A War Dance, Symbolizing the Heroism and Power of the Papuan People

goodmorningpapua.com –  A folk dance is basically a traditional ceremony, a celebration of gratitude for something, such as a harvest or ritual ceremonies. Almost all dances in Papua are ceremonial dances considered sacred. Falabea dance is one of the traditional Papuan dances also called the Papuan War Dance.

In the journal The Uniqueness of the Traditional Event of Bakar Batu and Noken as a Cultural Tourism Attraction for People in Papua (2018) by Erina Elas is expalined that the War dance is a dance symbolizing the heroism and courage of the Papuan people. This dance is usually performed by the people of the mountains and is performed when a tribal chief orders war.

War dance is a dance that can inspire enthusiasm. War dance is included in group dances or cohorts that become colossal dances.

In ancient times, Papua often experienced war between tribes. This dance is then performed to encourage and arouse the bravery of the troops to fight.

Along with the development of era and the absence of tribal wars, this dance later became a dance performance or welcoming of guests coming to Papua.

Falabea dance

In the book Knowing Papuan Dance and Art (2010) by Dewi Nurhayati, the War dance is usually called the Falabea dance. This dance performance is generally performed in the field at twilight or at night.

Falabea dance has the meaning of war and depicts heroism. The Falabea dance and the War dance have three dance arrangements, namely: Part (1) a group of fighters stalking their enemies,  Part (2) thanks to their success, they are happy while singing and dancing Part (3), then there is a group of women who greet the fighters while splashing water on their bodies. This is done as a tribute to the victory in war. In this dance, body and leg exercises are performed. The Falabea dance formation has had development, from a circle to a straight line.

In the War dance performance, dancers wear Papuan traditional clothing. It is a dress consists of a skirt made of roots and leaves attached to the waist. Dancers usually carry weapons, such as arrows. As for the accessories, namely kaling made of beads, Papuan headbands, and bracelets made of feathers. Do not forget, the bodies of dancers are usually painted with Papuan motifs.

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