Guys, do you know about Baduy Tribe?
Baduy is a traditional tribe in Indonesia who live in a jungle on Banten province. Their life is very primitive and totally based on nature. I have been hearing about it several times. But I have never got a chance to visit them before, until I was in college.
When I was in college, I joined an internship program in an architectural company. Their project is building a tourism residence using the concept of Baduy. Therefore, my boss took me there to understand the original principle of Baduy people.
To reach Baduy inland was not easy, as they live far inside a Jungle. We could not use car to reach it. The furthest we could reach by using car is the Ciboleger Village. From this village, we had to continue our journey on foot. Walking from Ciboleger to Baduy inland took about 3 hours. Thanked God the track was straight so we could save up some energy.
When we almost reached the inland, I saw several people riding motorcycle. They were likely to be visitors, too. It turned out that you could ride a motorcycle to go to the inland. You can park it there.
Before entering the inland, every visitor had to meet the Jaro Pulung first. Jaro is like a tribe leader. There were several kinds of Jaro. Each Jaro had his own responsibility. Jaro Pulung is in charge for maintaining a relationship to people outside Baduy. More or less, his job was like Public Relation Manager.
Jaro Pulung told us the basic rules of Baduy Tribe. In general, there are two sub-tribe of Baduy; Inner Baduy and Outer Baduy. In both sub-tribes, every people had to live traditionally and naturally. They are not allowed to do the following things;
- Using technology such as cellphones, televisions, even soaps and shampoo.
- Using footwear such as shoes or flip flop.
- Using vehicles. Baduy people always walk if they want to go, even when the destination is far.
- Smoking or drinking beers
Therefore, we turned off all of our cellphones. My boss kept his cigarettes on his backpack. Camera was still allowed to use on Outer Baduy Sub-tribe. But, we might not use it when we get to Inner Baduy sub-tribe.
The difference between Inner and Outer Baduy was the strictness of their rules. In Outer Baduy, they were still allowed to use a vehicle if the destination is so far away. The children were allowed to go to official school. There even was a minimarket on Outer Baduy area.
Meanwhile, the Inner Baduy would always hold on tight to their traditions and rules. Outer Baduy always used black or dark blue outfit. This was to show that they were already “contaminated”. The Inner Baduy always used white outfit, to represent that they are still “pure”. But both sub-tribes live together side by side peacefully.
After walking around and had some chats with local folks, the sun started to set. And I was getting hungry. At first, I was worried about what kind of food they would serve. Thanked God, it was not horrible as I thought it would be.
Baduy people planted their own rice. They did not use manufactured manure. Instead, they used a natural one. Therefore, the rice is 100% organic. As side dishes, they had several vegetables taken from their jungle and field. If you dislike it, you can go minimarket in Outer Baduy to buy some instant noodles or nuggets. The locals would not mind to cook those for you.
Living naturally like Baduy is really good for your health. In here, I saw many men with sturdy body and a six-pack. The elderlies, who were about 80 years old or even more, are still looking healthy and strong. When my boss asked for their secret, they said that being purely natural is their key.
They keep their body away from contamination as they never eat instant food and never use chemicals for cleaning their body. They also like walking here and there every day, which is good for your heart.
For you who wish to visit this primitive tribe, here are some tips to be concerned about:
- If you want to use public transportation, you could take a train from Jakarta City to Rangkas Bitung. From there, continue your trip by using public car to Aweh and switch the public car to reach Ciboleger. Then you have to continue your trip by walking.
- If you want to use your own vehicle. You have to save it in Ciboleger. There were many locals who are willing to keep your vehicle safe until you return again.
- Do not coming to Baduy during January to April. During this period, they have a tradition called Hapit Lemah and Kawalu, where the inland is not allowed to be visited by outsiders at all. If you come here during this period, the Jaro would not give you permission to come inside their inland.
- Beside those months, it is highly recommended to not visitng during July-August either. Because, there would be many school students visiting.
- The best time to visit them is by the end of the years.
- You better not use soaps, tooth paste, or shampoo when you are in Baduy inland. They never use those either as they believe that those chemicals could ruin their nature. Not using those stuffs would be considered as you respect their principles.
- Always ask a permission everytime you wish to take a photograph. They will consider this as a good manner of yours.
- There would be no electricity inside the inland. The last electricity could be found is in Ciboleger. So, charge all the batteries of any device in there.
- Remember that there would be no phone signal on the inland.
- If you use a motorcycle, there is a parking area for it. But you need to memorize which person is the real parking officer. Some local people like to pretend as a parking officer to get money. Those people like to ask very much money. There was a visitor I met who had to pay $3 for parking because of it.
- The night is so cold. You have to prepare a warm jacket.
Have you ever been visited?
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