The Unique Biak Munara Wampasi Festival West Papuan


The Unique Biak Munara Wampasi Festival

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Indonesia’s charm will never ceases to exist. From Sabang to Marauke and the range of islands, with diverse ethnicities, languages, and cultures to unite our beloved country, has become the uniqueness, it becomes a privilege that we will never get anywhere.

There may even be some of us who don’t really know the traditions and culture that Indonesia has as a whole. It’s possible that the people of Sumatra do not know the local culture and wisdom of Kalimantan, and vice versa. For this reason, it is very important for us to help promote the culture and local wisdom possessed by our respective regions in order for us to get to know each other better.

Walking towards the most eastern part of Indonesia, who doesn’t know West Papua, the province that has the world’s famous tourist destinations has a variety of unique local wisdoms. Maybe we know Raja Ampat more than West Papua, but the beauty of Papua is not just located in Raja Ampat. There are still many tours and other cultures that are very unique and beautiful which surely you cannot miss.

Recently, the city of Biak has just held the Biak Munara Wampasi Festival, which is one of the many cultural introductions in Papua. Held on August 22-25, 2018, the Biak Munara Wampasi Festival 2018 attracted large numbers of visitors. In particular, the festival was visited by 80 domestic tourists from Jakarta. In the first 2 days, the event was visited by around 10,000 people. In 2017, it was only visited by 8,000 domestic tourists and 120 foreign tourists.

The Biak Munara Wampasi Festival is the sixth time held in the city of Biak by displaying various events, including Wor and Yospan. Wor and Yospan can be interpreted as dances and songs. The movement will certainly be different. Before dancing, Wor will begin with a distinctive shout that signifies gathering time.

Wor and Yospan are unique. Yospan has a more modern genre. The dancers and music accompanists are Biak’s millennial generation. The dance movements also varied. Yospan was supported by several musical instruments such as the ukulele, guitar, drum, and krecek-krecek. The costumes were adjusted. Yospan has more various and modern movements. The average participant creates their own movements. For costumes, there are also changes. There were participants who wore modern clothes concept with bright colors. But, essentially, the original Yospan wears noken as their traditional clothes.

While Wor still retains its traditional color. Wor participants varies from adults over 50 to small children. The hope is that the next generation will continue to preserve the indigenous Papuan traditions owned by ancestors. The most basic feature, Wor is played only with tifa. The dancers play tifa while lifting one leg. Then, this foot is pressed onto the tifa. Wor was performed using traditional clothes. In addition to noken and head covering, Wor dancers also tattooed their bodies with Papuan carvings. Broadly speaking, Wor is divided into 6 categories:

Wor Beyusser is a symbol of peace.
Wor Mamun is symbolized by the basic movements of war. Wor Mamun’s dancers also equipped themselves with typical Biak war equipment.
Wor Kobeoser is symbolized for unity,
Wor Kapanaknik marked with hair cutting as a sign of maturity and widow status.
Wor Fakuken is represented by marriage.
Wor Yakyaker as a symbol to accompany a bride’s visit.

The event is even more interesting when men and women dance with their traditional clothing. Dances become increasingly exotic with costumes worn by dancers. Unlike other regions in Papua, traditional clothes in Biak, especially men, do not use koteka.

Men in Biak are more familiar with noken. Some are wearing cidoko. That is a typical Biak vest complete with pants. Cidoko is made from manduam bark. The manduam skin is soaked overnight and then beaten until soft. Add accessories, then add cassowary or palm fiber. Plus a touch of shells to add exotic value.
Similar to traditional men’s clothing, Biak women’s traditional clothes are familiar with noken. The difference is, this noken is made extending from the chest to the knee. This noken is made from young sago leaves. After being soaked and dried, the leaves are crushed until they become soft.

Interestingly, men and women both use bantoko. That is, the white body tattoo with cultural patterns. The philosophy symbolizes the harmony of nature and humans.

Exploration to Biak’s wealth continues. Not only various traditional dances have been displayed, this Biak Munara Wampasi Festival also features Snap Mor. That is, catching fishes with special equipment in low tide. The equipment is called kalawai in the form of spears with many heads. The length of the kalawai is around 2.5 meters. In addition, the community also relies on lastok or molo rifles to catch fish.

Are you interested to further explore Indonesia?
Want to visit the Biak Munara Wampasi Festival?
Don’t forget to prepare your budget, because the festival will return next year.
Get ready, maybe we will witness the uniqueness and excitement firsthand!


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