Indonesia has a variety of ethnic groups that have unique cultures and tribes. One of the unique ethnic groups is the Biak tribe. The Biak tribe is an indigenous Papuan tribe that occupies the Biak Numfor Regency area which is at positions 134 ° 47 ‘- 136 ° 45’ East Longitude and 0 ° 55 ‘- 1 ° 27’ South Latitude, with an area of 21,672 km² (land area of 3,130 km² and an area of ocean 18,442 km²). The boundary of the territory in the north with Supiori Regency, in the south with the Yapen Strait, in the west with Manokwari Regency and in the east with the Pacific Ocean.
The naming of Biak itself was initiated during the Dutch era, namely in the 17th century, the Dutch gave the name of the Biak-Numfor islands as Schouten Eilanden. Some call it Numfor or Wiak. The w phoneme in the word wiak actually comes from the v phoneme which then changes to b so that the word Biak appears, while the word Biak-Numfor, with a horizontal line between the two words as a hyphen between the two words, is used officially to name the region. and the inhabitants who inhabit the islands which are located north of the Cenderawasih Bay. Description of the folklore in the form of myth, which tells that the name Biak comes from the Burdam clan who left Biak Island due to their quarrel with the Mandowen clan. According to the myth, the Burdam clan residents decided to leave Warmambo Island (the original name of Biak Island) to settle down in a place that was far away so that Warmambo Island disappeared from sight.
When they left the island, occasionally looking back they saw Warmambo Island still visible above sea level. This condition causes them to say, v`iak wer`, or `v`iak`, meaning it appears again. The word v`iak was later used by those who went to name the island of Warmambo. The name Numfor comes from the name of the island and the indigenous group of the island of Numfor. The merger of the names Biak and Numfor into one name and their official usage occurred when the regional council in the Schouten Islands was formed which was named the Biak-Numfor regional council in 1959.
The Biak tribe who inhabit the islands of Biak and Numfor are known as tough ocean explorers, as well as the abilities of the Bugis. Exploring the oceans from Maluku, Sulawesi, Java to the Malacca Peninsula. The exploration of the Biak tribe is carried out due to the motive of geographic location that is not economically productive, the land is less fertile so that there is a shortage of food sources, besides that there are also reasons for competition or korfandi, namely the existence of inter-tribal disputes, as well as disputes over customary layouts in the Biak tribe. However, the thing that most motivated the Biak tribe to explore was due to the need for food, which at that time there was a prolonged drought in Biak, starting from sailing around the Cendrawasih Bay to the Raja Ampat islands, because of the resilience of the Biak tribe, they mastered the aspects of trade and politics in the Papua region. . Evidence of the power of the Biak tribe can be seen from the naming of several cities in Papua that use the Biak tribe language, including Manokwari from the word mnuk which means old village, and the city of Sorong which comes from the word soren.
The trading activities of the Biak tribe use a trading partnership system between friends called manibobi, which is by sailing and trading around. The commodities they traded included sago, massoi bark, birds of paradise, and slaves. They peddle various commodities to several groups of the Yapen-Waropen archipelago, Teluk Wondama, and Teluk Doreri Manokwari, Amberbaken, until it extends to various archipelago waters to the European continent, the trade relations between the Biak tribe and sailors in Ternate, Tidore, Halmahera, Flores , Gebe, Sulawesi, Buton, to China and the European continent. As a result of this trade partnership, the Biak sailors obtained goods in the form of porcelain from China, beads, machetes, iron spears, bracelets of iron or metal, as well as various types of cloth from the regions and countries they visited. Even the sailors of the Biak tribe in the Dutch era were known as Papoesche Zeerovers, which means Papuan pirates. They sail on traditional sailboats; Wai roon is usually used for tribal wars with other tribes and capturing slaves. Wai mansusu and Wai boards were used for trading. The Biak tribe has mastered good navigation skills by relying on stars, usually the stars of Orion (Sawakoi) and Scorpio (Romanggwandi).
The Biak people still have an ancient culture that refers to animist beliefs before the introduction of the gospel to Papua. This belief is more emphasized through a series of ritual ceremonies known as Wor.
Wor in Biak means traditional song and dance. A child affected by an epidemic is considered to have bad luck, failure to farm, even an accident is considered a catastrophe so that a traditional ceremony must be held to ward off disease or danger. Wor is an expression of the activities of all aspects of the life of the Biak tribe. Some of the traditional ceremonies that are still carried out by the Biak tribe are referred to as Wor traditions.
The Yakyaker tradition of the Biak tribe, namely the tradition of giving a dowry, among others, in the form of pigs, beads, jars, antique plates, plantation products, marine products, game animals, and various other possessions. Antique plates (ben bepon), and jars are still often encountered in Biak tribal rituals. Giving dowry or referred to as Ararem.
This ararem can be gathered through the Biak tribal procession from childhood to adulthood. Among others, removing the child from the room, carrying the child, cutting hair, bringing the child to church all of this must be done with the payment of a dowry from the clan or brother-in-law in the Biak tribal custom. This ararem will later be stored in a special place called arem. After determining the prospective son-in-law, the parents will invite the mother’s uncle and aunt to do the marriage. If the woman accepts the male party’s proposal, the woman will propose the dowry amount to the man.
The amount of dowry (dowry) is usually determined by the status of women, it can be seen from family background, virginity, and beauty. Currently, the educational factor also determines the amount of the dowry. Another uniqueness of delivering the dowry in the form of antique plates and jars is the presence of the Red and White flag as a symbol of the state’s symbol of accompanying the bride and groom procession, this tradition has only developed since the entry of Papua to become a part of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI).
On the other hand, women who have accepted the male family also prepare something in the form of household items so that they will not experience difficulties in living later on. Besides that, it is also the basic attitude of women, which in the future will not be a bad judgment on the part of men. Come on, get interesting information and add to your insight from indonesiar.com.