Burning Stone Ritual in Papua

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Papua is a province of Indonesia located in the eastern region. This region is known as very natural with unique culture. One of those unique traditions is burning stone. Burning stone ritual is held to express thanks to God has bestowed His blessing and fortune. Burning stone is also held in marriage party, welcoming honor guests, funeral ritual, and after civil war among the tribes.

Togetherness is one message implied in this ritual. People gather to hold burning stone ritual. All of them have one spirit, to carry out sacred event. This ritual also as a way to forgive each other.

The stone is burnt to cook traditional food. People of Papua name this ritual differently. In Paniai, this tradition named Gapii or Mogo Gapii. In Wamena, this ritual known as Kit Oba Isago, in Biak it is called Barapen (The most used name).

Culture, Tradition, Diversity, 
Bakar Batu (Barapen) di Lembah Baliem, Jayawijaya, Papua


The process of burning stone ritual
There are three steps of this ritual: preparation, roasting pigs, cooking.

1. Preparation

In this preparation, the men are looking for timbers and stones. Then, they compile the stone and the timbers. The big stones are on the ground, then, put the smaller stones on it. And, the timbers are on the top. Then, they burn it until the stones become hot.

2. Roasting Pig

When the stones are hot, every tribe brings pig. Then, every tribe leader shot the pig with arrow. If the pig died at once, it means the ritual will succeed; but if it is not, something trouble will happen.

However, the process of funeral ritual is different. In this ritual, the relatives bring pigs as their condolence. If they don’t bring pigs, they bring tobacco, kretek cigarette, coffee, salt, sugar, fried oil, and salty fish. And, when they express they condolence, they must kiss and hug each other.

3. Cooking

The men prepare the pigs while the women prepare other foods to cook. Then, they split the pigs; slash it from its neck until the back part of its body. Then, they clean the inside of its body, throw parts which are unnecessary. They also clean the vegetables, etc.

The men prepare a big hole matches with the amount of the food to be cooked. They put grass and the leaves of banana tree. Then, the hot stones are moved into the hole by using apando, then, put the grass and leaves on it. After that, they put the pigs on it, then, they cover it with grass and leaves, and hot stones on it. The vegetables are on the top. Finally, they close the hole with soil. They are waiting for about 60 to 90 minutes.

Eating Together

Finally, it is time to eat together. They surround the foods. The leaders of tribes eat first, then, the others.


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The Real Education Updated at: 07:47

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