Suku Dani of Lembah Baliem

Suku Dani

Indonesia is famous for their diversity. One of it is the great numbers of tribes in Indonesia. Suku Dani is one of many that have catched interests of the world. So what makes this tribe of Lembah Baliem become so popular in the eye of the world.

Suki Dani

The Dani tribe is a native Papuan tribe that is well known throughout the world. The existence of this tribe has been widely known, even studied by various parties from inside and outside Indonesia.  The Dani tribe is known as a tribe with strong temperament and is very fond of war.  

In fact, Suku Dani are a very friendly tribe, have many abilities in the arts, they even love to sing. So, behind their tough and scary appearance, Dani people actually have a lot of tenderness. 

History of Suku Dani

The existence of the Dani Tribe was initially known through various studies conducted by researchers from western countries around 1900 to 1940. But in 1938, the first expedition that came into direct contact with the Dani Tribe was an expedition led by Richard Archbold, an expert in animal science and American philanthropist.  

The Dani have lived in the Baliem valley for thousands of years. They generally live farming sweet potatoes and hunting wild animals for food. This lifestyle was known by past researchers through several discoveries in the form of stone axes and agricultural fields around the Baliem valley area.  

Along with the development of the era, animal husbandry is now an activity of choice for the Dani Tribe. They like to raise pigs, even these animals are considered very valuable, so the price of a pig can reach hundreds of millions of rupiah.

Suku Dani

The Unique Culture of Suku Dani

In terms of the kinship system, the Dani are actually not too complicated, it’s just that over time, this system has undergone many changes. Basically, the Dani do not recognize a main family system where one house only contains a father, mother, and children. 

Suku Dani are a communal people who live in one community. Therefore, the kinship system is group, where they divide the family into groups living in one area of ​​the house called Silimo. So, one Silimo can contain 3 to 4 small families living together.  

The collection of several Silimos will become a village, then a collection of several villages will become a clan. Finally, these clans are intertwined into a single Dani tribe and they live scattered throughout the Baliem Valley to Puncak Jayawijaya.

The many networks of family relationships in the Dani make disputes unavoidable. Wars between clans, villages, or families are very common. Especially when we remember that the Dani Tribe is a tribe that is very fond of war. Now, wars are rare and the resolution of problems has been shifted to compensation for money to the injured party.

Why They Are Interesting

The life of the Dani tribe has not experienced much modernization. Many ancient traditions they still maintain today. They still use clothes, traditional houses, lifestyle, even the native language even though they are familiar with modern things. 

Suku Dani and their culture are very interesting to learn. We will get a lot of local wisdom from their lives. Indeed, their life is still far from modern, but in some ways, the Dani are much wiser than us, who often claim to have a modern culture.

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