Music is the universal language of mankind. Papua is a land where music is part of the people’s life. Their music has purpose and meanings. Most of them are related to their beliefs, nature, culture, and their environment. There are many Papuan born men and women with golden voices. Some of those men and women have been united in a group of talented Papuans with a golden voice, Iyakoko Patea Choir. This choir has been performing Papuan folk songs both in Indonesia and abroad.
In local Kamoro language Iyakoko Patea means beautiful or golden voice. Iyakoko Patea Choir was established in Timika on September 2006. This amazing choir consists of people from different social status, religion, and background. The members are united by their passion in singing and their will to improve their singing ability. Besides singing they also dance and performs with traditional clothes from different regions in Papua. Regardless of their differences, Iyakoko Patea Choir has decided to keep sending the message of peace and harmony through their music and dancing.
Besides channelling their passion in music, Iyakoko Patea Choir is the ambassador for Papuan music and culture to the international community. While singing Papuan folk songs, they also perform Papuan traditional outfits such as tassel cover made from dried grass or dried bark, the women are carrying noken bags, traditional headdresses, holding spears and shield made from wood carvings.
They have performed in various events and followed many choir competitions. Their first competition was The 3rd Asia-Pacific Choir Games (APCG) on 8-18 October 2013 in Manado. This competition has gathered 125 choirs from 18 countries, where it was a very good event to introduce the Papuan culture to the world by performing folk songs. In this competition, they have won;
- GOLD MEDAL with 22,84 points in Category 4 – Mixed Chamber Choirs
- GOLD MEDAL with 23,95 points in Category 15 – Scenic Folklore
On 2014, Iyakoko Patea Choir joined the World Choir Games held on 9-19 July 2014 in Riga, Latvia. In this big international competition, they sent 41 members (37 singers, 3 musicians and 1 manager) and compete in 4 different categories. In the 8th World Choir Games 2014 – Riga, Latvia, the choir was conducted by Choky Maradong Simanjuntak and achieved;
- GOLD MEDAL with 84,00 points in Category C28 – Folklore
- SILVER MEDAL with 71,63 points in Category C8 – Mixed Chamber Choirs
- SILVER MEDAL with 68,25 points in Category C17 – Musica Sacra a cappella
- BRONZE MEDAL with 58,50 points in Category C29 – Scenic Folklore
Recently, Iyakoko Patea choir has just won two international awards at a choir competition named Canta Al Mar – Festival Coral Internacional, which was held on October 19 – 23 2016 in Spain. In this competition, the choir was conducted by Choky Maradong Simandjuntak and achieved;
- GOLD MEDAL and runner-up title with 22.70 points in Category C2 – Mixed Chamber Choir
- SILVER MEDAL with 20.30 points in Category F – Folklore
Besides joining competition, they have also performed in other events. Some of the events are “Senandung dari Tanah Papua” Concert at Goethe Institute in Jakarta, the APEC Women’s Summit in Bali in 2013, Festival Voices in Australia in 2016, and many more.
Papua is not only rich with their natural resources but have also produce many talented singers with golden voice. Many of them always maintain their tradition and cultures on every performance to promote Papua worldwide.