Feature story: Getting up close with the Dani and the Ngada tribes

Written by AWI. Posted in Hotels Update

Ngada Tribe's House

Fascinating traditions and age-old customs still practised by these indigenous people.

We introduce two of the most interesting tribes in Indonesia – the Dani in Papua New Guinea and the Ngada in Flores through the eyes of travellers who visited their villages and get to know them.

These indigenous people are untouched by modernity or the developments in the rest of Indonesia. They still practise their ancient traditions and cultures, live in houses with unique architecture, and are still trying to get used to the curious visitors who are fascinated by their way of life.

Dhani Tribe Papua

• The Dani tribe of Papua New Guinea

This article is reproduced courtesy of oddculture.com/Chris Valentine

The Dani tribe of Papua New Guinea live mostly in the area of the Baliem Valley, which is located in the central highlands (Papua New Guinea). They are more popular with the outside world than other tribes in the area mostly because of tourism.

Contact with the Dani tribe was made in the beginning of the 20th century. There were multiple expeditions; one important one was called the Central New Guinea expedition, where in October 1920, Dutch explorers stayed with the Dani in the area now known as Toli Valley. Another important discovery happened in 1938 by air – Richard Archbold discovered the Dani of the Grand Valley by airplane during his third expedition in April/May that year.

The Dani tribe have some interesting customs. One of which involves funeral ceremonies. When a family member dies, all related females voluntarily cut off part of a finger as a way of showing their grief. This was done using a special cutting tool, after which the severed portion of the finger was burned to ashes, which were then stored in a special place.

Read the full article here: http://oddculture.com/the-dani-tribe-of-papua-new-guinea/

Ngada Flores Tribe

• The Ngada tribe of Flores

This article is reproduced courtesy of contemporarynomad.com/Tony

“One of the highlights of any trip to Flores is certainly a visit to the Ngada tribal villages near Bajawa. As with the Sasak tribe in Lombok, the Ngada are struggling to balance their ancient traditions with the curiosity of outsiders and gradual modernization,” related the writer who visited Luba and Bena to get a taste of Ngada culture.

He went on to say: “Most visitors come to the villages to experience their impressive tribal art and architecture. But you really can’t just wander around staring at people’s houses, eyeing their carvings and sticking your head in their doors. (At least in my world you cant.) In reality, that’s precisely what a lot of tourists do and it’s a real shame because the people can be quite hospitable, especially in smaller villages like Luba.

Read the full article here: http://www.contemporarynomad.com/2012/01/the-ngada-tribe/

If you wish to visit Flores and Papua New Guinea to learn more of the Dani and Ngada people, please contact us. We have special programmes to these two regions.

AWI

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