Exploring new horizons, lands and celebrating the beauties that mother nature has gifted us. Searching for and honouring cultures and traditions, from the well known to the undiscovered. Believing that by embracing the world, we can accomplish the most important mission: the journey within ourselves.
The most interesting part of the Lake Sentani Festival is the Isolo Dance. Make sure you don’t miss it when you visit the festival.
Isolo or Isosolo dance is the Lake Sentani Canoe Dance from Sentani, Jayapura Regency, Papua. Isolo is divided into two words which is Iso that means joyful and expression of feelings through dancing; and solo means a group of people from different gender and age dancing together.
So, Isosolo means a group of people dancing joyfully together expressing their feelings in full spirit in respect to the Ondofolo (The elderly at their village) after the group has accomplish a mission that was given by the Ondoafi. Usually they perform their dances on a big canoe and go around the Lake Sentani from one village to another.
The Isolo dance are expressed during the following events of:
Building houses for Ondoafi, Head of Tribe, Obhe or Khombo Mau (Walobo Mau).
Having a boar from hunting results (Obho Waliaumn).
Having a crocodile from hunting results and Kha Isolo.
Receiving an abundance of harvest (Ani Ehaa Isolo)
Ebba Weeha Isolo: sending food and drinks for the level of Ondofolo with Ondofolo.
Roboni Relaa Isolo: dowry payment.
Miyea Haiboi Isolo/Miyea Waoboi Isolo: accompanying the girl for marriage.
Manggeu Isolo: A dance about sending foods by the uncle for the relative (girl) that will have a marriage outside.
Yang Ebumboi Isolo: A dance to close the upper house with a roof.
Wa Felesi Isolo: A dance to send a board for a house barrier of Ondoafi or Head of Tribe.
Bombey Isolo: To carry the King’s pole Nolohu Bha.
To escort the cousin to his/her home after being taken care at his/her’s Mother’s village by his/her Uncle and Aunty.
Their dance performances accompanied by Tifa – a traditional music instrument that produces sound by striking with hands – added by wearing their traditional cultural clothes and a very beautiful nature as where they live is such a wonderful thing to see. To see and learn directly how they have live historically and some still practicing it in the present time is a worthwhile thing to do. For more information, please go to www.indonesia.travel.
Berburu Ulat sagu di Asmat ternyata menawarkan sensasi petualang yang berbeda dan menyatu dengan alam. Pengalaman itu saya rasakan ketika berada di Kampung Sawa Erma, Asmat. Perjalanan menuju Kampung Sawa Erma saja menempuh waktu satu setengah jam dengan menggunakan speedboat dengan kecepatan 40 PK dari Ibu kota Asmat, Agats. Berburu Ulat Sagu ini memang sudah menjadi tradisi di sana yang selain untuk kebutuhan makan sehari-hari adalah untuk pesta adat mereka yang bernama Pesta Ulat Sagu.
Saya bersama beberapa teman dari Agats, Kepala Suku dan beberapa teman dari Kampung Sawa Erma berangkat menggunakan perahu dayung khas Asmat untuk berburu ulat sagu ke hutan. Perahu dayung yang kami gunakan terbuat dari kayu besi, bentuknya panjang dihiasi ukiran khas Asmat di seluruh badan perahu dan kedua ujungnya dan lebar perahu hanya bisa untuk menekukkan lutut kita. Masyarakat sana biasa menggunakannya dengan cara berdiri dan menggerakan perahu dengan dayung yang ukurannya cukup panjang. Bagi orang awam, berdiri di atas perahu dayung itu saja harus ekstra hati-hati supaya tidak jatuh ke sungai. Menjaga keseimbangan badan dalam perahu dayung itu cukup sulit apalagi perahu itu sudah dalam keadaan jalan.
Sawa Erma Village, Asmat
Kami berangkat sore hari dengan mengambil resiko langit yang sudah mendung dan mulai turun hujan gerimis. Pada saat itu juga saya langsung mempertanyakan hati apakah kita sanggup untuk melalui sungai Asmat yang lebar beriringan dengan pengalaman pertama saya untuk naik perahu dayung itu? Saya tidak tahu apa yang mesti saya ekspektasikan dari penjelajahan ini. Dengan kekuatan doa, keyakinan bahwa alam akan menjaga kita serta hati yang ringan, kami berangkat menuju hutan Dusun Sagu membelah sungai Kali Wasar berwarna kecoklatan itu.
