Traditional Dances: Maluku Islands

Traditional dance in Maluku is diverse and is a potpourri of tribal, ceremonial, and greeting forms for all occasions. Each island within the group has its own form, each beautiful in its own right.

Langasa Dance

This dance came from Central Halmahera region especially in Tidore municipal. This dance at first functioned as the dance for traditional medical treatment ceremony, but then it was developed into the traditional dance which is used on greeting ceremony.

Soya-Soya Dance

This dance came from the North Maluku region which at that time was famous with the Ternate sultanate. This dance at first was a kind of a war dance, functioned to rise and to keep the patriotism feeling, but now it is become the greeting dance to entertain and it has been inherited as the traditional culture for a thousand islands or the archipelago.

Hitadi Music

Hitadi traditional music came from the north Maluku sub-culture region especially in Tidore municipal. Hitadi music is functioned as the accompaniment music on special occasion or on greeting ceremony for guests from outside that region.

Nuaulu Tribe Life Cycle

The Nuaulu ethnic group is the native society of Seram island (central Maluku). They live on a few villages in Sepa, Amahai municipal.

According to the legend, Nuaulu people came from a place called Nunusaku, that was a mountain which stood between Manusela and Piru.The first man existed in Nunusaku was born from a rock, tree, and other natural things. Then there was a division, and some of them went to the south of Nua river upstream. From this incident then came the name of Nua (the name of the river) and Ulu (upstream).

According to the birth origin of that place, the society group who live in Nua river upstream consists of 11 Soa/clan and every soa has a chief and a traditional house for traditional ceremonies.

The role of a tribe chief is very important in every day life and in the traditional ceremonies activity. Their life activities are started from children activities until adult and then reaching the old phase and all of those activities are colored by life cycle ceremonies according to their tradition.

Lenso Dance

Lenso dance describes about the happiness of Maluku society especially Central Maluku society.

This dance uses lenso (handkerchiefs) on both hands of the dancers. Lenso is danced by women and used as the greeting dance on traditional ceremonies or formal occasion.This dance is interesting to see because it is accompanied by Tifa Totobuang music instrument and a dynamic movement.

Tifa Dance

Tifa music instrument is not only used for dance or song accompaniment but it is also used for dancers to dance. In this dance we can see the women dancers’ energetic movement in using tifa in various color. There are also various interesting movements in this dance. Therefore, Tifa is used as a dance tool by beating it with hands or feet. Tifa dance functions as the greeting dance in Maluku.

Parissa Dance

Parissa dance is a war dance but is has developed to a greeting dance which is usually used on king crowning ceremony.

Cakalele Dance

Cakalele dance is a war dance which shows men’s strength. It is done on formal ceremonies. This dance comes from North Maluku.

Terine Mamae Dance

Terine Mamae is a traditional public play which is usually shown or played by village boys and girls on special ceremonial days.
Nowadays, this public play is almost exterminated in Central Maluku area. The thing that still exists is only the movements of the dance which are developed into an energetic dance. The energetic movement is focussed on the feet while the hands of the dancers are used to hug the other dancer’s hands.

Timba Laor Dance

Laor is a kind of sea resource which exists in Maluku area. It is a product which is usually found on the seashore only once in a year. The removal of this laor is done by men and it is a characteristic of this one thousand islands society.

Panas Pela Dance

Once upon a time there was a physical fight between Hoku people and Tihulale people. The problem was about culture violation.

In this war, many Tihulale people were dead and losing their goods. Soon after the war was over, many Huku people were also dead, from adults until the new born babies. The Huku people population then was decreased and their family cycle was stopped. They tried to find the cause of this problem and they found out that it was because they used to kill the Tihulale.

Huku people then concluded that they had to apologize to Tihulale people, and they made a relationship which lasts up until now. Every 4 years, it is held the Panas Pela ceremony for the Tihulale and Huku in Tihulale or in Huku.

Masohi Dance

This dance tells us about the togetherness of men and women in taking the sea resource. They harvest the sea resource happily.

Seka Besar Dance

Seka Besar dance is one type of Maluku area artifacts, especially on the South East Maluku sub-culture.This Seka Besar dance has 3 functions, those are: the patriotism, friendship, and respect or worship.

Suling Bambu Music

Suling bambu music is one kind of traditional arts in Maluku area, and the Maluku people are very proud of it.

The Suling Bambu existence is still good enough now, and it is often used on the greeting ceremonies, to accompany the worshipping song on the religious places, and as a local lesson (local culture).