‘Mumu’ Stone Cooking Tradition, West Papuan’s BBQ

Papua is an exotic region with abundant resources located in the eastern region of Indonesia. The diversity of traditions and culture of the people has not been exposed to the outside world because of geographic location that far away from Jakarta make transportation is a rarity and luxury. This factor makes the region remains relatively isolated in addition to the natural contours and linguistic diversity of each tribe also be another limiting factor .

One of the largest and well-known tribe in Papua is the Dani tribe, this tribe occupied the Baliem Valley area, a  hilly area with fertile soil.  The Dani have rich tradition, especially the tradition of carving , the carves made by  this tribe has been well known all over the world, especially for anthropologist society.

Another famous tradition is their stone cooking tradition.  Stone cooking  is the way of Dani tribe and other tribes to prepare special meal for special ceremonies or regular get-togethers . They distinguish stone cooking event   for special ceremonies:  such as death, marriage, peace agreement  among tribes who just had just tribal war. While the non- ritual stone cooking is for regular family gatherings.


The first stage is the preparation, ie, gathering firewood and stones used for cooking. Stone and wood are stacked in such a way and then burned to run out of wood and stone into heat. Then the next stage is the process of cooking or burning. Typically, animals that will be cooked the pig. At this stage, each tribe will submit a pig, then head of the tribe to take turns shooting at the pigs.

Then the women would prepare the pork, slicing and preparing other ingredients such as vegetables. Men will make the holes are coated reeds and banana leaves. Stones that have been hot and then placed in the hole using a clamp made of wood. Above the hot stones were then coated again with reeds, and placed the pig will be cooked, then covered it with leaves. Foliage back is covered with hot stones, then covered with thick leaves.

After the leaves thick, coated with vegetable leaves and hot stones are put back on it. This cooking process takes 60 to 90 minutes. Once cooked, the food will be laid on the grass and then given the juice of red fruit, fruit typical of Papua, which coupled with flavor and salt. The final stage is to eat together. The process of eating cooked foods that have been initiated with the head of the tribe, then a member of his tribe. Everyone would sit around the food and got the same parts.

Feast of Stone Grill is the most anticipated event Papuans. They are even willing to leave the field to prepare for this feast.  It can take up to an hour to burn all the food under ground for the results. In the end the rituals accepted   by the ancestors if the meal well cooked, meaning  everything should be fine  . But if there are some parts of the meals still raw or uncooked that should be a sign that something has gone wrong and they must evaluating their way of live. After long waiting time the foods cooked , they unload stone then serve the food on a piece of banana leaf . Tribal Chiefs will get the best cuts of boar, then all members of the tribe will start the meal with delight.

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