Perahu mengalun maju mengekspresikan kebiasaannya melewati sungai sungai Asmat yang besar, gagah dan panjang. Kepala Suku pun mulai bernyanyi lagu ritual berburu ulat sagu sambil berdiri dibalas teman-temannya dengan sahutan semangat sambil berdayung ketempat tujuan. Iringan gesekan dayung dengan perahu tersebutpun tak mau kalah untuk ikut berharmonisasi dengan semangat kami. Seketika atmosfir berubah membawa saya hanyut dalam eksotika pedalaman budaya Asmat yang membuat saya kagum dan bangga bisa berada disana. Di pertengahan jalan, hujan sempat semakin deras namun tidak memadamkan semangat kami untuk terus maju. Sambil menikmati pemandangan sungai dan alam liar, kami bersyukur hujan sedikit demi sedikit mulai mereda. Kita semua sudah basah kuyup pas sampai di tempat tujuan dengan berjarak tempuh kurang lebih setengah jam, tetapi itu tidak menahan rasa kesenanganku. Saya lalu melepaskan alas kaki karena tidak memungkinkan untuk menggunakannya di medan lumpur yang membuat kaki saya tenggelam kotor sampai selutut. Saya harus berhati-hati juga untuk tidak menginjak daun-daun duri yang hidup bebas disana. Tapi tidak perlu takut dengan lintah karena tidak ada, malah yang ada adalah lalat babi yang lumayan besar yang sempat menggigit kecil kakiku.
Kami berjalan sambil menebas tanaman-tanaman yang menghalangi kami. Saya sudah tidak peduli dengan badan saya yang basah kuyup karena hujan dan lumpur yang ingin ikut serta mengotori badanku. Saya sudah cukup terpana berada didalam alam bebas Asmat, berjalan tanpa alas kaki merasakan langsung diri saya menyatu dengan alam. Tak lama kami telah menemukan pohon sagu yang sudah membusuk selama kurang lebih satu bulan dan memperkirakan adanya ulat-ulat sagu yang hidup di dalamnya. Sambil bernyanyi nyanyian lagu khas Asmat sebagai ritual berburu ulat sagu, dimulailah aksi memangkur batang sagu itu.
Sayapun ikut memangkur batang sagu sebentar sambil membayangkan bagaimana sensasi memakan ulat sagu itu. Tidak lama batang sagu itu pun terbelah membuat puluhan ulat sagu keluar dari asalnya. Mereka menggeliatkan badannya yang berwarna putih dan gemuk sebesar jempol tangan manusia. Kepalanya keras berwarna coklat gelap dengan sedikit tanduk kecil didepannya. Kepala Suku kemudian mengajarkan saya cara memakan ulat sagu yang kaya akan protein itu dan bisa dimakan secara mentah atau hidup-hidup. Kepala dari ulat sagu itu harus dipatahkan dan dibuang dan langsung dimasukkan kedalam mulut. Saya mengumpulkan semua keberanian yang saya miliki didukung dengan atmosfir alam Asmat yang kuat membuat jiwa saya ingin ikut merasakan bagaimana rasanya menjadi orang Asmat; Sayapun mencoba memakannya. Saya akhirnya bisa mengetahui rasa ulat sagu yang saya pikir dagingnya yang lembut seperti keju tetapi tidak sama sekali. Malah dagingnya hampir tidak ada dan hanya penuh dengan cairan yang mirip seperti rasa air kelapa dan kulitnya yang berasa krenyes krenyes. Sayapun akhirnya memakan 3 buah ulat sagu.
Lama-kelamaan saya sudah terbiasa memegang ulat sagu itu; Sambil berjongkok diatas batang sagu yang membuat badanku sedikit hangat, sayapun ikut bantu mengumpulkan ulat sagu itu untuk dibawa pulang yang akan dibungkus dengan daun-daun panjang, daun pucuk sagu muda. Setelah terkumpul, kita akhirnya mendapatkan 2 bungkus ulat sagu.
