Tribes Java & Bali

Tribes Java & Bali : 

Bawean Tribe 65.000

The Bawean homeland is a 200 square kilometer island 120 kilometers north of Surabaya (East Java) in the middle of the Java Sea. Bawean has been known as the “island of women” because the majority of its inhabitants are women. This is because the men tend to look for employment in other lands. A man from Tanjung Ori village who worked for 20 years in Malaysia said, “A Bawean male is not considered an adult until he has stepped on foreign soil.” Merantau (going to distant lands to seek success) is a major aspect of Baweanese culture, and it influences most every other facet of their society. A significant number of the Baweanese reside in Malaysia. In fact, the Baweanese population there far exceeds that found on the island itself, which numbers 60,000 inhabitants. Other areas of Baweanese migration include Singapore, where they are known as the Boyanese people, and Perth, Australia.
The culture of merantau creates some interesting dynamics for the Baweanese people. On one hand, their homeland is isolated and cut off from modern Indonesian life. On the other hand, they are very exposed to the world through their family members who migrate and then return to Bawean Although early settlers came from the island of Madura (as seen in the similarity of their lan-guages), over the centuries the Baweanese have developed their own unique culture. Influences are evident from Madura, Java, S. Sulawesi, Su-matra and Kalimantan. Because of this, a Kompas reporter Emmanuel Subangun wrote in 1976 that the Baweanese people are a “crystallization of In-donesian ethnic variety.”The main sources of income for those living and working on the island are farming and fishing. Apart from this, some residents make grass mats from palm leaf fiber as a local handicraft, own small shops, or harvest the high quality onyx which is found on the island, and ship it to Java or elsewhere in the world. Most of the income on the island however comes from the family members who live and work overseas and who send money back to their families on Bawean.
Originally the Baweanese embraced animistic beliefs. Then Hindu and Buddhist influences entered the island until the 1600’s when the Baweanese people converted to Islam. Their religious devotion is extremely strong and they pride themselves in the fact that 100% of the island’s inhabitants follow Islam. There are many mosques (mesjid), small Islamic prayer houses (musholla) and traditional Islamic schools (pesantrans) in every village. Boys and girls from six or seven years of age receive religious instruction including lessons in reciting the Qur’an, and sometimes live in the house of a kiai (Islamic teacher). Kiais are greatly respected by the Baweanese. 

Betawi Tribe 3.669.000 

Indonesia, tribes, Betawi, suku

Jakarta, Java. Alternate names: Batavi, Batawi, Betawi Malay, Jakarta Malay, Melayu Jakarte. Dialects: A Malay-based creole quite distinct from both standard Indonesian [ind] and from other Malay-based pidgins and creoles. It evolved by the mid-19th century. Unique phonological, morphological, and lexical traits. Also influences from Peranakan Indonesian [pea] and Bali [bcp]. Often not intelligible to Indonesian speakers not familiar with it (Allen 1989).
The Betawi are considered the original inhabitants of Jakarta. They are often called “Jakarta People, Batavi, Batawi, or Jakarte.” They originated from the mixture of peoples who arrived in Batavia (Jakarta’s historical name), and they have occupied the port city since the 15th century. The authentic Betawi people can be found in the outlying areas of Jakarta, such as in Pasar Minggu in South Jakarta, in Condet in East Jakarta, and the area of Kampung Sawah in Bekasi, West Jawa.
In the inner city, the Betawi live as traders, civil servants, laborers, craftsmen or private employees. In the outskirts of the city (such as Jagakarsa, Cirasas, Cilangkap) most Betawi have agricultural occupations as fruit growers, rice farmers, or fishermen. Their farmland is gradually decreasing because much of it is sold for housing developments, industry, and other modern uses. Consequently, the farmers are changing jobs for more urban occupations such as laborers, traders, and motorcycle taxi drivers.It is difficult for the Betawi to be separated from their family. If they are in their hometown and experiencing difficulty, they can request financial assistance from their family members. This situation sometimes gives the impression that they are less industrious in seeking a livelihood compared with outsiders. The formal educational level of this indigenous Jakarta population is usually rather low. Possibly, they have connected “school” with the Chinese or Dutch Colonists’ lifestyles, which they have rejected. This antipathy to public education is reinforced when Islamic teachers urge them to avoid government schools and instead study in Islamic schools (pesantren) and seminaries (madrasah).The Betawi also have special arts such as folk theatre (lenong), giant parade puppets parades (ondel-ondel), traditional brass music (tanjidor), masks (topeng), and puppet theatre (wayang golek). However, today the Betawi are rarely involved in the presentation of their own traditional arts.
Many Betawi orient their daily personal and communal lives toward Islamic ethics. An example of Islam’s influence is the following four principles that are followed by most Betawi. First, at every encounter they will use the Islamic greeting, Assalamualaikum, which is answered, Walaikumsalam. Second, they must perform the five daily compulsory prayer times. Third, a daughter must be married when she reaches the eligible age. Fourth, a guest must be served according to the full capability of the host.Their foundational philosophy is, “Blessings are for today. Tomorrow is tomorrow’s matter.” They believe that God will give blessings, but they also believe in the presence of spirits in places like trees, bridges, and graves. 

