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Wor is a musical-poetry form of art that used to be deeply rooted in the lives of the Biak island people of Papua. While they farm or weave the women sing Wor to honor the dead, as well as the unfortunate. Biak men sing Wor while they are at sea or before battles to entice the spirits. Wor is traditionally sung by people from all backgrounds during coming of age rituals.

Wor functions as the medium to state someone's social status. A skillful Wor singer brings life to lyrics. There are several different styles of Wor, distinguished by the suppleness of the voice and the improvisational skills of the singers, who convey not only the melody, but the songs’ social purpose.

Publisher: Lontar Foundation

Place of Publication: Jakarta

Publisher URL:

Created: 1999

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