All You Need to Know about Seka Dance of West Papua

Seka Dance
Sumber : Johana Nita

Traditional dances as part of cultural arts vary from Sabang to Merauke to complete the beauty of Indonesia as they also represent the identity of the society. Seka Dance has been popular in Papua and West Papua. It is occasionally performed for some reasons and the local people keep working to preserve the cultural art for the next generation, too. Take a look at these highlights discussing the dance in details.

Seka Dance
Sumber : Johana Nita

The Significance of Seka Dance

Seka Dance is a tribal dance originated from the Southern Papua. Some tribes in which the dance is familiar with are situated in the regions of Timika, Kaimana, and Fakfak. The dance has been popular in coastal areas.  It used to symbolize gratitude to God after having such abundant harvest. Furthermore, the dance also used prior to a marriage event where the dancers perform for walking a girl to her future husband. 

As the time goes by, the dance is now also functioned as a dance performed in youth association. Also, when prominent figures come for a visit, the cultural dance performance is used to warmly welcome the guests and allow them to enjoy the beauty of Papua and West Papua.


The Movement of Seka Dance

The performance of Seka Dance appears in series of easy and simple movement. When some other dances from other regions of Indonesia are performed individually, Seka Dance belongs to those dances which is shown in groups. In Timika, the dance is performed together and it could even involve a lot of people. The more, the merrier.

If you want to perform Seka Dance, you are going to move with your stomping feet, nodding head, swinging hip, and waving hands. The dancers usually perform it by turning around each other as making a circle. A lead dancer sometimes yells to sign changes in dance movement and session.

The dance performance is normally accompanied by Tifa as traditional musical instrument from Papua and West Papua. When Tifa is played, the dancers would follow the melody to move in harmony. 


Seka Dance for Napiti Tribe, Kaimana, West Papua

Like people in Miere Tribe, those in Napiti Tribe of Kaimana, West Papua, has relatively been close to Seka Dance in their daily life. In cultural context, the dance is one of prominent elements of Napiti Tribe which has been preserved for so many years.

In local term, Seka Dance of Napiti Tribe is also called Au Dance. The dance is usually performed in celebration events to commemorate national important days. However, you will also be able to enjoy the performance in some events welcoming prominent figures in the society. 

Au Dance is performed in a group of 12 people. While Seka Dance is generally accompanied by Tifa as traditional musical instrument, Au Dance of Napiti is harmonized with a stream bass played by four people. There is one original tribal song performed to accompany the dance.

In performing Seka or Au Dance, Napiti dancers wear a set of costume made of fresh sago and young coconut leaves. In general, the leaves are just picked prior to the cultural dance to give a fresh performance on the floor. In the dance studio, the people of Napiti Tribe have no sufficient inventory of dancers’ costumes as the fresh leaves are only worn once on stage and immediately thrown away. 


Seka Dance for Other Tribes

In Mimika Regency are two native tribes which are Amungme and Kamoro. Unlike people of Amungme Tribe who lives in the mountains, those of Kamoro Tribe dwell around the coastal areas. Like in Kaimana and Timika, Seka Dance also enriches the culture of Kamoro Tribe. 

While in the other areas the dance used to express gratitude for abundant harvest and walk a bride-to-be to her future husband, the dance in Kamoro Tribe used to symbolize the spirit of war in the past.

Today, Seka Dance has been performed in national days, welcoming stages, and numerous local festivals. The challenge now is to preserve the traditional dance, introduce it to the world, and maintain it to next generation as the culture of Papua and West Papua.