Baliem Valley, where time stops.
West papua, the largest island with its terrain and deep tropical rain forest, i mean very thick jungle, contoured with rivers hundreds of kilometres long, variety of flora and fauna, also known as one of the less explored places on earth.
Baliem valley mainly reserved for Dani, Lani and Yali tribe along with other smaller tribes. A famous Baliem river border the valley. live with thick tropical forest and fertile soil, the tribe live by hunting and farming.
The most common access are by plane, there is an airport in Wamena, and hundreds of dirt airport scattered the whole island.
Dani people live in a house they called Pilamo. A row of smaller houses along with it. The Pilamo are the biggest house are the man houses. Women has their own houses. These ‘Honai’ are made of available wooden walls and roof made of grass.
People live with their small bonfire all night inside the houses to keep them warm and in group of 3 to 4 families in one smaller villages.
What i found fascinating are when they called their neighbors. The valley area are so quiet and they just shout and sing to reached out their neighbors to invite them for a ceremony or meeting. Neighbor then answer the same way. Each house complex can be separated up to 500- 600 meters, some are upper in the hills.
Every family run their own lands, the border are fenced to avoid the boar destroying their plantation. They mark their own border as far as they can see and they fence it.
Inside one of the Honai, they also keep their women and children in a single separated house. They also keep pigs as livestock.
Pig are important to them and very valuable for their ceremonies. In one special occasion, like inauguration of tribe chief or any important occasion they have ceremony called Bakar Batu. They way the cook the pigs using hit stones and buried the meat along with vegetables underground until done.
Their family are in the very strong ties, a widow are cut one of her finger as a mark of her mourning of late husband. This practice are still practiced by many of the tribe in Baliem Valley
Once a year, Baliem Valley festival are held as tourist attractions. Tribes will performing the war dance that attract thousands of visitor. Baliem valley festival usually around August and change date that announced few months before.
Deeper into the jungle you will find the culture and way of living that still in their original states. Traveling there will not be easy but it worth every efforts. Traditional stone axes still use, hunting for food for daily meals, cutting Sago tree for the carbo needs, eats snakes, fruits, rats, domestic or wild pig as daily routine.[ngg src=”galleries” ids=”3″ display=”basic_thumbnail” images_per_page=”8″]