Musical Instruments, Costumes, and History of Papuan Yospan Dance

goodmorningpapua.com – Yospan dance is a traditional dance from Biak, Papua which is well known to the national level. This dance is a combination of two types of social dance, Yosim and Pancar, being able to be performed by both men and women.

Yospan dance has a movement similar to the Poloneist dance from Europe. Even so, this dance from Papua prioritizes freedom and agility in its movements.

Yospan dance is often performed in various traditional events. In its performance, this dance is usually accompanied by songs performed by the dancers, namely traditional Papuan songs.

Dewi Nurhayati in the book Introduction to Papuan Dance and Art informs that there are musical instruments used to accompany the Yospan dance, namely the ukulele, guitar, and three strings that function as bass. The bass strings are made of twisted fiber, a kind of pandan leaf, which can be found in the forests of the coastal areas of Papua.

In addition, there are other musical accompaniment instruments, namely the kalabasa. This one musical instrument is made of dried pumpkin and filled with beads or small stones. The way to play it is by shaking it.

The yosan dance costume is a traditional Papuan dress made from the roots or leaves of trees. Along with the times, the roots and leaves have now been combined with cloth and equipped with accessories such as head coverings, necklaces, and body paintings with Papuan ethnic patterns.

As previously explained, Yospan dance is a combination of Yosim and Pancar dances. Yosim dance originally came from the Sarmi district on the north coast of Papua, near the Mamberamo River. This dance then spread to the Waropen, Serui, and Biak areas.

Meanwhile, Pancar dance is a dance that developed in Biak Numfor and Manokwari in the early 1960s. This dance was created because of the acculturation between indigenous and foreign cultures, as well as the result of a meeting between traditional values ​​prevailing on the island of Biak with Protestant Christian teachings that entered in the range of 1908.

The two dances are then combined into the Yosim Pancar Dance which is abbreviated as Yospan. Yospan’s name was inspired by jet-engined planes that started landing in Biak during the conflict between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Indonesian government, to be precise around the 1960s.

Over time, the Yospan dance has had many changes and is now a social dance. As a social dance, there is no limit to the number of dancers in this dance, anyone can join the circle and can immediately follow the other dancers.

The main movement of the Yospan dance is to dynamically form a circle while walking. The dancers will also occasionally sing and shout to create a lively atmosphere.

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