Indonesia, tribes, Betawi, suku

Bayumasan Tribe 5.478.000 

The Jawa Banyumasan live in the southwest part of the province of Central Jawa (Java), specifically in the regencies of Cilacap, Kebumen, Purworejo, Purbalingga, Banjarnegara, and Banyumas. The Jawa Banyumasan are one of the subgroups of the Jawa cluster of peoples, but they have their own cultural variations which differ from other Jawa peoples.The Jawa Banyumasan are often called the Jawa Mendhoan or Jawa Serayu. They are called this because one of their best-known foods is mendhoan tempe. This is prepared from tempe (fermented soybean cake) dipped in spiced batter and then fried until half-cooked. The name Serayu is sometimes used because the Serayu river runs through most of their area. They speak the Banyumasan dialect of the Jawa language. It is easier for the Jawa Banyumasan to understand conversations in most other Jawa dialects, since its dialect is so similar to the standard Ngoko dialect. However, other Jawa groups find it harder to understand the Banyumasan dialect due to the widespread use of specific Banyumasan vocabulary. Their use of ‘a’ rather than ‘o’ enables them to learn the national Indonesian language more quickly than other Jawa subgroups.
Most of the Jawa Banyumasan people make their living from farming, but compared to other Indonesian people groups, they are fairly advanced in this field. Besides having fertile land, they use the land well, even more so now that they have more modern equipment. The industrial sector is also experiencing rapid growth. An example is the development of Cilacap as an industrial city.Besides heavy industry, small industries are also growing well. Woven bamboo and brown sugar products are a mainstay of small industry. In addition to fulfilling the needs of the Jawa Banyumasan themselves, these commodities are sold in other areas.
The majority of the Jawa Banyumasan are Muslim. However, 80% of them are nominal Muslims (abangan). The other 20% are serious Muslims (santri) who strictly follow Islamic teachings and are faithful in worship. In addition, there are also some Jawa Banyumasan who follow animistic beliefs. They believe there are spirits that come from the unseen world. For example, they believe in spirits such as bujungan (shrouded ghosts, shaped like a corpse in burial cloth); jangkrong (shaped like a human skull); and dhemit (spirits that live at shrines). Places that are often considered sacred include graves, mountains, caves, and seas. Some of the Jawa Banyumasan still seek help from a dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) if they are sick or bothered by spirits. They often hold ceremonial meals (selamatan) or ritual feasts (kenduri), which include use of mantras and offerings to spirits. The purpose is to protect their area from calamity.
Java Kangean Tribe 23.000
Madura Tribe 14.000.000
North coastal area of east Java, Sapudi Islands, Madura Island. Also in Singapore. Alternate names: Basa Mathura, Madhura, Madurese. Dialects: Bawean (Boyanese), Bangkalan (Bangkalon), Pamekesan (Pamekasan), Sampang, Sapudi, Sumenep. Dialect continuum. Reports differ about inherent intelligibility among dialects: some Sumenep and Sampang report they cannot understand Pamekasan or Sumenep. Difficult intelligibility with Kangean [kkv]. Lexical similarity: 75% with Kangean. 

