Tifa Musical Instruments, Pride of the People of East Indonesia

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Indonesia has gained recognition from the world as a country with a myriad of customs and cultural arts. One field of art that is not left behind is the art of music. Starting from various musical instruments from Sabang to Merauke. One of them is a musical instrument from Eastern Indonesia, namely Tifa.

This Tifa musical instrument is quite unique and cannot be found by other musical instruments in any country. This musical instrument especially comes from Papua and Maluku and is usually played by adult men by beating it like a drum.

Tifa itself is made of large and strong linggua wood. This wood is a typical Papuan wood which is known to have very good quality.

History of Tifa Musical Instruments

The history of the tifa musical instrument actually depends on regional perceptions. But for rural communities, of course, the history of something is still very close to myth.

The history of tifa in Papua is said to have had two brothers in the Biak area who were closely related. The two brothers went on an adventure and found a sound tree that can make sounds in the middle of the forest.

The next day they were curious and cut down the tree and dredged the center like a pipe using a long iron or nibong. Then cover it with soa-soa skin.
Tifa As a Ritual Musical Instrument

Women are strictly prohibited, it has even become an inheritance mandate not to play it. Of course this is very closely held by the community to respect their ancestors. Only adult males can play the drums.

Tifa musical instruments cannot be played carelessly by everyone. However, they must follow procedures so that they get permission from the customary elders and the local community. Unless it is played for musical performances.

The unique thing is that the tifa musical instrument must be there when you get news of pregnancy, birth, and death.

Differences of Tifa Musical Instruments in Papua and Maluku

alat musik tifa maluku

Tifa musical instruments in Indonesia are divided into 2 types. The versions of the people of Maluku and Papua have several differences.

Papua Tifa Musical Instruments

The tifa musical instrument itself is indeed more synonymous with Papua, especially for the Asmat Tribe. It even becomes the identity and needs of the tribes in Papua. For the people of Papua this musical instrument is better known as Kandara, Sirep, Wachu, and Eme.

Usually tifa is used for traditional ritual events because the melody is sacred so that it makes the ritual more solemn.

Maluku Tifa Musical Instruments

In the Maluku area, the tifa has a distinctive carving around the tube which has a life meaning of gratitude from the maker. Just like in Papua, in Maluku tifa is also commonly played at traditional events such as the Cakalele dance.

In Maluku the tifa is made from breadfruit tree wood, while in Papua it is made from the linggua tree.

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