Tifa’s Musical Instruments; Sacred and Close to Ritual

goodmorningpapua.com – Tifa is a traditional musical instrument in Papua made of wood with a membrane made of animal skin and is classified as a single-headed frame drum. Tifa’s origins are closely related to folklore.

The body of the tifa is decorated with certain motifs in accord with the beliefs of the supporting community. This instrument is played by a player by hitting the membrane on the basis of four rhythm patterns

In the socio-cultural context, Tifa has a function as an attribute of the greatness of Ondoafi (tribal chief), as a means of communication, a means of connecting to God, ancestors, and other natural forces.

As a result of expressive culture, this instrument is used as an accompaniment for song of wor and dance accompaniment. The Papuan people interpret Tifa as a cultural work that is used as a symbol of identity, giving identity, and a means of strengthening social relations.

The history of thisTifa also varies depending on the perception of each region. But what is famous for the Papuan people is Tifa from the Biak area. The majority of rural communities are of course still closely related to existing mythical stories.

It is said that in an area in Biak lived two brothers named Fraimun and Sarenbeyar. Their name also has a meaning that makes them very close, Fraimun which means a weapon of war whose hilt can kill.

While Saren means bow while Beyar is a bow dance which means arrows attached to a bow. The two brothers and sisters left Maryendi’s village because the village had sunk.

They went on an adventure and found the Wammber area in North Biak and settled there. While they were hunting at night, they came across an oppress tree. Opsur itself means a tree or wood that makes a sound in the middle of the forest. Since it was late, they decided to go home and return the next day.

The next day they returned to the tree. The tree is inhabited by honey bees, soa-soa and monitor lizards and other small animals. They were curious about the tree and finally decided to cut it down. After that they dredged and emptied the middle of the wood so that it resembled a pipe with makeshift equipment, namely using a Nibong.

Nibong is a long piece of iron with a very sharp tip. They don’t forget to burn the middle of the wood to make it slicker. When they want to cover one of its contents, they intend to use the skin of the sister’s thigh. After considering it, it would be very painful for Big Brother.

Finally after deliberation, they decided to wear soa-soa leather. The arrest of soa-soa is not arbitrary. They call the animal “Hey, prisoner Bo…” continuously using this Biak language. Finally, soa-soa understood and seemed to want to give himself up. Finally they skinned the soa and used it to cover one side of the tubular wood. The result they worked on was a musical instrument as we know it today as a Tifa.

In Papua, Tifa is also a musical instrument that must be present when there are traditional ritual events. These traditional events are often juxtaposed with ritual music, with the Tifa as the main musical instrument. The ritual music has a very sacred rhythm, and the Tifa has an important role in determining the rhythm and producing beats making the ritual more solemn and devout.

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