Baga Raksa Alas Mertajati (BRASTI) is an association of the Dalem Tamblingan Indigenous People (MADT) in Catur Desa (Gobleg village, Munduk village, Gesing village, and Umajero village) of Buleleng regency. This institution was established as part of an effort to propose Alas Mertajati as Customary Forest, aimed at identifying, managing, and developing existing potential and resources. In addition, it is also aimed at facilitating MADT activities in the social, economic, environmental and cultural sectors.
On March 3-5, 2023, the Wisnu Foundation together with BRASTI conducted a comparative study in Banyuwangi. Comparative study to the Osing Traditional School, to study the traditional education model being carried out, as well as the curriculum and learning materials for the younger generation. This activity is aimed at building a model of customary and environmental education for young people who have character and integrity in managing knowledge, as well as interpreting the traditions of the water cultivators.
Friday, March 3, 2023
We, 17 people, departed from Don Biu – Munduk village in three cars. The first goal is De Djawatan Perhutani Benculuk. Previously we picked up Dio in Cungking Village, an urban village that is said to be the forerunner of the Osing indigenous people. The name De Djawatan is intended to remind that this place is the location of the glory of Perum Perhutani (government company in agroforestry and forestry sector), which was formerly known as Djawatan Kehutanan. A large suar (monkey pod) tree thrives, and each branch grows various types of ferns. I estimate it is over 100 years old.
From Benculuk we headed to Blambangan Temple, the largest temple in Banyuwangi of the 92 existing temples. This temple was restored in 1974 which was originally the site of Umpak Songo, a relic of the Blambangan Kingdom. The local community believes that the area around Blambangan Temple, namely Blambangan Village, was once the center of the Hindu-Buddhist Blambangan Kingdom. This kingdom was founded by people who exiled themselves from the Majapahit Kingdom when it collapsed in the 15th century. The Blambangan Kingdom existed for about 200 years, until it fell into the hands of the Islamic Mataram Kingdom in 1743 AD.
The journey continues to Kemiren Village, one of the villages founded and inhabited by the Osing tribe. The name Kemiren comes from the words “kemiri (candlenut)” and “duren (durian)” because in the early 1830s, during the opening of its territory, there were many of these trees in forest areas cleared for settlements. Based on the historical records of Kemiren Village (kemiren.com), the Kemiren area used to be a stretch of rice fields and forests owned by the community of Cungking Village. At that time, Cungking community chose to hide in the rice fields to avoid the Dutch army. Until finally the community of Cungking Village chose to stay in their hiding place, Kemiren Village.
We stayed in Kemiren Village, in a local resident’s homestay. The dinner served by Mak Sus and the other mothers was delicious home food. Uyah sour vegetable (a mixture of melinjo/Gnetum gnemon leaves, long beans and local chicken), gimbal urang and gimbal jagung, also klemben cake as dessert. After eating, we split up to our rooms. Average two people in one room. One of them is at Mak Nitrin’s house. A simple house that is clean and tidy, Mak Nitrin lives with her husband and second child.
Saturday, March 4, 2023
The sound of adzan call to prayer was heard at about four o’clock in the morning. The sun was bright enough at 5 in the morning and at 6 it was very bright, Mak Nitrin had prepared provisions for her husband to take to the rice fields. The houses along the alley looked deserted and there seemed to be several empty houses.
Today’s activities will begin at lunch. So, to fill their spare time, there was one group going around Banyuwangi, and another group going around Kemiren. Using Google Maps, the Kemiren group tried to find the Osing traditional house in Sukosari. There are only about 12 traditional houses and the atmosphere is very quiet. So it was decided to find a coffee place. However, it turns out that Umah Kopi (coffee house) is only open on Sundays when it is market day. Some of them also open every day, but only open in the late afternoon.
Around 12 o’clock, the 17 of us walked together to the Osing Traditional Village in the village of Olehsari, the neighboring village of Kemiren. The Osing Traditional School is located in the middle of a rice field owned by the Cak Sul family, with a half-open building. The event begins with a lunch from ritual food material, namely pecel pitik, accompanied by kulawu (read: kulawau), jagung gimbal, and soy sauce eggs.
