Explore the last frontier of Indonesia’s remote Papua Island, embark on a spectacular cultural journey, and attend the Baliem Valley Festival scheduled to take place from August 8-11 this year.
This is the one occasion when all the diverse tribes from the highlands of Wamena and the Baliem Valley such as the Dani, Lani, and the Yali congregate to celebrate their annual festival. This year, the festival will be held at Wosiala, the village of Wosilimo, in the district of Jayawijaya.
Located high in the Jayawijaya mountains on the Indonesian side of the island of New Guinea, Baliem is a stunningly beautiful green valley long hidden beyond soaring hills.
A highlight of the festival is the mock tribal warfare held to maintain the agility and preparedness of the tribes to defend their villages.
To prepare for these mock battles, organizers have prepared an arena of 400 m by 250 m that will be filled with 500 to 1,000 of warriors and dancers.
The tribal war simulation is scheduled to be held during 2 days featuring about 26 groups of 30-50 warriors. These mock battles are accompanied by the Papuan traditional music of Pikon. Pikon is a musical instrument made out of wood skin, which produces sounds when one blows it. The sounds created produce soothing music. Not many people can play the instrument as it requires special skills.
Organized by the district government of Jayawijaya, the festival is aimed to introduce and preserve the values and culture of Baliem Valley’s traditional tribes. The Baliem Valley festival will be enhanced by various fascinating art and cultural performances, including traditional Papuan dances, pig racing, Puradan Rattan Spear Throwing, Sikoko Spear games, Papuan traditional musical performance, and many more.
There will also be a special competition of Sege throwing and archery competition for foreign visitors as a sign of appreciation for their attendance. Visitors can also experience the true meaning of being a Papuan by wearing the traditional costumes of Koteka and have their skins blackened so they can also be part of the festivities.
Join the crowd and learn what makes them smile, laugh, and cheer. The Baliem Valley Festival 2011 awaits, offering abundant memories of the magical land of Papua.
To reach Baliem Valley, fly to the town of Wamena via Jayapura. There are regular flights available to Jayapura from Jakarta and Makassar. To attend the festival, it is best to contact an experienced travel agent. For complete information on the Baliem Valley, including flights, operators, how to get there, where to stay, and what to do, read more at: http://www.indonesia.travel/en/destination/372/baliem-valley .
For a complete schedule of the festival, go to: http://www.papua-tour.com/baliem_valley_festival.htm .