Papua are committed to keeping their traditional custom from time to time as other regions in Indonesia. The culture They keep their traditional custom, music, dance, and even festivals.
Speaking of Papua, there is a big festival that happens every year in the Baliem valley. Papuan commonly call the valley as the grand Baliem valley which claims to be the living of the Dani tribe. It is located at the Jaya Wijaya mountains so that you need to take a little plane to get there.
Before you get to the Baliem valley festival, let’s take a deep closer into the festival so that you can be prepared enough. August becomes the best time to visit Indonesia so that you can go to Wamena, Papua to enjoy this festival. Here we have the complete information about the festival that enchanting to visit.
What is Baliem Valley Festival?
Baliem valley festival is a kind of festival that originally comes from Wamena, Papua. The festival is about the war between the Dani, Yali, and Lani tribes. The festival used to be held for the first time in 1989 to celebrate fertility and well-being. It is so different from other festivals in Indonesia such as the traditional dances from East Kalimantan and others.
Baliem valley festival is also known as the festival that held for the power to struggle among the tribe. Even though the name is about war, but it is safe to enjoy for tourists. That is why so many tourists come to Papua when the festival held on August.
Baliem festival is commonly held in about three days. The festival begins with the dramatic scene that had been negotiated before. They will take different themes every year so it will so interesting to watch. Sometimes it takes about kidnapping, murderer, or even robbery.
How to Play?
Once the festival is held, every tribe will send their main armies that believe as the best of the best army. The main weapon that they use is the long spear, arc, and bow. They will be wearing their unique traditional clothes that you can only find them in Papua.
Even though their costume clothes look familiar, every tribe has a different type if you look closer to them. Commonly, the man will only wear a Koteka, and the women wear the clothes that made from the grass or fern fibers that call as Sali.
For Dani tribes, the Koteka will come in a little size than Lani tribes which using the bigger one. That because commonly Lani tribes have a bigger body than Dani tribes. On the other hand, for Yali tribes, they are using the long Koteka tied by a rattan belt and tied at the waist.
The Baliem valley festival is not only about the war, but also the food party, traditional dances festival, traditional music festival, and the traditional market where you can find so many Papuan souvenirs that you can buy.
They will cook the pig which cooks by using the hot stone under the ground and covered with the grass. At this time you can find the greatest way to taste the characteristic of Indonesian cuisine there. If you are lucky enough, you can find the Sagoo as one of the Indonesian staple food in Papua.
Where You Can Find the Festival?
Baliem valley is located in the Walesi district, Jaya Wijaya regency, Papua in an altitude of 2,000-2,500 masl. The Walesi area is surrounded by the Jayawijaya Mountains, which are famous for their peaks with eternal snow. There are Trikora Peak (4,750 M), Mandala Peak (4,700 M), and Yamin Peak (4,595 M). This mountain becomes one of the world heritage sites in Indonesia with the famous Lorentz National Park.
To reach the location, you need to take the plane to Sentani airport in Jayapura. After that, you have to continue to take another plane to Wamena. The only way to get Wamena is only by plane so that you need to book the plane ticket before.
The flight schedule from Jayapura to Wamena open daily start from 8 am with the fourth flight a day. The plane ticket may take vary depends on the airline so that you need to check the price on their website.
To get the Walesi district, there are rental cars, bikes, pedicabs, or Ojek that you can rent daily at a specific price. You can choose which one that suitable for you the most.
The Lesson Learn
Even though the Baliem valley festival took these crucial themes that causing a war between tribes, it doesn’t mean they are in the real war nowadays. People enjoy their attraction with a positive vibe that they call as Yogotak Hubuluk Motog Hanoro, which means the hope for tomorrow that must be better than today.
Baliem festival means a lot for Papuan, specifically for Dani, Lani, and Yali tribes. The positive wise from this war festival become their principal to respect each other. That every problem that comes to them, have to solve in a good manner that will not hurt each other.
Do’s and Don’ts
During the festival, you should act in a good manner for every tribe there. Like other Indonesian, every Papuan is a very so kind and pretty welcoming tourist. On the official website of Baliyem, there mentions avoiding the drunk people there.
You are allowed to bring some snacks or even some books for children. There will be so useful for them. There is some Silo sign which means you are not allowed to get there. And, if you want to take some photos, it will be better to ask their permission first.
Don’t forget to bring your copy ID cards such as copy passport or KTP for Indonesian. Commonly, the security officer will ask you one of these documents. Besides, for your convenience, it will be better to bring jackets, raincoats, or boots because Wamena has unpredictable weather.
So, there are some glances about the Baliem valley festival that enchanting to visit. Are you ready to get there?