The Madura people are the third largest people group in Indonesia. They make up 7% of the entire Indonesian population. Currently about four million Madura people still live on the island of Madura while another nine and half million live primarily on Jawa (Java). Other major pockets of Madura people can be found in Jakarta, Kalimantan. and Sulawesi. The Madura people are renowned for their harsh character and lifestyles. This is probably caused by their natural surroundings and their history of oppression by others, both of which make life very difficult for them. 

Nevertheless, their harsh temperament can be seen positively if one examines their work ethic. Most of them work extremely hard and refuse to give up. Both men and women do not shrink from hard work in order to meet basic needs.The Madura have their own language, Bahasa Madura (literally translated as Madura language) that includes several dialects. The Bangkalan dialect is used in the regencies of Bangkalan and Sampang. People employ the Pamekasan dialect in the southern portion of Pamekasan Regency and in the central part of Madura Island.

The Sumenep dialect is found in the Sumenep Regency. Furthermore, one finds the Girpapas and Kangean dialects used by smaller populations.
The majority of Madura living on the island reside in closely-knit farming communities. But very few Madura living on the island gain their only income from farming. The climate is very dry and the land is not very fertile and thus yields only two harvests of rice and tobacco each year. Also, many Madura are fishermen, salt farmers and sailors on boats carrying inter-island cargo. The Madura who live on Jawa generally do not own land, but become fishermen, sailors, businessmen and unskilled laborers. The Madura are also known across Indonesia for their sate (skewered meat kebabs) and soto (meat soup). According to tradition, the first step in Madura marriage customs is to seek a young lady for one’s son (nyalabar). The next step is taken by contacting the woman’s family (narabas pagar). If well received, the proposal leads to engagement.Among the Madura people, the family does not merely include close relatives, brothers, sisters and parents. They maintain large family structures called pon popon gik semak meaning that even pupu (distant ancestors) are still considered close. It does not matter if they are close relatives from the same grandparents or distant cousins.
The majority of Madura people are known for being very devout Sunni Muslims. Nevertheless, many Madura people seek security from the use of magic spells that are used in an attempt to control both good and evil spirits. Those who complete the five pillars of Islam by going on the Haj (pilgrimage to Mecca) receive a special place of honor in the eyes of the people.

Mancanegar Tribe 12.246.000
The Jawa Mancanegari live primarily in the province of East Jawa (Java). The name, Mancanegari, is a Javanese word meaning “outside the nation”. This name was given to them by past Jawa Negarigung kingdoms in Surakarta and Yogyakarta and refers to the fact that they resided outside of their kingdoms.Jawa Mancanegari have a rich history of which they are very proud. Two ancient Hindu kingdoms in particular, the Kediri kingdom (11th-12th c. AD) and the Majapahit kingdom (14th-15th c. AD), illustrate this heritage. The combined influence of these kingdoms extended from Vietnam to New Guinea. Relics from these eras are found throughout Southeast Asia, but are especially prevalent in East Jawa. Even today, Kediri and Mojokerto are the centers of Jawa Mancanegari culture.
Jawa Mancanegari are primarily farmers. They have been blessed with extremely fertile land, much of which can support four crops per year. This is due both to the rich volcanic soil as well as to the many rivers and tributaries which crisscross their homeland. Rice is the predominant crop, however tobacco, soybean, and corn are also farmed.There is a growing industrial sector developing primarily in the major cities. Many people who feel they don’t have a future in the villages seek factory jobs in them. Some of the primary industries include textile, cigarette, steel, and furniture production.The Jawa Mancanegari are considered less “refined” than the other Jawa subgroups. However, they are known for their openness and straightforwardness, their “can do” attitude and their indomitable spirit. Many of Indonesia’s independence leaders including the first president were Jawa Mancanegari.Cultural events and ceremonies include the Reog and Kuda Lumping dances. During these dances, the dancer will go into a trance by inviting spirits to enter into his body in order to perform extraordinary acts. In the Kuda Lumping dance, the dancer dances around on a woven bamboo horse while eating glass, flowers, and grass. In the Reog Dance, the dancer wears a giant tiger-head mask decorated with peacock feathers that is 2 m. (6 ft.) tall and weighs about 45 kg. (100 lbs.)
The majority of Jawa Mancanegari call themselves Muslim. However, most mix Muslim beliefs with Hindu and Pre-Hindu beliefs. This mixture of beliefs is called Agami Jawi.Many Jawa Mancanegari learn to read the Qur’an (Islamic Holy Book) and vocalize prayers and Qur’an recitations in Arabic. However, they seldom understand the meaning of what they are reading or vocalizing. They often use the Islamic prayers as mantras and written verses from the Qur’an as good luck charms or to ward off evil spirits.Most Jawa Mancanegari, give sajian (offerings) to the Danyan (guardian spirit) which watches over the village in order to ensure the protection of their village, houses, and well-being.
Osing Tribe 524.000
East Java, east and northeast coast. Alternate names: Banyuwangi. Dialects: Related to East Javanese. 

