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Baliem Valley Cultural Festival in Jayawijaya Papua, Indonesia

by Senaman
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CULTURE – The Baliem Valley is a valley located in Jayawijaya Regency which has the largest population in the Regency. The Baliem Valley also has an important position for the people who live around it. There are several tribes who live in the Baliem Valley, namely the Dani (Hubula), Lani, and The Yali tribe, every year they always hold an activity as thanksgiving for the prosperity and fertility of their land. This gratitude is manifested through a celebration that looks like a war between tribes, which of course is only ceremonial, not a real war.

In 1989, this activity, which was originally only for public consumption in the Baliem Valley, opened and the public could watch the procession. The uniqueness of the process made this festival get the attention of more people.

Baliem Valley Cultural Festival (FBLB) is the oldest festival in the Land of Papua. FBLB itself has been going on since 1989 and this activity has been carried out for more than 30 years. As an annual activity that has been included in the tourism agenda of Jayawijaya Regency, this cultural festival is usually held in August every year.

The Baliem Valley consists of a number of districts and among them is often the venue for festivals. Usilimo District, Welesi District, and Wosilimo District are several districts that have hosted this annual festival.

The Baliem Valley Festival displays traditional dances typical of each tribe, visitors see the unique patterns painted on the faces and bodies of the dancers, there is also a spear throwing action demonstrated by tribal residents there, interestingly visitors are also allowed to try spear throwing. Apart from throwing spears, visitors will also be taught how to shoot archery in the style of Papuan people who usually hunt every day. Spears and Arrows are culturally very close to the lives of the indigenous people of the Baliem Valley, and visitors can also see and enter the Honai traditional Papuan house.

This cultural festival was postponed for 2 years, namely in 2020 and 2021, in 2022 after the situation improved, the Jayawijaya District Government held a mini festival, on a smaller scale in the Baliem Valley in August 2022.Funding for the Baliem Valley mini festival starting in 2022 comes from the Jayawijaya Regency Government which shows the Government’s seriousness in generating tourism, especially in the Jayawijaya Regency area. This mini festival is also an encouragement to carry out the Baliem Valley Cultural Festival in 2023. In 2023, the implementation location activities have not yet been determined, but of course they will be in the Baliem Valley area or the city of Wamena.

The Jayawijaya District Government hopes that the cultural festival in 2023 will receive full support from the central government through the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy.

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