Dani tribe people of Ugem Village, Baliem Valley, West Papua. (Shutterstock.com/Katiekk )
The ongoing Baliem Valley Cultural Festival (FBLB) currently held in Baliem Valley, the Jayawijaya Mountains from August 8 to 11 has broken national and world records for the throwing of more than 1,359 sege (traditional spear).
Sege is a war instrument made of wood and has the length of 2.5 meters and the diameter between 5 to 7 meters. The spear is usually painted in black but some tribes decorate it with white and red colors. For hunting purposes, the spearhead is smeared with poison, however, all spears for the festival were painted in black with the tip of the spearhead were made less sharp and poisonless.
“This Sege-throwing activity made it into the national record number 3344/ORI/Agustus/2017 that was signed by Agung Elvianto and World Record Holders Republic (RHR) that has the main office in London. These records were given to Jayawijaya administration for the throwing of 1,000 sege that was done simultaneously,” said Jayawijaya tourism department head Alpius Wetipo.
Throughout the 28 years, FBLB has been held, this is the first time the spear-throwing activity is included in the festival.
A total of 1,359 men took part in the activity that attracted around 50,000 tourists. Only men were allowed to participate, however the total of men from the 14 participating districts were less than 1,000, the committee then decided to allow tourists to participate as well.
Themed 'Art of Dance & War', the festival showcases the Papuan war tradition and traditional dances including the War Dance. Some of the Papuan tribes such as Dani, Yali and Yani are taking part in the festival where they will perform a mock tribal war battle. (asw)