The Jawa Osing reside in the Banyuwangi district in East Jawa Province and seem to be the original occupants of this eastern-most area of Jawa (Java). The Jawa Osing are part of the Jawa cluster of peoples, but they have their own cultural variations which differ from other Jawa peoples. Banyuwangi is a transit city for tourists who are en-route to Bali. It seems Banyuwangi was the capital city of the Hindu Blambangan Kingdom that was the last kingdom in Jawa. 

The Osing speak Ngoko Osing (Osing language). For other Jawa, this language is considered old fashioned and corrupted because of influence from the Madura language.
Family, housing, food, as well as social and health patterns of the Jawa Osing are very characteristic of the Jawa culture, but the Bali culture has also influenced them. An example is seen in the Janger dance. This dance has the theme of love, and is performed to the rhythm of the two-sided drum (kendang kempul). Their clothing is Jawa in style, but the wigs (sanggul) used resemble that of the Bali people. Many of the Jawa Osing people make their living by farming, raising livestock, and trade. In addition, there are also some who work as local government officials or private employees.

They never experience water shortages because they live on the slopes of the Ijen-Merapi volcano.The Jawa Osing take great care and highly value preserving their relationships with relatives, whether they are near or far. Good relationships with others are also maintained through mutual sharing and giving, as well as trying to understand other people’s feelings and abilities. This practice is summarized as tepo seliro, which means not doing something one would not want done to one’s self. The Jawa Osing are known as hospitable and well mannered people. Their culture, which is under governmental protection, has become popular and interesting to tourists. The government wishes to preserve and utilize the unique beliefs and culture of the people. This has added to the pride of the Jawa Osing in their culture.

Islam became the dominant religion of the Jawa Osing after Hinduism was pushed from their area to Bali. The Kiai (Islamic teacher) has the ultimate authority in matters of religion. The Jawa Osing have many selametan (ritual meals) specific to each occasion, such as: the death of a family member; the cleaning of the village, tilling and harvesting the land, birth, marriage, and moving to a new house. Selametan combine a mixture of Jawa and Islamic culture ceremonies and are thus also done for Islamic holidays. A few of these days are: Suran, Muludan, Ruahan, Punggahan, Rejabatan, and Sekaten. The traditional dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) is famous for his ability to apply his black magic from far distances. Through his magical powers he can heal or destroy whoever or whatever is a cause of problems.

Pesisir Kulon Tribe 3.092.000 

The Jawa Pesisir Kulon (West Coast Java) people group is also called the Jawa Cirebonan or the Cerbon people. The center of the Jawa Pesisir Kulon people group is in the regencies of Cirebon and Indramayu in West Jawa Province. They live in small cities like Patrol, Anjatan, and Haurgeulis. There are also some who live to the east around the vicinity of the Sanggarung River, and across the river there are also several Cirebonan villages located in Central Jawa Province. The Ceremai mountain marks the southern border of their area while the Jawa Sea coastline marks the northern border.Geographically speaking, the Jawa Pesisir Kulon people group live in Sunda districts, yet they use the Jawa Ngoko Cerbon (Jawa Cerbon language). Their language is apparently a mixture of the Jawa, Sunda, Arab, and Melayu languages, and possibly some others as well. The Cerbon Ngoko language is taught to every Cerbon child from first through tenth grades. 

