Tribes on the Island of Java – Did you know that there are many tribes on the island of Java who inhabit the island? Indonesia is a country that has abundant wealth. This wealth is not only limited to natural products, but also various tribes, languages, religions, beliefs, and customs. For ethnic wealth, Indonesia has hundreds of tribal names, even thousands when broken down to sub-tribes.
Each tribe has different customs and norms. Even so, this diversity does not make the integrity of the nation fragmented. Instead, diversity unites to achieve the goal of a just and prosperous society.
Tribal data in Indonesia itself was first produced through the 1930 Population Census (SP) by the Dutch colonial government. However, this data collection was halted during the New Order era due to a political taboo which saw that discussion of ethnicity was an effort that could threaten the integrity of the nation. It was only 70 years later that the ethnic data began to be collected again during the Reformation period by BPS through SP2000, followed by SP2010.
At least, there are around 1,340 ethnic groups spread throughout Indonesia. Records compiled by BPS in 2010 stated that the Javanese are the largest ethnic group with a proportion of 40.05% of the total population in Indonesia. The rest are ethnic groups living outside Java, such as the Bugis (3.68%), Batak (2.04%), Balinese (1.88%), Acehnese (1.4%), and other ethnic groups. other.
The Javanese people on the other hand do not only live on the island of Java, but there are also those outside Java while still maintaining their cultural values. Therefore, Javanese culture is considered large and very diverse from various sides.
The majority of Javanese people are Muslim, although nowadays many adhere to other religions. The main economy of the people comes from agriculture. Many rural people work as farmers and cultivate the fields.
In addition, many of them also work as artisans, for example printing bricks, making batik, weaving, and becoming carpenters. Meanwhile, the Javanese who live in coastal areas generally work as fishermen and sell them at fish auctions.
In general, the majority of the Javanese region is inhabited by Javanese tribes, which are divided into several tribes or sub-tribes. Apart from the Javanese, other tribes on the island of Java who inhabit this area are the Samin, Tengger, Osing, and Bawean tribes. The other tribes in the western part of Java include the Bagelen, Bedouin, Sundanese, Betawi, Cirebon and Banten tribes.
In order to better understand the origins and customs of these tribes, let’s look together at the following description and explanation regarding the tribes on the island of Java.
1. The Bagelen Tribe
The first tribe on the island of Java is the Bagelen tribe. The Bagelen people are one of the subgroups of the Javanese in an area called Bagelen. In 1830, the Bagelen area became the residency of Bagelen, consisting of Afdeling Purworejo, Kebumen and Wonosobo.
The residency is bordered by the residency of Pekalongan to the north, the residency of Kedu and the residency of Yogyakarta to the east, the Indian Ocean to the south, and the residency of Banyumas and residency of Tegal to the west. Since August 1, 1901, the Bagelen Residency was abolished and included in the Kedu Residency.
In general, the Javanese can be said to have Javanese culture. However, there are sub-cultures with cultural variations, for example in terms of accent, food, household ceremonies, folk arts, and sound arts.
The cultural diversity of the Bagelen tribe compared to other sub-cultures can be seen in terms of art. Bagelen arts include wayang urang, horse dance called jathilan, and teledhek dance. They have also been familiar with wayang kulit performances since ancient times, namely with wayang beber performances.
One typical performance from the Bagelen area is wayang jemblung, which tells Menak stories, tales about the Islamic figure Amir Hamzah. This show is usually held at circumcision and wedding celebrations.
Residents of the community like to hold performances of religious songs, namely perjanjen, which are performed by three or four singers sitting on the floor, each holding a small tambourine which is sounded according to the rhythm of the song.
In front of them sat about 12 men who came down to sing. The songs performed are songs from the Arabic book Barzanji. The culture of the Javanese village community generally shows similarities, but there are variations in various places, such as Bagelen.
The second tribe on the island of Java, the Bedouins (Sundanese Badui: Urang Kanékés ) or sometimes often called the Badui, are indigenous and sub-ethnic peoples of the Sundanese tribe in the interior of Lebak Regency, Banten Province, who have not been affected by modernization and are almost completely alienated from the outside world.
Their population is around 26,000 people, they are a group of people who shut themselves off from the outside world. Apart from that, they also have taboo beliefs to document, especially the residents of the Inner Badui area.
