Learning the vast and varying charm of west Papua will never be enough with only text and pictures. You need to learn from the local and the real practice. And one of the best ways to study the west Papua culture and culinary is by visiting the Dani tribe people. But who are they? what can you acquire from them? Read further for the response.
Who Is Dani Tribe?
Ndani or Dani is one of the most open tribal groups you can find in West Papua. Along with some other tribes, the group inhibits the central highland. The tribe is also known for being one of the most populous groups. Thus, the tribe villages are spread through the highland. One of the easiest to meet is those who are living in Baliem valley.
Some Facts About Dani Tribes
The linguist identification of the Dani tribes explains the vast range of cultures in the province. At least you can find four sub-grouping of Dani languages, which are grouped through their home. The unique point about this west Papua culture and the culinary point is that the language is differentiated into two colors, Mola for warm and Mili for cool or dark shades.
Some other point that makes the tribe worth spectating is their nature dependent lifestyle. Daily life is mainly about agriculture, including clearing and maintaining irrigation systems. There are also farming and animal breeding activities. But, all of those activities are done using tools that are made of traditional materials such as bamboo, stone, bone, wood, etc.
The religious aspect in West Papua is the prominent cause of the Dani tribe’s development. After the Christians reach the province, most of the population follow the belief. However, the tribal groups are mostly or traditionally been animists. It means that most of them believed in water spirits and local gods.
The west Papua culture and culinary identities were maintained thanks to the help of that belief. You can witness the influence through the rather gory rituals such as mummification, bone cemeteries, and attention to deceased gods. There are also ranges of effort are to prevent illness, magic science, and special powers.
If you want to learn about traditional clothing, Dani tribe villages are the best place to visit. Some or mostly the elders still use traditional clothing such as Koteka (penis gourd), plant-based straw upper or skirts, and many more. Most of them are still bare-chested and use ornaments as decorations or symbolic items.
Some of the tribal groups and their people are still loyal to west Papua culture and culinary. You can see that they live with nature, thus most of the staple foods are plants base. Some of them also highly regard old traditions that use sweet potatoes as barter items or dowries. At some point, the cooking and food are made using a traditional earth oven.
Visiting the Dani tribe village or simply encounter them helps the tourist to learn about west Papua life. The tribe has been one of the most famous and also the most open tribes in West Papua. You can visit or meet them during the Baliem valley festival to witness the indigenous traditions showcase.