WanderlustOdysseyAll Eyes on Wamena

All Eyes on Wamena

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Surrounded by higher mountains, Wamena is one of the cities located in Papua that greets you with breathtaking scenery.

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Especially in Baliem Valley, you will easily find this unique custom home of Papuan called Honai. Honai is the traditional home to the indigenous people of Papua, made of wood and has a dome-shaped, thatched roof.

White sand on the mountain? This phenomenon happens in Aikima Village in the Baliem Valley.The sand that seemed to flow from the top of the hill. White and clean, reflecting sunlight to look like crystals.

Even though some part of the indigenous people of Papua still embrace animism and dynamism, the majority of its people are adherents of christianity. Proved by the churches that can be found in the corners of Wamena and surrounding areas.

The mummy Jiwika is the most popular in Baliem Valley, Wamena. Located in Jiwika village of Kurulu district, the mummy is more than 350 years old. The tribe preserves it by smoking the body, which kept it in a near perfect state for hundred years.

Udang Selingkuh is one of typical dishes in Wamena that shouldn’t be missed.

With a height of 3,300 meters above sea level, this lake is claimed as one of the highest in Asia. The Dani tribe, the major residents of Jayawijaya considers this lake as a sacred place, a source of fertility and life.

The 27th Baliem Valley Festival took place from August 8 to 10, features mock battles of highland tribes of Dani, Yali and Lani to symbolise the high spirit and power that have been practiced for generations. The Baliem Valley Festival is the oldest festival ever in Papua. There, you will learn and experience the different traditions of each tribeparticipating in the festival.

Here are the tribes from the 40 districts that participated in the festival, ready to perform in front of tourists around the world.

Not only the adults, the children are also ready to perform their best performance. As seen in the picture, they are posing for the tourists who wanted to capture the moment.

The burning rock ceremony or bakar batu is a traditional ceremony that is still practiced not only by the Dani, but all traditional communities in Papua, especially those living in the mountains. This tradition is held for various occasions, from celebrations, thanksgiving, and maintaining relations with families as well as to declare war and peace after the war. 

The Baliem Valley Festival held its carnival as closing ceremony, which is also to celebrate Indonesia’s independence day. The theme brought that day was spirit of unity in diversity.

Photos by: Widia Arianti, Aulia Handika

Widia Arianti
Widia Arianti
A day dreamer and night thinker who loves to listen and learn new things from people's stories. At work, she mostly covers pop culture, beauty, lifestyle and intriguing things on the internet. Her life includes free trips and good food.