The Bedouins reject the terms “wisata” or “tourism” to describe their villages. Since 2007, to describe their area and maintain the sacredness of the area, the Bedouin people have introduced the term Saba Badui Culture , which means “Bedouin Cultural Gathering”.
The term “Bedouin” is a term given by outsiders to this group of people, originating from the name of the Dutch researchers who seem to equate them with the Badawi Arab group which is a nomadic society. Another possibility is because of the Bedouin River and Mount Bedouin in the northern part of the area.
They themselves prefer to call themselves Urang Kanekes or “People Kanekes” according to the name of their area or a designation that refers to the name of their village such as Urang Cibeo . Based on the Big Indonesian Dictionary, the correct writing is “Badui”, not “Baduy”.
The beliefs of the Kanekes people are referred to as the Sundanese Wiwitan teachings, which are hereditary ancestral teachings rooted in respect for karuhun or ancestral spirits and worship of the spirits of natural forces (animism). Although most aspects of this teaching are originally passed down from generation to generation, in subsequent developments this ancestral teaching was also slightly influenced by several aspects of Hindu, Buddhist, and later Islamic teachings.
This form of respect for the spirits of natural forces is manifested through the attitude of protecting and preserving nature, namely caring for the natural surroundings (mountains, hills, valleys, forests, gardens, springs, rivers and all the ecosystems in them), as well as giving the highest respect to nature. by caring for and protecting the forbidden forest as part of efforts to maintain the balance of the universe.
The core of this belief is demonstrated by the existence of absolute customary pikukuh (compliance or provisions) adhered to in the daily life of the Kanekes people. The most important content of the Kanekes pikukuh is the concept of “without any changes” or as few changes as possible:
Long heunteu can’t be cut, short heunteu can’t be spliced (long can’t/can’t be cut, short can’t/can’t be spliced).
This taboo in everyday life is interpreted literally. In agriculture, this awkward form is not changing the contours of the land for fields, so the method of farming is very simple, not cultivating the land with a plough, not making terracing, only planting with a stick, which is a sharpened piece of bamboo.
During the construction of the house, the contours of the ground surface were also left as they were, so that the pillars supporting the Kanekes house were often not the same length. Their words and actions are honest, innocent, without preamble, even in trading they don’t bargain.
The most important object of belief for the Kanekes people is the Domas Arca, whose location is kept secret and is considered the most sacred. The Kanekes people visit this location to worship once a year in the month of Kalima , which in 2003 coincided with the month of July. Only the Pu’un or the highest customary leader and a few selected community members joined the worship group.
In the Arca Domas complex, there is a stone mortar which stores rainwater. If during worship the stone mortar is found full of clear water, for the Kanekes people it is a sign that there will be a lot of rain that year and the harvest will be successful. Conversely, if the stone mortar is dry or has cloudy water, it is a sign of crop failure.
For some people, the belief held by the Kanekes indigenous people reflects the religious beliefs of the Sundanese people in general before the arrival of Islam and shows the resilience of the people.
The third tribe on the island of Java is the Sundanese (Sundanese: Urang Sunda ) is an ethnic group originating from the western part of Java Island, with the term Tatar Pasundan which covers the administrative areas of the Provinces of West Java, Banten, Jakarta, and the western region of Central Java (Banyumasan ).
Significant Sundanese populations can also be found in other provinces in Indonesia, and abroad such as in Japan, Taiwan and other countries as places for the Sundanese diaspora.
The identity that unites the Sundanese people is their language and culture. Sundanese people known to have properties optimistic, friendly, polite, cheerful and homely. The Portuguese noted in the Suma Oriental that the Sundanese were honest and brave.
The Sundanese are also the first ethnic group to carry out parallel diplomatic relations with other nations. Sang Hyang Surawisesa or Raja Samian was the first king in the archipelago to carry out diplomatic relations with other nations in the 15th century with the Portuguese in Malacca.
The results of his diplomacy are set forth in the Sunda-Portugal Treaty Inscription. Several Sundanese figures also served as ministers and had been Vice Presidents in the RI cabinet.
In addition to achievements in politics (especially at the beginning of Indonesia’s independence) and economics, achievements that are quite proud of are in the field of culture, namely the many singers, musicians, actors and actresses from the Sundanese ethnicity who have achievements at the national and international levels.