Kami semua kemudian pulang menelusuri trek arah datang ke hutan sagu dengan langit yang sudah mulai gelap. Saya pulang sambil mencoba untuk berdiri diatas alunan perahu dayung itu walaupun saya hanya bisa menjaga keseimbangan badan saya sebentar; Saya duduk di dalam perahu itu dengan perasaan yang sangat bersyukur, beruntung, dan bahagia sekali untuk bisa belajar salah satu budaya khas Asmat yang memperkaya wawasan petualangan saya di Indonesia.
Photographs by Anton Bayu Samudra
Note from The Adventuress:
Always stay as a Conscious Adventurer with The Adventuress spirit of Peace, Love, Adventure, Nature, and Positivity or PLAN+ in short. With that, you wouldn’t want to harm the nature and destroy it. Rather you would want to explore the earth to learn its beauty as your private experience that will teach you to be a better person each day and value the wonderful creationof God.
Arriving at Sentani Airport early in the morning was the right time for me to start the day for another exploration and a taste of adventure in Papua. When I travel, I always love to know about my destinations topography. I feel that by knowing it, I have little by little learn what our world looks like. The weather was good although the sky was a little bit of grey. I hope during my adventure here it will give me a result of good photographs. To the Lake Emfotte it is!!! A destination that our guide named Andre Liem offered us to go and have a visit to the heart shape lake after we have a quick peek at the Khalkote Beach in Lake Sentani.
The Lake Sentani is unbelievable! It consists of 21 islands inside it, some are inhabited by the locals and some are not. The lake of more than 9000 hectares has fresh blue water like the sea and lush green hills surrounding it. The Cycloops Mountain Range also known as Dafonsoro or Dobonsolo Mountain in local Sentani language sits beautifully at the North Lake looking green, healthy and elegant. As ‘Home of Rainbows’, this lake is the largest lake in Papua.
Me and my travelling friends enjoyed the scenic beauty. It was only around 20 minutes’ drive from Sentani Airport to the Lake Sentani. We then continued our journey towards Lake Emfotte. To be honest, I was a little sceptic about the Lake Emfotte. Andre said it is also one of the uniqueness that Sentani land offers because the lake is shaped like a heart. That is why it is often called Danau Love, Danau Cinta, Telaga Cinta and or Telaga Hati (Danau and Telaga means lake, Cinta: love, hati: heart). Well, although in doubt, I still want to see the place!
We went through a winding hill road part of the Cycloops Mountain range by the Lake Sentani. Once in a while we were mesmerized by its exotic landscape. We stopped the car and took some photographs. We wanted to share to people about how majestic the lake is. Then we continued the travel again. Our car passed through jungles- a rich vegetation in the area of Sentani that is so green and healthy. The road was nice and quiet. Cars rarely passed by. It was just wonderful.
We met a crossroad, our driver and guide named Daniel Heri was confused on which road to take because going to the Lake Emfotte still has minim signs and it is still considered a rare place to go. Our car was the first one in line. So, we stopped and asked the locals. Then, after it seems that Heri had enough directions, we moved on.
Somehow at that time, we didn’t realised that there was one of our friend’s car that was separated from us. It was also a little bit hard to keep on track with the others at our back. So, while Heri drives, he also gives direction to the other car by phone.
About nearly 2 hours of travelling including the stops for landscape pictures, we finally arrived at Danau Love in Emfotte Village.
I hopped off the car, to see the lake. Standing on the land in 40 degrees angle seems hard to see the so called Lake Heart. Oh well, I said it’s okay because the scenery was amazingly elegant! The lake was surrounded by rolling hills of fresh green grass until the farthest of my eye sight could see. Savannah!
The area was beautifully spacious within the silence. I saw some flying flock of birds in the sky, flying towards a group of trees, it was hard to tell because of the distance but I could see some colours like red and green feathers. I was guessing from the way they fly it would be the lorikeets. Also, I figured there was also a flying eagle too.
