Now my butt, legs and thigh are so tired, like hundreds people hit me that hard.
That’s what I feel when I woke up this morning.
At first, when I opened my eyes, I only can make a bad grimace when I feel all my body feel like a wood. Then I realized, today is Monday morning, time to do my daily routine again and go to work! With this dead body, I feel so damn no for going to work today. But I have to, anyway…
Why do my body feel so damn tired? Because yesterday, we have a great weekend escape from Jakarta. This time, our destination is to visit a rare tribe in Banten, called Inner Baduy people. Baduy itself has 2 separated area, Outer and Inner. The Outer ones are people that already knew some part of technology and use it as their daily facility even in limited. But our target is to visit the Inner Baduy. This area is prohibited for foreigners, so if you want to have a peek, the best part you can see only the outer area, but that’s also worth to see actually.
Baduy people called themselves as Urang Kanekes (Urang means human in Sundanese). They live in Kendeng Mountain at the elevation on the top is 1.625 mbpl and around 120 km from Jakarta. In total their area is covered about 50km square in hilly area and located in Lebak Regency, Banten Province, West Java.
We went to train station in Tanah Abang first, from there, we go to Rangkas Bitung train station. In Rangkas Bitung, a big car (Elf type) already waited for us. The car able to take around 14-15 person. From Rangkas Bitung to Ciboleger took around 1, 5 hours. In total, from Tanah Abang to Ciboleger needs around 3-4 hours. This is not so far from Jakarta, a really perfect getaway for you who live in Jakarta!
If you bring so many stuff and can’t lift it by yourself, don’t worry, the Inner Baduy people already waited for you in Ciboleger and offer their muscle to bring your stuff. Some of my friends agreed to use their service, the cost also so cheap, only 50.000 IDR (usd 5) from bring 1 heavy bag in return. Believe me, it’s an excellent service and will help you too! I chose for bring my own bag cause I have a weird feeling to do trekking without a bag in my back. But I almost felt so dead because it was a long and hard track. We have to walk and walk and walk again like almost 5 hours in day first. Plus another 4 hours when we go back home in day two.
Young people from Inner Baduy are so eager to learning. Some of them asked me to teach them English. During our walk, we exchanged a bit about English and their history. I like to know about this tribe more! Why do they still choose to be separated from modern world and feel satisfy with their own life in Inner Baduy? This is so incredible in my honest opinion!
This is a short information about them that I able to dug when I have conversation with them.
People in Inner Baduy and all the visitor are not allowed to use any chemicals to shower, so stuff like soaps, shampoo, toothpaste are not allowed to use. Inner Baduy use the leaves (oh I forget the name!) for their soap and the bamboo sap for their shampoo. They don’t have electricity, so they burn the light with vegetable oil. Their house is totally from bamboo, dry palm leaves and wood. At the night, some wind will enter the house from the wall cracks and make us feel so cold, but the Inner Baduy people don’t mind at all, they get used to it. Not for me, when we were staying over in one of the house, I can’t sleep and eagerly to ask for morning comes because I felt so freezing even I already cover myself with socks, gloves, jacket and hat. Dududududuuuu…
Their clean river, look at the different water.
Mr. Safri, one from the local also told us that usually people in Baduy able to live until 120 years old. That’s freaking awesome right? Compare with those who live in the city and mostly reaching only 60-70 years old. They also only do rice plantation and farm some vegetables but not many. Their land is quite dry because they don’t have any animals such as sheep, goats and cows to poo in the ground and make the soil fruitful. They are able to eat meats, but they are not allowed to raise the animals.
This hulk human lift this wood and already did it for 10 trees!
What really makes me feel amazing is how the Custom Leader, they called it Kokolot, able to gathered the people and convince them to keep life in that kind of way. Even some of locals also go to Jakarta, not by vehicle because it’s not allowed for them, they need around 3 days to arrive in Jakarta (which for us around 4-5 hours with train and car – such a crazy comparison!), but they still choose to live in their village and dislike Jakarta (no wonder, but c’mon, they see the technology that suppose to make their life easier). They also not able to use sandals or shoes. Their outfit are really simple, only same fabric and style in white or black color with their authentic bag and white headband, while the Outer Baduy People already use the normal clothes like we wear now.
Samad, the youngest boy that follow us in the journey and do the porter service.
In total, Mr. Safri said, there are 99 houses in the area and they already moved in 3 times (as long as he knows) due to the human accretion. With approximately 600 person live in the area. Inner Baduy people allowed to find their soul mate from Outer Baduy, not from other places. And if they sick, they have their traditional shaman. For hard disease, they have to use herbal medicines, or walk 4 hours to Ciboleger or wait for doctors from government that usually come to the area around one time in 1-3 months.
Their religion is kind of similar with Islam, called Sunda Wiwitan, a combination of traditional belief and Hinduism. Even they don’t adherent to Hindu and Buddhist, they more into the Animism, the belief that venerated and worshiped the spirit of ancestors and influenced by Islam. They don’t do the 5 times prayer. They do pray in their heart and do it as much as they want (no certain times). The one who teaches them the religion and culture is Kokolot. No school exist in the place. Formal education are not allowed there (this is the sad thing for me) so the one who responsible a lot for the children education are their mothers. Formal education for the children of Baduy is against their traditional customs. They reject government proposal to build educational facilities in the villages. As a result, very few Baduy are able to read or write. I am so happy when I heard Safri and Asep (the young guys) able to count 1 until 10 in English, even know some statement/question in English even I am not sure they know the correct spelling of it, but at least they know it. Usually, they get new English and Indonesia (Bahasa) vocabularies from visitor who come to visit their place.
Local women do pounding the rice.
In the evening, you can’t count the stars in their sky. It’s truly dark evening with lots of stars above. It just made you feel like you are attracted into the wide space. So pretty! Far from noisy Jakarta, far from crowded and traffic streets, far from the stress of modern people life, Inner Baduy it’s really a peaceful place to be.
You can’t take pictures inside of Inner Baduy area, all pictures here are taken in the Outer Space or borders between Inner and Outer. Some people said, “Ah, you can do it, just don’t get caught.” But for me, I am respect the local culture and their strict rules. They also not allowed people to sing and (this is the crazy one) listen music from phone/ipod even if you use your earsphone and not make any sound. Being there is totally cutting you out from the advanced era. The only music that I heard there is only a long and tall bamboo with some holes that stand on the ground and create a spooky (but beautiful) sound when the wind comes enter the bamboo.
When I asked to Asep, “What’s that?” He replied, “It’s our kesukaan (favourite thing, hobby).”
Don’t ask about the route to go from Ciboleger to Inner Baduy, it’s totally so far and some parts are so difficult. I felt down twice and now my body is so hurt. But compare with the view that we get along the way, they are nothing. The view are so pretty and I always love to be in nature, so I don’t mind, in fact, I kinda missed it now.
People there are so humble and simple, even they don’t really like to be in photograph. Some women we met along the way are busy to weaving the traditional fabric, while their children (and chickens) are playing around in the house.
I am so happy that finally able to visit this place. I am also so proud this people still exist and keep their humble life and culture as the way it is. Now I wonder, absolutely there are still many rare tribes in this huge archipelago. I wish I can visit some of them in the future.
Have a great Monday, precious people!