4. Betawi tribe
The fourth ethnic group on the island of Java is the Betawi tribe, which is an ethnic group in Indonesia whose inhabitants generally live in Jakarta and its surroundings. They are descendants of residents who lived in Batavia (colonial name of Jakarta) since the 17th century.
A number of parties argue that the Betawi tribe originates from inter-ethnic and national marriages in the past. Biologically, those who claim to be Betawi are descendants of people of mixed blood of various ethnicities and nations who were brought by the Dutch to Batavia.
The so-called Betawi people or tribe are actually newcomers to Jakarta. In terms of race/DNA or genetics (genes), this ethnic group was born from a combination of original ethnic groups with various other ethnic groups that had lived earlier and had lived in Jakarta for a long time, such as the Sundanese, Malays, Makassarese, Javanese, Bugis, Chinese, Arabs, Dutch, Portuguese, Balinese and Ambonese.
In terms of ethnicity, starting from culture, customs, culinary, community habits, traditions, building architecture, traditional clothing motifs, music and other arts, the Betawi people are strongly influenced by Malay and Chinese culture. In fact, according to experts, almost half of Betawi culture is Chinese culture with half being Malay culture.
We can see this from several customs, traditions, customs, arts, and Betawi culture which is very Malay and Islamic. The rest, Betawi culture is influenced by several other tribes, such as Sundanese, Arabic, Portuguese, Javanese, Dutch and Balinese.
5. Cirebon Tribe
The fifth tribe on the island of Java is the Cirebonese, which is an ethnic group spread around the area of Cirebon Regency, Cirebon City, Indramayu Regency, Majalengka Regency, Subang Regency and Karawang Regency and Brebes Regency.
The Cirebonese are seen as a separate tribe with various indicators, including their language which has its own rules that are not the same as Javanese or Sundanese.
The Cirebonese people embrace Islam. The language spoken by the Cirebonese is Javanese, which also has a combination of several languages, namely Sundanese, Arabic and Chinese which they call the Cirebonan language or the Javanese dialect of Cirebon. They also have their own dialect of Sundanese called Cirebonese Sundanese.
This view of life of the tribes on the island of Java is based on the implementation of customs based on the elaboration of hadiths and the Qur’an, among the views on life that are held firmly by the indigenous people of the Cirebon tribe are the petatah-petitih (Indonesian: message ) from Sheikh Syarief Hidayatullah (Sunan Gunung Jati).
Other sayings that become the way of life of the Cirebonese have similar values to Pancasila, namely:
- Wedia Ning Allah (fear Allah SWT);
- Gegunem Kang Pinuji’s character (carrying out the commendable qualities of humanity);
- Den Welas Asih Ing Sapapada (prioritizing love for others);
- Angadahna Ing Pepadu (stay away from quarrels);
- Amapesa Ing Bina Batan (don’t be greedy in living together).
6. Banten Tribe
The sixth tribe on the island of Java, the Bantenese or Sundanese Banten (Sundanese: Urang Banten ) are Sundanese who inhabit the former territory of the Sultanate of Banten outside Parahyangan, Cirebon and Jakarta. Banten people use Sundanese Banten and a small part use Serang Javanese.
The word Banten appeared long before the founding of the Sultanate of Banten. This word is used to name a river and its surroundings, namely Cibanten or Banten river. The first written references to Banten can be found in the Old Sundanese manuscript Bujangga Manik which mentions the names of places in Banten and its surroundings.
The grammatical difference between the Banten dialect of Sundanese and General Sundanese is because the Banten region was never part of the Mataram Sultanate, so it did not recognize the coarse and very fine levels introduced by Mataram.
This language is commonly spoken especially in Banten areas such as Pandeglang Regency, Lebak Regency, Tangerang Regency, Tangerang City, South Tangerang City, and the southern part of Serang Regency. Apart from the Banten language, there is also the Banten Javanese language which is spoken in the northern coastal areas of Banten (Serang City, Cilegon City, and northern Serang Regency).
So, that’s a brief explanation of the tribes on the island of Java. The following are book recommendations from sinaumedia that Sinaumed’s can read to learn about tribes in Indonesia so they can fully understand them. Happy reading.
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