Indonesia is a country that has a variety of ethnic groups and cultures. One of the ethnic groups which is the original tribe of Indonesia is the Onate Tribe. The Onate tribe is one of the largest tribes on the island of Yapen, Serui. They have inhabited Yapen Island since ancient times, from generation to generation to the present. The Onate people are scattered from mountains, valleys, to the coast, with different living habits.

The living habits of the Onate tribe in mountain areas are gardening and hunting. The tribes who live in the valley area are accustomed to obtaining food by hunting, gardening and gathering sago. Meanwhile, the Onate people who live in coastal areas have a habit of hunting and fishing.
The Onate people are known to have a high social spirit and solidarity. This is reflected in their daily life which is closely related to the tradition of helping and sharing. In fact, the people of the Onate Tribe will hold a feast as a welcoming party if guests come to visit their island.

All of that is wrapped in the nuances of the Onate tribe tradition. That is, the Onate tribe is colored by a variety of traditional parties in almost all of their social life. For example, sharing the produce of hunting, farming and sailing that they did not spend all by themselves, but through a moment of celebration enjoyed by the whole Onate tribe, together with guests from outside the island.

All activities related to the livelihood of the Onate tribe are marked by the implementation of certain rituals. For example, before leaving for hunting, the Onate people will perform a ritual of preparing hunting equipment and eating special leaves while chanting a spell, so that they will be protected and blessed with sustenance in the form of hunting.

In addition, there are a number of precepts that must be observed when someone is about to go hunting, namely not being greeted and answering greetings, especially from a woman. Likewise on the way to the forest, the hunter is obliged to refrain from talking to women.

Apart from hunting, there are also other ceremonies performed by the Onate people, namely, the ceremony to summon fish or what is called the Wiyaneo ceremony. The Wiyaneo traditional ceremony procession begins with preparing Aisame leaves, Aimaranding and Belo logs. The Onate tribe calls Belo a fish calling wood.

The name of this leaf is taken from the word Aisame, which is a word to call the spirits of ancestors who have died to be willing to help them in showing something. Aisame leaf is a type of leaf specially used to summon fish.

Aimaranding is a small piece of wood or a leaf that is used by someone as a package or provision to do something. In the process of calling the fish, usually aimaranding is also inserted together with the fish that are used as bait while praying.

In another context, aimaranding is used to provide strength and strength for someone to speak, sing, work, carve, make boats, call fish, hunt, sail, find mate, and are believed to be able to call the spirits of ancestors who have died. Thus, aimaranding is almost always present in various traditional ceremonies of the Onate Tribe.

Belo is a wooden trunk approximately 4-5 meters long which is stuck or planted in the sand on the beach. Aisame leaves, fish used as bait, along with aimaranding are placed or tied there.

Aisame leaves and aimaranding tied to a wooden trunk then placed on the shore and waited for three days. After three days, you will see signs, namely the arrival of the blue-headed stone fish which seems to have brought the Kira fish to the place where the leaves were placed.

Kira fish is a type of fish that lives in the deep sea. This fauna will come in groups when called. The Kira fish that came were caught by one of the bait. Captured and stabbed with Aimaranding wood from the mouth to penetrate the tail.

The stabbing process was accompanied by a prayer “Wemioo kowara merao tunaoo uto meraoo empathy muraoo awanane meraoo ansuga umbarea ambaije nugo uinto awore naiso ampa kowa woso”. That is, Kira fish where the place you live is from the east, west, north, south, islands, headlands, and wherever you are, come here, here is a good place for you to live, eat until you grow up, then we will make a party).

The stabbed fish are then tied to the Belo wooden poles that have been planted on the beach so that they are not carried away by the waves. The binding process is accompanied by prayer. After two weeks, the skewered leaves and fish were exposed to seawater and began to rot. This indicates that many fish have come to this bait.

Each morning, the fish handler checks the bait points and looks at the direction of the fish to plan a fishing strategy. Usually, the fish will come at high tide and the fish will leave at low tide. In an area that has been baited, no one is allowed to catch fish, or fish in any way before the time comes. It is prohibited to do activities that would make the fish go away and not come back.

When the fish harvest season approaches, the handler will announce to all residents to start making Sero to catch fish. Sero is a kind of traditional trap made from kalawai bamboo which is used to catch fish. Even about six months, start the fishing process with Sero. It was at that time that a fishing party was held, inviting all people from various villages to come and catch the fish.

In the evening, a big celebration was held. Apart from the Onate Tribe who came to join the party, there were also people outside the Onate Tribe who participated in enlivening the event. People outside the Onate tribe usually bring various types of food, such as sago, taro, property, or other objects to make the party even more lively. Come on, get other interesting information from


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here