Ararem Biak Tribe’s Dowry Tradition

Ararem is a typical tradition of the Biak tribe. This tradition is usually held at weddings. Ararem is the procession ofthe groom’s extended family that sends the prospective husband along with a dowry to the prospective bride.

Ararem Biak Tribes Dowry Tradition

As reported by, the tradition of handing a dowry or Ararem for the Biak tribe is sacred because it is passed down by the ancestors, and is maintained as the identity of Biak residents. In carrying out the Ararem tradition, there is also a parade while various types of goods,such as hanging plates, money, red and white flags, and household utensils are carried.

Among the wedding offerings, the presence of the red and white flag is very likely to be used to show that they are Indonesians and that Ararem is an Indonesian culture.

The handing of the dowry is done on foot from the groom’s residence to the bride’s residence. Each family member holds the various types of offerings that have been prepared. This tradition is unique as the prospective male’s extended family will walk while dancing the Wor dance, a religious dance accompanied by the beat of the tifa, a typical Papuan musical instrument.

They will dance non stop until they arrive at the house of the future wife’s family carrying a hanging plate above the head.For those of you who have never witnessed this tradition firsthand, it seems as if this is an ordinary tradition.

However, dancing continuously until arriving at the house of the prospective wife’s family certainly takes a long time.

Moreover, if the distance between the house of a man and a woman is a bit far,it is definitely quite tiring for those who are not used to it. However, for the people of Biak, the dance knows no exhaustion and is actually the embodiment of a very extraordinary sense of happiness.

On the other hand, the family of the future wife will welcome the family of the future husband by serving a variety of traditional Biak delicacies, such as are canut, mashed taro, papeda and yellow sauce fish, which is a characteristic o fthe Papuan people.

The procession of carrying this Ararem is an obligation because paying the dowry means that you have paid off your righ tas husband to the family of the woman who will become the wife. Payment of this dowry will usually be preceded by aproposal. After the proposal, an agreement between the two parties is madeto bring the dowry to the woman’s family.

In accordance to Biak tradition, the amount of the dowry or Ararem is determined by the woman’s family through an agreement among relatives. In the procession, participants in the dowry handover ceremony are divided into two parts.

The first part consists of uncle / aunt /family who are in a separate row. This line is responsible for handing over apart of the dowry called Abobes Kapar (lepas pendong) to the biological mother and daughter (candidate for marriage).

While the second part consists of the Baken dowry (core) which is in a row consisting of groups with related kinship relationships.

Hanging Plate The hanging plate, or often also called Chinese ceramic, was originally brought in by Chinese traders for exchange or barter with Cenderawasih birds. Since then, the hanging plate has a high socio cultural function for the Biak people.The hanging plate provides a great meaning of honor, self respect, and a sign of appreciation for the people of Biak. Each hanging plate has a variety of motifs; the most common being the Cendrawasih bird, tifa, flowers, and fish motifs. Not surprisingly, the price can reach tens to hundreds of millions of rupiah depending on the motif and age of the hanging plate.The enthusiasm in the Ararem tradition shows how local traditions in the archipelago are valuable as well as proving that Indonesian culture is rich.