Bakar Batu Tradition of Wamena City in Jayawijaya Regency, Papua Province

One of the most famous traditions in Wamena City and other regions in Papua Province is called Bakar Batu. In terms of name, “Bakar” means to grill while “Batu” means stones. As the name suggests, the locals pile up some stones and grill foods and meats on these. The unique cooking method has been luring tourists and outsiders over time, in fact. It is because tourists can watch the process directly and eat together with villagers later. For the information, Bakar Batu is considered a sacred ritual. It is done during special events like local weddings, birth ceremonies, etc, gathering, and showing gratitude. The locals also conduct it to welcome important guests, actually.

The Nuance
It doesn’t require special requirements to perform Bakar Batu. The locals gather in the midst of the settlement and arrange the stones on the ground. They use a big staff to move the stones while grilling. For the information, Bakar Batu often accompanies other traditions especially Perang Dance. Thus, the nuance becomes both merry and sacred at the time. Another important info is related to the place where the tradition is held. The best destination is Anemoigi Village, as the locals keep retaining this culture.

Exploring Bakar Batu Tradition
The most common problem is that tourists don’t know where to watch Bakar Batu procession. Well, it would be simpler if they hire a local guide who knows the information. As mentioned above, the best destination is Anemoigi Village at Kurulu Sub-District. As an alternative, tourists should come only during the Baliem Valley Cultural Festival. The event holds numerous types of local ceremonies and traditions to visitors, after all. Not only tourists can watch Bakar Batu, but they are also able to enjoy other traditions at the time.

The prime consideration is related to the cost. If tourists watch Bakar Batu Tradition during the festival, they don’t need to spend money. On the other hand, if they make a request to villagers to perform it, some fees are included. It would be expensive, as the ritual involves a boar or pig to grill! It would be cheaper if tourists chip in with other visitors, who want to watch the ritual there, so don’t worry.

During the procession, tourists are allowed to take part and learn the procedure. Have no worries. Villagers are friendly enough to teach everyone. The hardest part is to kill the boar. Instead of slaughtering, the locals kill it by arrows. It has to be one hit, though. According to the locals, the success of the grilling depends on it.

Nearby Attractions

  • Wamena Botanical Garden
  • Mumi Jiwika
  • Patung Salib Wamena
  • Tirta Wijaya Temple

How to Get There
First things come first. Tourists need to get to Wamena City by the best transportation service, which is an airplane. The flight takes about 30 minutes from Sentani Airport at Jayapura City and takes about 11 hours from Soekarno – Hatta International Airport, actually. Once arriving at Wamena, the next destination is Anemoigi Village or other places where Bakar Batu is often performed. In this case, tourists should hire a reliable guide to help them find both the schedule and place to watch the procession.

Where to Stay

  • Rainbow Hotel
  • Cartenz Hotel
  • Baliem Pilamo Hotel

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