Pecel pitik is made from roasted young chicken, then mixed with grated young coconut and various spices, including candlenut. Basically pecel pitik is a menu that is served during the Tumpeng Sewu, Barong Ider Bumi, or blessing rituals. Parents or elders are welcome to take it first. Then, as a snack, served sumping pati (read: sumping patai). If a word ends in –i, it is pronounced –ai, and if it ends in –u it is pronounced –au.
Discussion at Pesinauan accompanied by Cak Sul, Mr. Anas, Jaka, Dio, Ms. Wiwin, and Jorgi. The idea of a traditional school has been discussed since 2016, but its existence will only be formalized in 2021. This institution is under AMAN (Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago) Osing Regional Management which consists of 16 indigenous communities.
The Osing tribal community consists of many indigenous communities spread over more than 90 villages. Because they are spread over many villages, the Osing people do not have their own customary structures and rules, so they cannot be designated as Customary Law Communities, but as Indigenous Peoples. It is hoped that the Osing Village will become a place for sharing, learning and gathering for the existing Osing indigenous communities.
The activities carried out when setting up a traditional school were community consultations, preparing curriculum and materials, and determining the target group.
Then, after we are satisfied with the discussion, let’s practice the Gandrung dance. According to kemdikbud.go.id website, gandrung was danced for the first time by men dressed like women (gandrung lanang), accompanied by drums and violin. However, around the 1890s, the gandrung lanang slowly diminished and disappeared from the Gandrung Banyuwangi dance stage in 1914.
The first female gandrung was danced by Semi, a child who was ten years old in 1895. At that time, Semi was suffering from a serious illness, so Mak Midhah – Semi’s mother, made a vow, “If you recover, I will make you Seblang, if you don’t get well, it won’t work.” Semi finally recovered and became Seblang, as well as starting a new chapter by being danced infatuated by women. The gandrung tradition carried out by Semi was then followed by her younger sisters by using Gandrung’s first name as her stage name.
Sunday, December 5, 2022
At 6 in the morning we gathered at Mak Sus’ house and took a walk to the Oseng Kemiren Village Snacks Market. We can find various types of typical Banyuwangi food preparations here: kucur, tape buntut, ketot, apem, kelemben, precet, traditional pancakes, sawut, jongkong, sabrang, sticky rice kutil, and other kind of traditional cakes. There are several types of food that are same as Bali, such as sumping and celorot. There are also dimple music performances played by oldster.
The journey continues to the Osing traditional house in Sukosari, crossing a bridge made of iron, with glass bottles on either side as lanterns. Surrounding by rice fields and chili gardens before entering the residential area. There is a very tall bamboo bale with two musical instruments like rindik when entering a residential street. Ten houses facing each other on either side of the main road. The front of the house is made of wood with almost the same shape, it still looks new. Meanwhile, the sides and back of the house are made of bamboo and look longer than the front.
We entered one of the houses from the back, which belonged to a grandparents (grandfather had tried his luck in Buleleng). The inside is quite spacious, without any partitions, which functions as a bed, living room and kitchen. Lighting and air circulation in and out of the gaps gedheg made of woven bamboo. According to Cak Sul’s information, residents who live in this traditional village are descended from the same family.
Then we went to the Petilasan of great-grandfather Cili’s, the ancestor and first resident of Kemiren Village, a Hindu-Buddhist saint from Blambangan. Great-grandfather Cili’s and Ms. Sapuah who accompanied him, had good knowledge about farming. Thanks to the teachings from them, the people’s agricultural produce became abundant. Gradually, more and more residents studied and went to Great-grandfather Cili’s.
Residents believe Great-grandfather Cili’s as a sacred person. When Cili’s great-grandfather moksa, the village was hit by a disease. Ms. Sapuah was visited by Great-grandfather Cili’s in her dream, instructing Ms. Sapuah to purify the village (idher bumi) with barong. She also should make two graves (petilasan) for Great-grandfather Cili’s. Until now, the petilasan are still routinely held, namely on Thursday and Sunday afternoons.
Today’s trip ends with trekking from Petilasan Great-grandfather Cili’s to Pesinauan Osing, passing rice fields, corn fields, and jembut sweet potato. Back to the Osing Traditional Village, we again saw the Gandrung dance practice. This time it was also followed by the children. The Gandrung Dance is growing, and some have even been created. One of them is Gandrung Belt Mangir which is danced by female dancers with very dashing and enthusiastic movements.