The Jawa Pesisir Kulon people tend to be open and spontaneous in their social interactions. This is visible in their vibrant, colorful, and artistic clothing. Their culture leans more toward Islamic culture than towards their own historical Jawa culture. For them, Islam is looked at as the national cultural foundation that takes precedence over the traditional Jawa cultural values, which are still predominant in Central and East Jawa.The word cirebon is a combination of two words, ci which means water and rebon which means shrimp. Cirebon has always been famous for its salted fish, fresh shrimp, as well as petis and terasi (shrimp pastes used as spices). Most Jawa Pesisir Kulon are fishers or farmers. Their land is very fertile and has acres of plantations that produce export crops of coffee, sugar, tobacco, citrus fruits, and the well-known Dermayu mango. There is also a local government-owned oil refinery. There are many among them who work in government and private institutions. Craftsmen make various products from the world-famous batik cloth, as well as clay, wood and rattan. The city of Cirebon is also considered a tourist destination because of the many historical and sacred landmarks. These historical sites include the palaces of Kasepuhan, Kanoman, Kacirebonan, and Kaprabonan, as well as Mesjid Panjunan (a mosque), Gua Sunyaragi (a cave), and Panjang Jimat (a place of worship).
The large majority of the Jawa Pesisir Kulon people are Sunni Muslims although there is a Sufi Muslim minority. Despite this fact, the practice of occultism is very evident. Dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) are still heavily relied upon. Various ceremonies that include meals are done to obtain happiness, safety, and peace

Pesisir Lor Tribe 22.389.000
Geographically, there are two groups of Jawa Pesisir Lor (North Coast Java) people. The first group lives to the west of the city of Semarang, with its center in Pekalongan-Tegal. The second group lives to the east of Semarang, with its center in Demak-Kudus. The western portion of the Jawa Pesisir Lor people live on the slopes of the mountain range of Slamet-Dieng facing north towards the Jawa Sea from Kendal to Brebes. The eastern portion of the Jawa Pesisir Lor people live on the slopes of the Kapur Utara mountain range from Demak to Tuban. Most of the Jawa people who live in Semarang are transplants from other Jawa subgroups, such as Negarigung, Banyumasan, or Mancanegari.
Jawa Pesisir Lor people mainly make their living from agriculture. They use the land effectively and are equipped with (relatively) modern tools. The industrial sector is also experiencing rapid growth, both in heavy industry and small industry.The Jawa people in general are known as being more reserved and concerned about politeness than most Indonesian people groups. While this is also true for the Jawa Pesisir Lor, they are generally more open, straightforward, and spontaneous when contrasted with other Jawa subgroups. They are bolder to speak their mind even when they differ from their elders. They also describe situations more straightforwardly and they speak more openly, even to sensitive issues. The Jawa Pesisir Lor are known to express their convictions with action and emotion, not just words.Many Jawa Pesisir Lor view traditional Jawa culture as backward and are proud of what they consider to be their more modern worldview and stronger Islamic commitment. Unlike other Jawa subgroups, they tend to prefer Islamic music to Jawa music (gamelan). They prefer Qur’an (Islamic Holy Book) readings to watching wayang (shadow puppet plays). In spite of this, they still love the Jawa drama forms of ludruk and ketoprak.
Almost all Jawa Pesisir Lor people are Sunni Muslims, although some are Sufi Muslims. Most Jawa Pesisir Lor people consider sacred the graves of two holy men, Sunan Kalijaga and Sunan Ja’far Shodiq. People come to both of these graves to worship and to seek blessing. They hold to nine aspects of religious knowledge that were taught by these two holy men. The first aspects are the five Islamic pillars of syahadat (the Muslim creed), sholat (Muslim prayer ritual), zakat (giving to the poor), puasa (fasting during the month of Ramadan), and haj (pilgrimage to Mecca). To these five aspects are added the four aspects of syari’at (Islamic law), hakekat (essence), tarekat (mysticism, especially Sufism), and marifat (the highest knowledge in mysticism). Occultism is still practiced, along with syncretistic elements of Hinduism and animism. .
Sunda Banten Tribe 537.000 

