West Papua Diary

Paar and Kee: Traditional Music Instrument of Papua

Paar and Kee

Speaking of tradition and culture, it is already common knowledge that Indonesia has much of it. Starting from traditional weapons, clothes, songs, dances, houses, and even traditional musical instruments. For example, Waris Tribe, has a musical instrument called paar and kee.

For those of you who still did not know, Waris Tribe is one of the native tribes of Papua. Most of the members of this tribe live in the Waris District, which is administratively included in the territory of Keerom Regency. To be precise, the regency of Keerom is located in Papua Province.

So, technically paar and kee are traditional musical instruments of Papua.

How to Make Paar and Kee?

It is not much different from other traditional musical instruments, how to make paar and kee are still very manual. You only need to use both of your hands without the help of any modern machines. Almost all of the materials obviously come from nature and are easy to find in the land of Papua.

To make paar, you only need a pumpkin. Meanwhile, to make kee, you need cassowary bones. Of course, these two materials are abundant in the Papuan forests. So, members of the Waris tribe have no difficulty in making this one musical instrument.

After collecting all the materials, you can start making this traditional musical instrument that belongs to the Waris Tribe. First, clean and dry the pumpkin, then make a hole on one side. After that, you must make a belt using the cassowary bones.

Then, attach the kee you have made to the paar. It is the final step for making this one traditional musical instrument.

The Purpose of Paar and Kee

Basically, paar and also kee are two different things. However, one cannot function without the other. The paar could only make a sound if it meets with the kee and vice versa. So, to function properly, these two tools must always be together.

The main function of these two is probably not as a musical instruments. Moreover, almost all the men in the Waris Tribe. This is because the function of paar and kee is as traditional clothes for them. Paar is a covering for their genitals, while kee is a belt.

However, other than as clothing, they use paar and also kee as musical instruments too. Its function is to accompany their own traditional dance performance. So, it would be more festive and lively.

How to Use Paar and Kee

How to use paar and kee is so unique. If you usually need to hit, swipe, strum, or even shake an instrument, but not with this one. To make this instrument make a sound, you have to jump. This is because you need to play this instrument while using it. So, the paar and the kee will meet each other.

So usually, it is a man who will play this instrument. They will play it while dancing. When they jump, the paar will meet the kee and make a sound. That is why the paar and the kee need each other to function properly because the instrument’s sound comes when they meet.

The uniqueness of this traditional musical instrument is indeed very interesting. Many people want to know more about the paar and the kee. Usually, you can see this musical instrument at certain festivals or celebrations.

Especially if people from the Waris Tribe are involved in the festival while performing their own traditional dance, you probably can see them playing paar and kee. But, as time passed, its use started becoming fewer and fewer.

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