The Wamesa tribe is one of the indigenous Papua tribes that mainly inhabits the Bintuni District, Manokwari Regency, West Papua Province. The Wamesa tribe has a language called the Wamesa language, which belongs to the non-Austronesian Papuan language family. There are thought to be 4,000 native speakers of the language in the area. The leading food for the inhabitants of this tribe is sago and fish.
Culture of the Papua Tribe: Wamesa
The Wamesa tribe is the largest tribe inhabiting the Wandamen Bay, Windesi, Nikiwar, Roeswar, and Roon Islands, to the Dusner, Rasiei, Wondiboy, and Kabouw peninsulas. The Wamesa tribe is the largest in Wondama Bay and is even one of the largest Papua tribes in West Papua Province.
The tribes and kinship in Wondama Bay have very close cultural and kinship ties built and maintained for generations by the Wandamen. Types of traditional events/ceremonies held by the indigenous tribes of Teluk Wondama Regency, including:
Wamendereow, or some call it Parwabuk, is a traditional wedding ceremony. In this ceremony, usually, the entire village gathers and spreads the mat at the groom’s residence.
Kiuturu Nandauw, also known as Kakarukrorbun, is the first traditional hair-cutting ceremony for a 5-year-old child.
In addition to the traditional ceremonies above, there are other traditional customs, such as:
- Piercing the ear.
- They take a child out of the house for the first time since birth.
- Making a Kajang for a grave house.
- Opening the door of a new home.
A long-standing tradition is carried out at New Year’s celebrations: rubbing the face with charcoal mixed with coconut oil.
In some Papua tribes, there is also a custom to bring the first harvest to the church and to give thanks in the hope that the next harvest will be more abundant. For instance, the first betel nut to be picked is carried to church, and following prayer, the betel nut is distributed to other churchgoers.
Wamesa Papua Tribe Arts
The indigenous people of Teluk Wondama Regency have various forms of art, such as dance and music. Dances and music are performed at traditional ceremonies, welcoming guests, and on certain big days. The types of dances and musical instruments used include the following:
Ris or Sifieris means traditional dance. This traditional dance is a part of a ceremonial celebration to accompany singing accompanied by musical instruments, gongs, and the Tifa (pondatu). Snakeskin makes up Tifa. They change the lyric to better capture the significance of the wedding.
A balengan dance is typically performed in pairs in the village. This dance is not much different from the yosim pancar we typically know.
Balengan is a Papua tribe dance. It follows the rhythm of the music at a moderate to fast tempo, depending on the song. The musical instruments usually consist of: a hollow guitar, a small guitar called a juglele, a large bass guitar (stand-bass), and a percussion instrument (Tifa).
At least six persons must be present to play the bamboo flute in a group. Each flute has different sizes, producing soprano, alto, tenor, and bass sounds.
The bamboo flute is used to greet visitors during religious ceremonies of the Papua tribe and while delivering and burying the dead. Mourning events are usually not accompanied by drums.
Residents of the sough ethnicity usually perform Tumbu Tanah or Snake Dance. Tumbu Tanah is a traditional dance for particular occasions. One person using a machete is leading the snake’s head.
Papua Tribe Crafts
Handicraft activities passed down from the Papua tribe‘s generation to generation and are still widely practiced, especially by women’s groups, are the skills of weaving noken and making mats, including making mats from palm leaves.