Finger Cutting is Used as a Culture in Papua - The horror of a culture that is still thick causes a person to become accustomed to a culture that has been lived. One culture that is still thick with horror in Papua is the culture of finger cutting. Really horrified, here is an article that discusses finger cutting culture.
The iki palek tradition is a tradition of cutting finger hands which is practiced by the Dani people, Papua. This is done when their close relative dies and as a sign of their loyalty to their close relative. They think that cutting off a finger is a symbol of the pain and pain of someone who has lost a family member. Finger cutting can also be interpreted as an effort to prevent a 'recurrence' of the catastrophe that has claimed the life of someone in a bereaved family. Someone who has died still has a relationship with those who are still alive. In order for the relationship to be balanced, the living human must surrender a part of his spirit to the deceased person and their finger is the object of the sacrifice.
The iki palek tradition is carried out by women because women have very deep feelings for someone they care about such as their mother, husband or child. The number of their fingers cut off indicates the large number of families who have died. Although generally iki palek is generally done by women, men also have their own way of showing their sense of mourning and loyalty. Men who are mourning will slice off their ears using a sharp bamboo.
At the end of this Palek iki ritual, men will bathe in mud as a sign that a living human will die and return to the ground. For the Dani tribe, fingers can be interpreted as a symbol of harmony, unity and strength in humans and in a family. Even though the naming of fingers in the human hand only mentions one family representative, namely the thumb.
However, if you look closely at the differences in each shape and length of the finger, it has a unity and the strength of togetherness to alleviate all the burdens of human work. Fingers work together to build a strength so that our hands can function perfectly. Just losing one segment can result in our hands not working optimally. So if one of the parts disappears, the togetherness component disappears and strength decreases. Another reason is "Wene opakima dapulik welaikarek mekehasik" or the basic guidelines for living together in one family, one clan, one honai (house), one tribe, one ancestor, one language, a history / origins, and so on.
Togetherness is very important for the people of the central highlands of Papua. The deep sadness and heartache of a person who has been left behind by a family member will only heal when the wound on the finger has healed and does not hurt anymore. Maybe that's why the Papuan highlands people cut their fingers when a family dies. The tradition of cutting fingers in Papua itself is done in many ways, ranging from using sharp objects such as knives, axes, or machetes. There are also those who do this by biting their knuckles off, tying them with a rope so that the blood flow stops and the knuckles die and then cutting them off.
In addition to the tradition of cutting fingers, in Papua there is also a tradition that is carried out in mourning ceremonies. This tradition is a tradition of mud bathing. Mud baths are carried out by members or groups within a certain period of time. Mud baths mean that every person who dies has returned to nature. Humans started from the ground and returned to the ground. Some sources say that the tradition of cutting fingers is now almost abandoned. Few people do this lately because of the influence of religion that has started to develop around the central highlands of Papua. However, we can still find many remains of old men and women with their fingers cut off because of this tradition.
First of all, the fingers will be wrapped with thread, so that there is not much blood coming out. Even if the parent dies, then two knuckles must be cut. If a relative is dead, only one finger segment will be cut off. Each finger that is broken off represents how many families have died. After that, the cutting party will carry a stone ax (Yaga). However, before cutting off his finger, the victim had to cast a spell first, then severely aimed it directly at his finger.
Fortunately, this tradition is no longer practiced because the government has banned this cruel traditional ritual. Now the stumped fingers can be seen from the old woman in the Dani Tribe.