I love allowing myself to see the outstanding beautiful natural features such as this. In a tranquillity zone and in touch with nature. Nothing is as luxurious then this. I imagine myself lying down on the savannah and let the earth energy cleanse mine. Inhaling deeply the uncontaminated air, just being in one with the surrounding nature. I felt in a different place, a different land, a different dimension. My visionary land, my utopia. It gives you that kind of feeling when you listen to your favourite music that makes you go into a different dimension and let yourself soak in it. I felt like playing my favourite album by Enigma at that time and synchronised the utopia in my head, my favourite music and the magical nature around me. Heaven!
Well, I took a picture of the Lake Emfotte with a content feeling. And guess what! There was a heart shaped lake beautifully appeared at my camera screen. It does look like a heart. I took a lot of pictures to capture the heart in a great angle possible. It was around 1.30pm when we realised that our friend’s car hasn’t arrived yet. It was hard for us to reach them because of no mobile signal. Instead, we waited.
There was a friendly local family in a pick-up car enjoying the site. I came and said hello to them. After they felt enough of enjoying the lake, they went home to Jayapura City. We took pictures before they left and said good bye while waving our hands. Then me and my travelling friends took pictures together, shared stories, our guide friends shared several mob stories (a typical Papuan funny stories), we kept in silence for a little while, walked around the lake and we repeat the same thing again until it was around 3 pm. We got worried. One car came back after they tried to pick up the lost car but came with no result. So, we decided to jump in the car and look for them on the way home. They shouldn’t be too far I thought.
Once we found a curve road of muddy track, we have thought that they might have gone through it. Several friends had checked by trekking it but again with no result at all. Someone had finally found a signal and reconnected with the lost car when they came back. So we return towards the Lake Emfotte, just before it there was an iron bridge just around a curve at the left side while the Lake Emfotte is heading at the right side from the curve. Actually there was a sign showing the direction of Lake Emfotte but sadly it was small and in poor visibility. We received an information that the car was stuck in a muddy road somewhere- the more the car tires try to save the car, the more it got stuck. They tried many ways to help the tire go out from the mud but it was hard with lack of tools.
We parked the car on the iron bridge and some went out of the car to stretch their arms and legs. I was still in the car with my friends when Heri said we are going to pick up our friends that were lost. We were already making ourselves comfortable inside the car and was too lazy to go out but Heri said it will fit everybody in later anyways, so we went off to the location while others stayed at the bridge. I was actually curious about it too. So, I didn’t mind.
It looks like a path rather than a road when we drove through it because plants were nearly covering it. We wondered why did they had to pick up this road. Some path were wet and muddy but Heri drove it carefully. A couple minutes later we were out in an open space, something similar with the nature at Lake Emfotte except we could see more lush rolling hills of savannah and a living forest below in between hills, serene atmosphere with lovely gold ray of sunlight glowing around us. It was incredibly amazing. I could be here forever!
5 minutes later we saw Andre walking alone all sweaty and panting. We felt relieved. Then he immediately jump in the front sit and instructed Heri the way. Well, there’s no other way else but the location was still far. We hurried until we met our friends sitting and lying on the ground, some taking pictures waiting for help. The car was nowhere to be seen and they said it was still further down where there were a lot of insects inside a forest. So, they decided to walk until an open space to where we had found them. We were all happy to found each other but I also cannot resist to take pictures of the lovely scenery.
We went back inside the car all jammed together until we reached the iron bridge. Now, everyone is relieved except one driver who still had to take care of the car with stuck tires and wait patiently for help. Andre and Heri arranged a help for him and the car. So, we had return back to the Lake Emfotte so that our lost friends could enjoy and take pictures about it and we parked our car on top of a hill and the heart shape lake was visible from our point of view. Everybody was happy. There were some locals who also enjoyed the lake at that time too. The area was definitely clean, neat and breath-taking. Thank you God for creating such a lovely scenery.
The Lake Sentani Festival interested me this time since there is only three famous festival in Papua which are Asmat Cultural Festival, Lake Sentani Festival and Baliem Valley Festival. These festivals are usually hunted by travellers such as tourist and photographers from all over the world. The Papua’s attraction immerge from their wonders of origin uniqueness. Usually all tribes from all villages participate in the festival giving their devotion for the sake of culture preservation and their willingness to share their local wisdom and culture for everyone. These unique attraction intrigue travellers to capture the cultural reality on what is really out there and share it to the world about Indonesians wonder and let themselves learn and open their view about it.
