Papua, this island, is not only rich in natural richness and beauty, but also in the customs and cultures of the numerous tribes who occupy it. Visiting Papua during the cultural festival is one of the best opportunities to experience the rich culture of numerous ethnic groups in the country. People are already aware of the Raja Ampat Festival, which is heavily promoted on national television channels. However, there are other festivities in Papua.
For readers who desire to visit Papua and experience its cultural diversity, here are four cultural events that you must attend:
Baliem Valley Cultural Festival
The Baliem Valley cultural festival is arguably the most well-known of the four other events. Every year, numerous travelers from throughout the world attend this festival. The event, held at Wamena, featured performances by numerous tribes from the Wamena plains to the Baliem Valley. Starting with the attractions of inter-tribal wars, throwing spears, archery in the style of the Papuan people who usually hunt every day, performances of Pikon or traditional musical instruments, Karapan Babi, and activities of Papuan mamas making Baliem Valley handicrafts such as noken bags and necklaces.
If you wish to attend the Baliem Valley Festival, it is normally held in mid-August each year.
Lake Sentani Festival
This festival takes place on Lake Sentani, only about 20 Km from the outskirts of the capital city of Papua Province, Jayapura. Lake Sentani itself presents a charming treat of beauty, with comfortable air, a calm atmosphere and with a hilly background,
The Lake Sentani Festival showcases the culture of the 18 tribes that live around Lake Sentani, while also displaying the tribal culture of immigrants in Papua such as Bugis, Makassar, Tanah Toraja and others. This festival is also filled with traditional dances on a boat, Papuan war dances, traditional ceremonies such as the coronation of Ondoafi, and serving a variety of Papuan specialties.
Apart from that, some unique cultures of the people of Lake Sentani shores will also be displayed, one of which is Isosolo. This Isosolo dance is one of the most anticipated attractions of the Lake Sentani Festival. Isosolo is a beautiful and semi-colossal dance performed by the Sentani tribal people that features crocodiles that are strongly tied to Lake Sentani life.
For those of you who want to see the Lake Sentani Festival, this festival is usually held in mid-June every year.
This festival is not widely known compared to other festivals, because the time of its implementation cannot be determined every year, even in a year the Kamoro Festival can be held several times because the scale of the festival tends to be smaller than other festivals in Papua.
The Kamoro Festival, which is held by the Komor Tribe, is usually preceded by a cassowary dance, which is related to the life of the Kamoro tribe. In addition to the cassowary dance, the Kamoro Festival also features Papuan mamas making sago, burning sago fish and caterpillars, and preparing tambelo worms to eat. Meanwhile the men beat tifa and you can dance with them. In addition, the Kamoro wood carvings are not inferior to the Asmat wood carvings which are already well known in foreign countries.
One of the most well-known festivals in Papua in foreign countries is the Asmat Festival, because this festival exhibits wood carvings of the Asmat tribe which are very well known internationally. The Asmat tribe is known to have the ability to make good wood carving art where they can directly carve without drawing a sketch first. The Asmat do not produce carvings with the same pattern on a large scale, so if we have one Asmat carving with a certain pattern, it is the only one available. That’s what makes it unique!
If you are interested in seeing the Asmat festival and its wood carvings, this festival is held in mid-October every year.