The stone burning ceremony was carried out by the Dani tribe in the Baliem Valley, Papua, one of which served as a form of peace to end hostilities due to tribal warfare or to resolve other problems involving the masses.
This ceremony is carried out through a fairly long preparation and a week before the ceremony. Men are preoccupied with preparing wood and stone that are not easily broken when burned.
For women the task is to collect sweet potatoes, taro, and vegetables. After everything is ready, the ritual is immediately carried out. Pigs are brought to the middle of a field surrounded by guests to be shot and cut.
In addition, a large pig was prepared specifically for the ancestral spirits, and this piece of pork was placed under a tree that was considered sacred.
Cooking with grilled stones begins with making a hole in the ground. This hole is lined with alang-alang grass, then filled with smoldering red stones that had previously been heated in fire.
On the hot stone weeds put the alang-alang, after that on top of it is placed sweet potatoes, on top of the sweet potatoes covered with grass, on top of it is placed hot stones again then covered with grass layers, after that are placed sweet potato leaves and other vegetables.
On top of it covered with grass and placed hot stones again, then covered with banana leaves and on top of banana leaves put pork that has been prepared. Furthermore, covered with grass again and placed hot stones again. Then covered with grass to avoid the release of hot steam.
After waiting for 1 hour, the pile is ready to be opened, the cooked food will be divided together and will be eaten together.
Burning stone is a collaboration of preparation, burning process of stone as well as sharing of results of burning stone and togetherness when enjoying a stone meal.
Burning stone is a moment that will be used as well as possible, so that you can enjoy food together with a large family to get back to feeling the integrity of the family.
Burning stones is a moment that can strengthen kinship and ties to one another, because in the process of burning stone is done together, mutual cooperation, and help each other.
The writer, Hari Suroto is a researcher at the Papua Archaeological Center.
Translated from Jubi.
Please watch the video of burning stone ceremony: