of musical instruments. This dance only relies on the voice, the song’s rhythm, and the dance leader’s singing.

Besides the orok dance, the Tehit tribe also has two other types of dance, namely dirkehen and say kohok.

However, there are differences between these three types of traditional dance, which lie in the song lyrics, the moment on the stage, and the rhythm of the stomping of the feet.

If the dance is play during traditional ceremonies. The dirkehen dance is usually play during the inauguration of the Kehen traditional house.

Meanwhile, the Say Kohok dance is perform during the dowry payment at the traditional house with the Mbol or Bol Kehen.

Traditional dances generally fade with the times, like orok dance. Maintaining and preserving the ancestral culture is necessary. Let’s protect the nation’s culture!