Values from an Agricultural Society in Karang Bajo Village, Lombok ISLAND

rice field

Farmer society usually has a knowledge based on common habit come from daily life called “local wisdom”. It is a custom done before people doing any activities, and also have a tolerance and pluralismic substance that are religion, cultural and political value inside.

The same things happen in Karang Bajo traditional village lived by the Bajonese. They stay in land, work in farm and forest, which all ownership is authorized by the custom regulation. There’s no individual property, it’s used for the whole villagers.

The Bajonese is still so high honour their custom. For the example is the tradition done when rice planting season is coming.

Like the Javanese, they also believe on Rice Goddess called Inak Sariti as well as Dewi Sri.

Only wild types of rice are planted because these are the first variety planted in bangkat, the first Bayanese’s rice field. People believes that other kind of rice will bring failure to their crop, beside it is smoother and tastier for them.

Before planting, people fixed the day to do a ceremony called slamat olor which aim to wish for the rain by mean of prayers led by the Village Head. Chikens or ducks are given on this ceremony and once in three years, some buffaloes. After that, tunang bineh that is removal grains stored last season from sambi/geleng (rice-barn). On this ceremony, the Village Head lead people to pray and give some “messages” called cari urip for the seeds so that they are able to grow.

The seeds are tied into bunches, 25 bunches for 1 hecto-metres land, then they’re soaked for 3 days long before sowed in nursery for 3-4 weeks. After that, people prepare for the rice field. Menggara or membelah that are they plough using cows or buffaloes is done and then seeds planted called melong. After 100-120 days, plants are entering generative periode and the nyemprek ceremony is presented. On this periode, plants are considered as a pregnant women so ngisi pengidaman that is fulfilling women desire is done.

The aim of these ceremonies is to make plants producing a lot of yield. The bawan pari ceremony led by Village Head is presented when rice ready to harvest. On this ceremony there is memuntah that is collecting the rice spirits played around before because the next day they will be harvest, called mematak, filled of prayers to God.

Before harvesting, farmer chose good grains, first separated from the other, to be stored as seeds for the next planting season. After that they harvest all crops left over. During this periode, they’re prohibited to take a bath. If harvesting is carried out 3 days long, so for that time prohobition is implemented. It is also applied for the people helping the crop owner. Helping each other here is well known as betulungan.

Before stored in rice-barn/geleng, grains are dried in the sun for 2-3 days, depend on grains number. After that, pekang pari ceremony is presented, that is village head lead the prayers and “message” for the grains to know that they will be stored in geleng so that they can get well prepared and have a good rest there. Geleng is a Bajonese rice-barn looks like a small stage-house with 1 room, supported by four pillars and straw roof. It’s 1.5 m height geleng’s floor above ground surface. The space under geleng is usually used for cattle’s cage.

The grains used for seeding are stored in geleng too, but it’s separated from the other. Traditional clothes must be worn when farmer intending to store in geleng or take the grains as well. For men, it’s usually use dodot (a broadcloth belted on waist), a shirt is a choise and a head-band called sapuk.

Farming tradition on this village is an illustration of the importance appreciating the meanings and positive values inside, to always be kept and respected properly. Villagers live and still hold tiedly their custom regulations that rule all of relationship form between human to their God, among people and with their environment based on appreciation and high honour to live values.

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