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Papua Baliem Valley and Dani Tribe, Wamena – West Papua

Papua Baliem Valley and Dani Tribe, Wamena – West Papua

Wamena is a capital town of Jayawijaya Regency. The largest town in the highlands of Papua. We reached this city (Wamena/WMX) on a short 35 minutes flight from Jayapura (DJJ).

Arriving the city we transfer to the nearby hotels, the best hotel available in Wamena, the building is quite new, rebuild after the president of Indonesia visiting the city. The tribe of Dani we are filming located at Kurulu, a 20 kilometers away from the city and a short walk from the car park, passing a savanna and a bridge. Ourteam is 14 crews, with 3 cameramen and 2 talent/celebs in our team.

We then greeted by Yali, the big chief of Dani and her future king, Marianus. They dressed with Koteka, a penis gourd, made from a dried-out gourd. Its not because we are coming but the whole tribe are wearing their traditional clothing as well.

The tribe calle the DANI tribe, what chief Yali lead is consist of 5 smaller villaes around the valley, up to the peak of the hill. Each village lead by the relatives of chief Yali.

Each village compound/complex consist of the main house (man Only called Pilamo. WHere the elder and men discussing and chatting for everything they face every day. Its also a meeting house for the men.

Their traditional houses call Honai, a round house with grass as roofs and has one fireplace in the center to warm the house in the night. The Dani village are in the highland that makes the temperature can be as low as 15 degress celcius in the night, and wear only their traditional clothing, the Danis make a fireplace every night while they sleep.

The complex of each village aside from the Pilamo house, there are several honais, one for each family, and one large one for all women and children. The small honai are for men only and all women/children living in a long bigger honai.

The Dani is a farming tribe, the plan and harvest their daily food in the vast land that they call the Garden, it can be some like 20 hectares or more per village and cater by the women every day. Dani, as other Papuan Tribes value their pet pig, in a separated fence and sometimes free roaming pig around the villages.

They also prepare for any threat from other enemies, that they are showing us their simulated wardance. The warlord will climb a tower to see father and commanding their soldier where to attack.

The Dani also a good singer, we managed to record some of their sings below:

  1. Alex sings
  2. Group Sing