The Papuan’s pure eyes reflects from their innocent hearts projecting life about peace, natural beauty and friendships. These are the real powerful magnet that attracts people to come and feast their eyes with Papua’s wonders.
Located at the Jayapura Regency, Lake Sentani is surrounded by hills and mountains spans more than 9000 hectare making it one of the biggest lake in the Papua land. The enchantment relies on the lush green Cycloop’s Mountain range “also known as Dafonsoro Mountain in the local Sentani language” resides healthily at the north side of the lake as if hugging the lake with love, being the home of the rainbows, blue freshwater colour of the lake, fresh air and tranquillity. These magic’s make a peaceful home to live, acting as the true meaning from the name Sentani which means “Di sini kami tinggal dengan damai”- Here we live peacefully.
Other amazing facts that surprises me are islands that scattered within the lake. There are 21 of them! Can you imagine how big the lake is! There are 24 villages living around the lake, some at the small islands and others by the shore of the lake.
The Lake Sentani Festival 2015 has a theme of ‘My Culture, My Prosperity’. I love the theme because it meant proudness of showing one self’s culture and it also shows confidence that they can live prosperously through it without being afraid of any kind of outside interferences. An act that all Indonesians must do and also to preserve culture through learning and knowing each other’s cultures in Indonesia to prevent it from extinction especially at this modern era. To reach Lake Sentani it will take you around 20 minutes from Sentani Airport and around 30-40 minutes from Jayapura, capital city of Papua.
I step my feet for the first time at the Khalkote beach, East of Sentani district. It was the place that held the Lake Sentani Festival. There were lot of stands that you could find along the road and by the beach area that sells Papua’s special handicraft such as Noken (Papua’s traditional string bag) which is made out traditionally of twined bark fiber and other colourful yarns that is easily found in the modern days; jewelleries made out from rattan and orchid fibers, beads such as coix seeds and shells, and colourful yarns; Betel nuts including the betel vine and lime – pinang as in local language; local gemstones from the Cycloops Mountain range; and local culinary such as papeda – made out from sago flour and matoa fruit.
There were many traditional dances that were participated by the Sentani people in various tribes such as the opening dance called Akokhoy dance by the Ayapo village; Yokari Demoykisi traditional dance from Tanah Merah, Jayapura Regency; traditional dances from the Elseng tribe, Kemtuk District, Benguing Progo Village, Jayapura Regency, the welcoming of happiness dance from the Sentani tribe in Asei Village, East of Sentani district; and the welcoming dance or war dance performed on a boat on the Lake Sentani called Isolo dance.
For the local handmade creativity, I went to see the making process of Siempe – a local Sentani language for pottery that are made from clay by the Velle tribe in Arbar Village, Ebungfauw District, Central Sentani. To access the place you can use a motorboat from Khalkote beach or from the small Yahim harbour that would take more or less 30 minute boat ride. I saw a young lady traditionally performed pottery manually with her hands that was made from the nearest Sentani’s red soil. There are 5 types of soil quality in Sentani. Pottery is done hereditary, usually made by the women but nowadays men also produce them. There has to be permit in taking the red soil for pottery or else they believe that the clay will break. The clay pots are usually made for the need of culinary and food. They usually sell it to the villages at Central Sentani.
Other than Siempe, there are other local unique handicrafts by the Asei Besar Village at East Sentani district which is bark craft or bark painting. The bark comes from the Khoumbou tree and is believed that the process of making has to be during the full moon. The paintings on the bark crafts are unique motifs from the Sentani tribes.
When I was in Asei Besar Island, I met a friendly Dutch lady who actually made her own cendrawasih – bird of paradise gold necklace. I was impressed!
I am sure once you see Lake Sentani you will be transfixed by its beauty. The topography of lush green hills and mountain will hypnotize you. Besides the cultural Festival you should definitely explore the Sentani peaceful nature. For more information please click here http://www.indonesia.travel/.