Indonesia, tribes, sunda, suku

Java, western third of the island. Alternate names: Priangan, Sundanese. Dialects: Bogor (Krawang), Pringan, Cirebon.
The Banten people live in the province of Banten, located at the northwestern end of the island of Jawa. Currently, most Banten people live in the regencies of Pandeglang, Labak, and Serang. In the year 2000, Banten officially became an Indonesian province independent of West Jawa Province. The Banten border area has often been unclear. This can obviously be seen in the differing languages spoken by the northern portion (Jawa-Banten language) and the southern portions including the areas of Pandeglang and Lebak district (Sunda language).
The Banten people grow rice and other crops, such as coffee, cloves, jengkol and petai (beans eaten raw), bananas, and durian (“stinky” fruit with a thick, spiky shell). Working the land is done in cooperative groups. One type of cooperative work is royongan. In royongan, workers are not paid directly; rather, wages are collected and stored by a community elder (kokolot) to be used for repair of mosques and smaller prayer houses. Another form of cooperative work is called liliuran, which is helping one another work the rice field without any expectation of payment. Cooperative work arrangements are also used for repairing roads, bridges, and other public facilities. Cooperation of this kind is expected of community members. For instance, in Tanjung Sari village, a household head who does not participate is assessed a monetary fine. Local Banten leadership is composed of three elements: formal leaders (umaroh), religious leaders (ulama), and traditional leaders (jawara). These three groups play an important role in shaping the local political system. The village’s kinship relationships are cultivated and developed by the village leaders, who are very respected and honored. Other village matters are handled by the carik (secretarial), ulu-ulu (irrigation), kabayan (logistics), and amil (religious affairs). Ancient Banten is still of great interest, especially for historians and archeologists. Banten is one of the famous kingdoms of the past. In the Banten area there are many tourist attractions, beginning with the nature preserve, the Great Mosque of Banten, with the tombs of the Banten Sultans placed at the south and north ends of this mosque. It is said that there is a “nine-story rock” 15 meters high, which is a remnant of the megalithic era. As a tourism area, Banten is open to the outside world, but their traditions and culture are still maintained.
From the 15th century establishment of the Sultanate of Banten until today, the majority of Banten people have been Muslims. They are obedient Muslims, but they still have deep involvement in black magic and occultic power. This can be seen in the famous art of Banten known as debus: through the use of certain mantras, the body of a practitioner can be made invulnerable to physical blows, fire, and sharp objects.

Sundanese (Basa Sunda)

Sundanese is a Polynesian language spoken by about 27 million people on the Greater Sunda island and the western third of Java in Indonesia. It is also the third most-spoken language in Indonesia.

Sundanese is used as a medium of instruction in elementary and junior high schools.

Sundanese script (Aksara Sunda)
Sundanese is normally written with the Latin alphabet, however the Sundanese script is still used to some extent. The Sundanese script developed from the Old Sundanese script (Aksara Sunda Kuna), which was used between the 14th and 18th centuries, and was standardized during the 1990s. Sundanese has also been written with a version of the Arabic script.

Vowels (Aksara Swara)

Diacritics (Rarangkén)

Consonants (Aksara Ngalagena)


Sample text in Sundanese

Sakumna jalma gubrag ka alam dunya teh sifatna merdika jeung boga martabat katut hak-hak anu sarua. Maranehna dibere akal jeung hate nurani, campur-gaul jeung sasamana aya dina sumanget duduluran.

Source :


Redjang/Kaganga alphabet

The Redjang or Kaganga alphabet is descended ultimately from the from Brahmi script of ancient India by way of the Pallava and Old Kawi scripts. Some linguists claim that there is are connections between the Redjang alphabet, Egyptian hieroglyphs and various Semitic languages such as Hebrew.

Notable features
Redjang is a syllabic alphabet – each letter has an inherent vowel /a/. Other vowels can be indicated using a variety of diacritics which appear above or below the consonants.
Used to write:
Redjang/Rejang, an Austronesian language spoken by about a million people in Sumatra. The Redjang alphabet is used mainly to write magic spells and medical incantations and some poetry.


