The Epic Baliem Valley Festival in Indonesia

If we talking about the ceremonies that can be found within the area of Indonesia, we can included infinite number of them. Each area in Indonesia has their own unique purposes, and also different from the other ceremonies in other areas.

They also have different motives, like for the wedding, ceremonies for the kids, and also ceremnies for war. For the last one, there’s not a single war dance that has the ultimate purpose for war in these days. But, they switched into a dance or ceremony with the purpose of entertaining and also promoting the land’s tourism.

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And for the example, you can see this Beliam Valley Festival. This one festical is guaranteed to be different from the other festivals you can find in countries around Indonesia. The tribal Baliem Valley Festival onlyc an be found inside area of Papua, Indonesia. It’s one of the Indonesia uniqueness. And now, we’re going deeper into the festival. But before that, let’s check the brief information below :

Brief Information About Beliam Valley Festival

First thing first, we should know where the Baliem Valley is. It’s located in the Jayapura, Papua. Located in 1600 meters high above the sea, and also filled with so many beautiful views becuase of green hills and the mountains around. You better bring some jacket because in the night, the degree can reach for about ten to fifteen celcius. And that’s so cold, especially for us who live in such a tropical area. The other thing you can find inside the valley of Baliem, is the tribe. In total, there are three tribes that inhabit the valley, The Dani Tribe, Yali, and also Lani. In the ancient times, usually these three tribes would go into war in the walley, either to conquer one another, or just because pf the anger. (See also : Famous Festivals in Indonesia)

This valley was found unintentionally bu the expedition of Richard Archbold. It was his third one. He actually lookinf for the enw landscape in order the reach the goal of The New Guinea in the year of 1938. In the date of June 21th, the expedition aircarft found what was called as Grand Valley. At first, they though that this valley was empty and not a single person can be found within. But indeed what a surprise, they approached these three tribes. Eventually, the valley is getting famous until now, especially because of the Baliem Valley Festival that held in almost every year.


The valley of Baliem is filled with around 100.000 people in there, who divided into three parts of tribes. Looking back to the old history, the valley was used for an arena of war between those three tribes. With around 85% of population join in this war, the casualties were so many back then. After a while, they finally realized that what they were doing was against the nature. It’s totally wrong to slaughter another human while in perfect concius. Hearing about the bad record this valley has, the government of Papua tell the tribes that they shouldn’t get into war again. And even though they want to fight, there must be not a single casualty or wounded person. And because of that, they only do a an epic fake war, that could be fun and entertaining. (read also : Indonesian Cultural Festivals)

And the Beliam Valley Festival was born not long after that, after the tourists finally got interested in the game. Beliem Valley then reach its top fame as the only land in Indonesia that serve this kind of festival or ceremony. It’s really epic to watch, and also very good to memorize. You should bring a camera to capture those epic moments that can be found in every corner. Even though the war habit can’t be erased from the tribes life, but now at least the war won’t result any suffered people after the game ends. It’s total fun to be remember. Also now, they start to show us their new war. The war of arts. In recent events, beside seeing the war, you can also witness the special dances performed by each tribe, and then there’s traditional music as well, and then also some souvenirs that produced by each tribe. Now they challenging each other with much creativity. (see also : Festivals in Indonesia)

The Process

The actual process of the festival is actually really simple.After you arriving you should be greeted by the war dance performed by them. That war itself is very amusing. The Head of Papua Tourism convinced the tourists that, even though this is a very real war, but there’s no real violence in this war. And also, the reliefing news for the tourists, even though this is a war between the tribes, this is perfectly safe for the tourists.

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But beside the war dance, you can also see some different dances, their own unique dances. Especially during the year of 2017, where the tribes mainly focusing on the dances and art. With such a high potential, tehy can show their different arts, pridely. And after the show ends, you and your friends can take a look at some of their souvenirs. The unique traditional souvenirs of Papua aresomething that you can’t and shouldn’t miss.

Also don’t forget some other interesting stuff that happened in that very festival. There’s the archer competition, where the people shoot the target with high precision. Beside the archer competition, thee’s also one thing to notice, the spear competition. Almost the same like before, but using spear. Beside those, you can also se the cooking session. And, there are some mummies that will displayed in there. They are the dead high chiefs of the tribe. While you can take a look at them, there will be a restriction to take a photo with them. Because, it won’t be an exclusive anymore.

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For the development of this festival, you can see tha they add some numbes of action, including the cooking session, arts crafting, and many other stuff. They did a lot of good jobs in here, adding some things that never displayed before. And that’s adding some variants to the festival, which is very good. By doing so, the tourists won’t get bored for the same show every day and will always a new thing to discover.

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The recent event of the Baliem festival is in the 8 – 11 August 2017, which is already happened before. So, if you feel interested enough, you can checkyour calendar, and mark the date starting from august 8th to the 10th 2018. There will be a new show of Baleim Festival that of course shown in the valley of Baliem. That’s why you should book them months before that event happens. You should book a set of tourism because so many tourist would like to see it, every year There will always some new tourists that will come there. So, it’s best to “booked” a flight at leas two months before that.

So those are the main informations about the famous Beliam Velley Festival. It’s a show that worth looking for. And remember, some ceremonies like this only exist in Indonesia, not in the other countries. So was, as the humble Indonesian people should watch this for our sake of knowledge about the uniqueness of our own country.

Also, if you really love them as one of the Indonesian heritage, you can promote this tradition to your friends and the world. We can help to maintaining the tradition and also helping the economy within Papua regency. And after that, once again, Indonesia will be notice as a country with such a beautiful diversity.