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Baduy People Culture
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THE BADUY PEOPLE

Baduy people are the people of Sundanese living on the area around the beginning of Ciujung river, Kabupaten Lebak, Banten province. Some writings and people outside Baduy consider the people are isolated and legged civilization or even primitive. An observer and writer of "Potret Kehidupan Masyarakat Baduy" (Picture of Baduy People Life ) Djoewisno, MS wrote : " The Baduy is not isolated, but they isolate themselves"

Folk tale among the people of Banten mentions that during 15th century Sunda kingdom with the center probably around current Bogor, precisely around Cipanas area and one of its vassal that was Banten with the center at old Banten Girang located near mount Pulasari, Kabupaten Pandeglang. National Archaeological Research has nearly close to the complete scene of old Banten kingdom as one of the old Sunda kingdom beside Pajajaran. Tradition of Sunda such as the poets of Sejarah Banten, Tangtu Pangelaran, and Serat Centhini are resources in disclosing the mystery of Banten or West Java in general besides formal edicts of kings. Around 14th century the Hindu kingdom of Sunda, known as Pajajaran felt down after being attacked by Moslem army of Cirebon under commander of Sunan Gunung Jati. It was told that so easy to subdue the royal palace due to great welcome of local people to Islam, as Islam promised all people will get Sorga, not like Hindu which was basically royal religion and indicated a complex ritual to attain sorga. The last prince named Prabu Pucuk Umum was unable to face Moslem army fled with some ministers to the forest, hiding behind the mountain, ravines, months even years to get rid of Moslem army attack. At last the group arrived at a dense virgin forest called Mandala Singkah, and the first place they stop is called Panembahan Arca Domas,located at the beginning of Ciujung river. This full miserable story of self rescue is still being heard among the Baduy in the form of song during rice maturity season. The Arca Domas is now center and most sacred place for Baduy people and culture, it is not every one can visit the place. Arca Doma is a stone simple arrangement forming 13 grades. Before talking about Arca Domas, will see their belief first. Many people think that the Baduy follow Buddhist, since they related to the palace of Pajajaran or Sunda kingdom. The fact today there is a belief of Sanghyang Batara Tunggal ( the one god ). This oneness has the characteristic of omniscience, invisible yet imaginable by heart, omnipotence, omnicreator who protects movement on universe, ravine, river, peak of mountain, forests, caves, lakes and other sacred places. When a person died his/her soul will return to Sanghyang Batara Tunggal. This belief reminds on Hinduism in Bali, not Buddhism. The name of Sang Hyang reminds the original belief of ethnics of Indonesia before Indian influence, while Batara is purely Indian. It has been a mixed aspects between local and Indian, especially Hindu.

Arca Domas honored as Panembahan Arca Domas. Penembahan is a title for important person especially having connection with royal family and power on society such as king, ministers, and persons having great service to the people. Arca mean sculpture, Domas means eight hundreds, which reminds the way Balinese accounting. It is probably that the 800 sculptures were dedicated to high dignitaries as a cemetery. According to writers who had been given the permission by the people to visit the place such as Prof. Veth, Mr. Kooder, and Djoewisno, MS< the place had beautiful panorama, arising unique feeling among hundred year old trees, stones covered by moat, deep ravine, beautiful and wide gorges. All these made an experience of a great nature sweeping a way the feeling of tiredness, hunger and thirsty. The path to reach the sacred place of Arca Domas is said extremely difficult and disguise. The forest around the area has many spring water sources and are closed to even the Baduy themselves and there are sanctions for the offender. It can be a bad penalty such as 3 months work on force and ritual to pay his/her sin. What is called Arca Domas is megalith like construction in 13 grades filled with up right stones, yet the original shapes are not visible, covered by thick moat. On the back is a cave with stalagmite and stalactites.

Offending traditional regulation is a serious act, if within 3 months work under force fail to pay the penalty of ritual then the offender will be exiled, his/her land will be confiscated and given to the traditional village organization or the Adat. If he offender is the resident of Baduy Dalam village, he/she will be moved to outer Baduy village known as Baduy Pendamping villages, if the offender is from outer Baduy village then there are places to put offender on exile such as villages of Cibengkung, Pangawean, and Cipatih. If the offender is non Baduy people, provided prepare to pay the fine, he/she will be released but his/her whole life will be banned to enter Baduy land again, their organization is so effective in preventing this.

The structure of organization of Baduy people is centered on Arca Domas connected directly to the 3 main important villages called Baduy Dalam, freely translated as inner Baduy. This inner Baduy consist of 3 villages namely Cibeo, Cikeusik and Cikartawana. While outer Baduy villages exist around 30 villages. Visitors normally free to visit outer Baduy villages, but with tight permission only to visit Baduy Dalam with various regulations to be followed. This villages are the places of the highest Baduy traditional leaders. The head of the village is called Pu'un, and the area of the village administration is called Kapu'unan. The head of Kapu'unan is the highest leader on customs, social, religion, and all aspect of Baduy life. Among 3 Kapu'unan, the Cibeo and Cikartawana are under the supervision of Cikeusik. A head of Kapu'unan is assisted by a Kokolot as an adviser, Girang Serat assigned as assistant of socio-economic affairs, a Jaro for security, a Jaro Tangtu as communicator between people and Pu'un, a Jaro Tujuh consist of 7 persons assisting Girang Serat, Jaro Dangka is charge for religious and cultural affairs, Jaro Tanggungan XII consist of 12 persons a security team in charge for surveillance of people entering and leaving Baduy village area. A member of Baresan Salapan consist of 9 persons and the Pu'un as the head assigned as an supreme attorney and judge. The position of Pu'un is based on heritage of a family because only those having blood connection with the earlier Pu'un or considered the generation of Sanghyang Batara Tunggal descendant. All persons having the position within Kapu'unan must have been married, and if within his term, his wife is dead, he must resign from position, because in Baduy customs a polygamy is tabo.

The personality of Baduy people is interesting, their body is stilt, clear yellowish skin, straight forwardness, never laughing or joking, look arrogant but humble, honest, strong resolution but not stubborn, not easy to be influenced or persuaded, but never giving trouble to others. No invalid person was found so far. The most striking tradition and ways of life which is actually the fundamental character of nation to reach a dignity are the following 10 ways of life called Dasa Sila especially no.1,2,3,4, and 5.

  1. No killing
  2. No thievery
  3. No cheating
  4. No alcohol
  5. No polygamy
  6. No eating after sunset
  7. No flower or perfume
  8. No died sleep
  9. No plunge into art Joyfulness
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