photo ©2009 carlo ottaviano casana
Baliem Valley is home for Dani tribe located in Jayawijaya District, Papua Province. This valley is one of the famous tourist attractions up to foreign tourists. Baliem valley where the Dani inhabit almost the entire region, don’t be surprised if among them are still using the ancient clothing, using only koteka or Sali to cover their genitals. Additionally, one thing that makes Baliem valley so interesting is Baliem Valley Festival which was held on the day Indonesia’s independence on 17 August.
Long ago, before there Baliem Valley Festival, the tribes around Baliem like Dani, Lani, and Yali frequent inter-tribal wars. For the third tribe, the war has been going on from generation to generation and not just power struggle, inter-tribal wars are considered as symbols of fertility and prosperity, trusted even if not the war the harvest and pigs can fail. What a weird!!
Baliem valley festival held by the government is also demonstrating that tribal wars. Don’t worry, now they’re not a real war anymore. Every August is not only the above three tribes that participated, but almost all the tribes who lived in Jayawijaya District and surrounding areas. They use traditional attire complete with face painting and carrying weapons of war such as spears, arrows and even machetes. Another attraction is the worthy witnessed is Pikon performances, traditional instrument of Papua. The songs are accompanied by Pikon usually talk about human life.
If in Madurese have bull race ceremony (karapan sapi), in Baliem velley there is pig race ceremony. Surely, this attraction is interesting to behold.
Well, if you have time to visit the Baliem valley in Papua, there are other attractions that can be visited like hundreds of years-old mummies in Kurulu village, Lake Habema, saltwater lakes, Dani settlement in honai-honai, the peak of Mount Trikora and others.