Cakalele (pronounced "cha-ka-leh-leh", spelled tjakalele by the Dutch) is a war-dance from North and Central Maluku in Indonesia. Hybrid versions also exist among the aboriginals of Sulawesi, Timor, and the Tanimbar Islands. The dance is performed by men, two of whom represent opposing captains or leaders while the others are the warriors supporting them. After an opening ritual, the captains engage in a mock-duel with a spear (sanokat) and long knife (lopu) while their supporters use a long knife in the right hand and a narrow wooden shield in the left hand. The shield is referred to as a salawaku, or by a local name such as the Tobelo o dadatoko. The cakalele originated as a way for the warriors to celebrate after a successful raid. Dancers dress in full warrior costume and are backed by the rhythm of the drum and gong (tifa) and fife (sulin).
Salawaku or shield used in performances
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