Papua nation is the second largest island in the world. Located in the easternmost part of Indonesia, Papua has a rich cultural heritage, one of which is traditional Papuan dances.
Papua’s beautiful island and popular tourist spots are hidden by various dance forms that have helped maintain the local culture.
Some traditional Papuan dances have an impression that originates from ritual movements and religious ceremonies.
Papua Nation Need to Know These Papua Traditional Dances
We will discuss the first traditional dance of West Papua, the Suanggi Dance. Suanggi dance is a dance that is said to contain magical and sacred nuances because its movements are like rituals.
The Suanggi Dance’s recorded history also involves a husband whom his wife killed. The word “Suanggi,” which means an evil spirit, may also be observed in the name of the dance. It is claimed that this is the case because the deceased person’s spirit has an unfulfilled promise that would manifest as an inquisitive ghost after death.
When a woman still lives, the ghost will enter her soul and harm other people. This ancient dance of the Papua nation serves as a deterrent against evil spirits. The Suanggi Dance’s moves resemble a shaman healing the sick. The dancers are male, and their costumes are traditional West Papuan garb.
The movements of the Yospan Dance are very energetic. Therefore the background of this dance is about friendship or young people’s association. Yospan dance is the same as the Sajojo dance. Yospan dance is typically performed at important occasions such as traditional rituals, cultural arts events, and welcoming ceremonies.
The name Yospan is also a combination of Yosim and Pancar. The movements of this dance are jumping, walking, and twisting, which are lively and energetic. The dancers of this dance are free. Both women and men can join the Yospan Dance.
Wutukala Dance of Papua Nation
West Papua’s Moy Tribe is where the wutukala dance originated. Since the Moy people reside on the Sorong shore, their ways of fish hunting impact the movements of the Wutukala Dance. Men and women dance together in couples or groups during the Wutukala Dance.
The Wutukala Dance movement is exciting, upbeat, and full of energy. The Wutukala Dance is an expression of thanksgiving on behalf of the Moy tribe for the bounties bestowed upon them by God. In this dance, the woman carries a noken to hold the fish caught while the guy, dressed as a fisherman, wields a spear.
Awaijale Rilejale Dance
The Sentani Tribe of West Papua created the Awaijale Rilejale dance, which portrays the natural beauty of Lake Sentani at sunset as people return from labor by boat. There are both males and women among the dancers.
The Papua nation’s dancers use hamboni jewelry or beaded necklaces in addition to the Pea Malo dancing costume, composed of sago leaves, bark, and fiber from the genemo tree.
Aluyen dance is part of a traditional rite before starting new projects, such as building a house or a garden. The Kalasan region is the origin of the aluyen dance. Male and female dancers follow the dancer who is leading the Aluyen dance. The male dancers follow the leader two rows backward, followed by the female dancers two rows backward.
Sajojo Dance of Papua Nation
Sajojo Dance is widely popular throughout the archipelago, not just in Papua. In this dance, you can see how the many ethnic groups of Papua interact. Sajojo dance is a common name for the welcoming dance. The performers will bounce and stamp their feet as they dance.
“Our arrow” is the meaning of the dance Afaitaneng. This dance, which comes from the South Serui region of Yapen Island and the Ambai region, depicts heroic wartime experiences. Frequently, this dance will last all night (afternoon and night after the war). It will illustrate the military forces’ fortitude, magnificence, and triumph over arrow-wielding foes.
“Liberation of a kid” is the meaning of the aniri dance. This dance originates in the Koakwa Village of West Papua’s Fakfak Regency. This Papua nation‘s dance shows the release of a little child from the jinn’s interference after his parents left him behind to go to the village. There are a lot of magical-smelling things in this dance.