Vowel diacritics with ka

Source :



Tengger Tribe 636.000 

pura poten tengger bromo

East Java, Tengger-Semeru massif and slopes of Mt. Bromo. Alternate names: Tenggerese. Dialects: May be marginally intelligible with Javanese [jav].
The Tenggerese live on the slopes of a large volcanic crater high in the Tengger Mountains of eastern Java. Their origins are uncertain, but some consider them to be refugees from the ancient Hindu-Javanese kingdom of Madjapahit who retreated to the mountains at the fall of Madjapahit in the early sixteenth century. Others believe they occupied the area well before that period. The people speak an archaic Javanese dialect called Tengger. 

Tenggerese, Tribes, Indonesia, java, suku, tengger
The populous (and still growing) nation of Indonesia has one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the world-more than 300 distinct people groups. Located in Southeast Asia on an archipelago of more than 3,000 islands that command vital sea routes between Australia, Europe, and the Asian mainland, they are the principal link between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. With about sixty percent of the total population, Java is the most populated Indonesian island.

The Tenggerese are farmers who grow corn on dry permanent fields or, by using the “slash and burn” technique, they create temporary agricultural plots called swiddens. For more than a century many have also grown vegetables and potatoes as cash crops. Farms are very small-the average size is about one hectare (slightly over 2.4 acres). Because farms are so small and unable to sustain large families, the number of landless peasants has increased rapidly, causing a swelling immigration to the cities and coastal areas.
Tenggerese youth are free to do their own courting, although parental consent is required. The wedding ceremony takes place in the bride’s home. Ideally, the newlyweds set up their own household, but in many cases they are forced to live with their parents until they can afford their own dwelling. The average household may be an extended family composed of nephews and nieces or younger brothers, sisters, or cousins and may have between seven and ten members.
A village consist of clusters of smaller villages, or hamlets. The village headman is elected for life by the adult (male and female) citizens of the village. He is assisted by village administrators and controls the headmen of the various hamlets.
vMost Tenggerese are Hindus who mix their beliefs with animism (belief that non-living objects have spirits).
Each temple congregation holds periodic rituals to placate and please various gods and protect the group’s peace and prosperity. They also make offerings to the spirits of their deceased ancestors and to spirits connected with certain places. Brahman priests conduct the major religious ceremonies; lower caste priests care for the temples and perform local ceremonies. Rituals are performed in several cycles, with the most important being a six-month cycle. Families arrange “life cycle rituals,” an especially important task when planning the cremation of a family member. Rituals often include music and dance.

