Watching Oksang Dance in Boven Digoel Regency, Papua Province


One of the reasons for visiting Boven Digoel Regency is indeed to watch some interesting traditions and ceremonies. Here is the reference. Tourists can go to the border between Pegunungan Bintang and Boven Digoel Regency. The purpose is to meet Ngalum Tribe and watch their stunning dance called Oksang. The name of the dance includes letters “Ok” in it, which is inspired by three famous local areas called Okyop, Okbab, and Oksibil. Unlike other traditional dances in Papua Province, this one looks unique! No wonder, all tourists won’t miss the chance to watch it during the visit later.

The Nuance
As mentioned before, Oksang Dance looks distinct than other dances. The first thing to notice is related to attire. The dance is only performed by males. The dancers wear traditional attire called Koteka! They look almost naked, in fact. Next, it is about accessories. These dancers wear a stunning headgear, featuring the famous Cendrawasih feather. The upper body of the dancers is painted by red paste. These include the head! As for the place of performance, the locals either perform it inside or outside the building.

More about Oksang Dance
For villagers, Oksang Dance has become part of their life. Not to mention Ngalum Tribe often includes it in special events like traditional dance performances and competitions. As for tourists, the dance would be nice entertainment when spending a vacation in Boven Digoel or Papua Province. Aside from watching the dance, the audience is allowed to take photos, too! Not to mention they can take selfies with the dancers either before or after the performance.

For the information, the best time to watch the dance is definitely during local dance festivals. In order to find out the schedule, in this case, tourists must talk to a local guide first. For the locals, the dance is quite sacred. This explains why dance exists for generations. The elders teach the dance to their kids and keep promoting the dance to tourists and outsiders. As for the stage, the committee usually provides a special Panggung house in a certain spot. It is made of traditional materials like Gaba-Gaba, rattan, and local woods! Even the stage becomes a good background for photography!

Have no worries. Tourists would be able to watch Oksang Dance comfortably due to the presence of audience seats. While watching, it is recommended to come with a local guide, though. Why is that? This person would be able to explain the value of the dance, names of accessories worn by the dancers, and other information.

Nearby Attractions

  • Boven Digoel Camp
  • Owi Island

How to Get There
Even though tourists can watch Oksang Dance during special events outside Papua Province, it is recommended to watch it directly in Boven Digoel Regency or nearby regions. First, tourists can take an airplane to Jayapura City (Sentani Airport) from their place. For example, a flight from Jakarta City (Soekarno – Hatta International Airport) to Sentani may take around 5 hours or more. After arriving at the destination, the next thing to do is to ride an OTR plane and head to Boven Digoel (Tanah Merah Airport). The flight would take around 1 hour, actually.

Where to Stay

  • Idaman Hotel
  • Susteran Oksibil Hotel
  • Tanah Merah Hotel
  • Honai Hotel


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