Bali Loloda Tribe 19.000 

The Loloan people are located in the Jembrana Regency of the island of Bali. More specifically, they live in the villages of Pengembangan, Tegal Badeng Islam, Cupel, Tukadaya, Banyubiru, Tuwed, Candi Kusuma, Sumber Sari, Ketatan, Airkuing, Sumbul, and Pekutatan. The word loloan is derived from the word liloan (“wrapped around” or “winding”), which refers to the first settler’s description of the River Ijogading, which is turbulent with changing currents. It is thought that their ancestors were Muslim immigrants from Sulawesi, Kalimantan and Malaysia. Sunan Wajo led the first group of settlers from Sulawesi. They came to Bali in the 17th Century to escape from the Dutch military. At that time, I Gusti Ngurah Pancoran, the King of Jembrana, welcomed them. He had also resisted the Dutch. These Bugis-Makassar immigrants developed good relationship with the King for the purpose of converting all of his people to Islam. Another group of settlers came from Kalimantan and was led by Abdullah bin Yahya Al Qadry, a descendant of the Sultan of Pontianak. Several of the Melayu groups from Malaysia originated from the areas of Pahang, Johor, Kedah and Trengganu and some of the immigrants were of Arab origin. These groups were also seeking to evade the Dutch military and became assimilated into the Loloan people group.
As a community, the Loloan villages have significantly different characteristics than the villages of the Bali people who live in the surrounding areas. In addition to the obvious religious differences, there are also other differences such as the style of homes. The Loloan houses are built on raised platforms, on top of stilts approximately two meters high. The main door of their houses always faces to the east. The location of the door in this manner is designed to avoid any distraction when they are doing their prayers toward Mecca in the west .The decorations of their houses is generally Islamic in nature, such as Arabic calligraphy. The Loloan style of dress, especially the womens’, is also Islamic. In general, they maintain a special and distinctive cultural pattern in the midst of the Hindu Bali people, who have in turn, maintained their own cultural distinctiveness in the midst of an overwhelmingly Muslim nation.
They are strong Muslims, which is different from the majority of the Bali people group who are Hindu. This leads to their being ostracized by the Bali people. Loloan traditional laws have been handed down through the generations, and they also strictly enforce Islamic law. Despite this, there are Loloan people who are greatly influenced by animism and many superstitions. These beliefs cause them to seek protection using magic by either appeasing or controlling good and evil spirits.
Bali Tribe 4.200.000
7,000 in South Sulawesi. Island of Bali, north Nusa Penida, west Lombok Islands, and east Java, South Sulawesi. Alternate names: Balinese. Dialects: Lowland Bali (Klungkung, Karangasem, Buleleng, Gianyar, Tabanan, Jembrana, Badung), Highland Bali (“Bali Aga” ), Nusa Penida. Reportedly two distinct dialects. High Bali is used in religion, but those who can use it are diminishing. There are speech strata in several lowland varieties (1989 A. Clynes).
The island of Bali is probably better known than the country of Indonesia. The word “Bali” brings to mind visions of a tropical paradise. Its beauty, friendly people, and exquisite art and dance have made Bali a favorite destination for millions of tourists from around the world. On this “Island of the gods” reside the Balinese. However, many Balinese can also be found on the nearby island of Lombok, as well as in Lampung, Sulawesi, South Kalimantan, Sumbawa and Papua.
Most Balinese live in very close knit villages with strong family, social, religious and economic interrelationships. Much of the village’s interactions are centered on Hindu worship in the temples and agricultural cooperatives in the surrounding fields. The Balinese are separated into two distinct groups, the Bali Aga, (indigenous Balinese), and the Bali Majapahit (originally from the Majapahit Kingdom of Jawa). The Bali Majapahit inhabit the largest sec-tion of the island, and are located in the lowlands. The Balinese main livelihood is rice farming. Their irrigation system is called subak (sharing water resources). The solidarity among those who share water is displayed in their meetings and religious ceremonies. The natural beauty of Bali and the unique culture of the Balinese have provided the impetus for a boom-ing tourist industry. The face of the island has been changed with the development of luxury hotels, souvenir shops, and other tourist related industries. Along with these changes have come a variety of employment opportunities. The Balinese are known throughout the world for their artistic abilities. Many Balinese villages specialize in one particular form of art. Their artistic talents can be seen in their many varieties of painting, carving, sculpting, dancing, and weaving.
Hinduism is the primary religion of the Balinese. Even though Hinduism has greatly affected the culture, the Balinese have managed to maintain their original culture, so that Balinese Hinduism differs from Indian Hinduism. Balinese Hindus believe that there is one god that can be explained by the Trimurti, a concept of three aspects of God: Brahma, the creator; Vishnu, the protector; and Shiva, the destroyer.The Balinese practice Panca Yadnya (5 Ceremonies): 1) Manusia Yadnya (life cycle ceremonies); 2) Putra Yadnya (ancestral ceremonies); 2) Dewa Yadnya (cer-emonies to gods who save the world); 4) Resi Yadnya (priest ordination); and 5) Buta Yadnya (ceremonies to protect against evil spirits). The impact of Hinduism can be seen throughout Bali. For example, each neighborhood provides a dadia (communal shrine). Both individual families as well as larger assemblies use this shrine to offer food and flowers to their gods. 

galungan @ panglipuran village

galungan@panglipuran village

the entrance to pura ulun danu - IR

a Balinese man and his Cock - no pun intended

Balinese man on his porch - IR

pura ulun danu bratan - IR

pura ulun danu bratan - IR


2 thoughts on “Tribes Java & Bali

  1. I am just really grateful to have stumbled upon your blog page. My partner and I weren’t able to find the data you contributed here elsewhere. I likewise maintain a blog and any time you happen to be into guest blog writing feel free to let me know. I am often searching for people who would undoubtedly be happy to make a contribution to my own site. Do visit and leave a comment sometime. Thanks!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s