The exotic “Inner Baduy”

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One of daily activities in Inner Baduy. (photo: IO/Yoga)

IO, Banten – The Baduy tribe is one of the inland tribes in Banten Province. It is divided into two big groups, the Baduy Dalam [Inner Baduy] tribe who still keep their strict customs and the Baduy Luar [Outer Baduy] tribe that has started to modernize, despite not abandoning their traditions.

The Independent Observer managed to visit the Inner Baduy territory. This place can be accessed from Jakarta through Rangkasbitung, by train. Afterwards, the trip is continued on public transport to Cijahe. Overall travel time to reach Baduy territory is about 2.5 hours. Upon arrival at Cijahe, the trip will continue with a 1.5-hour walk through steep hills.

Inner Baduy consists of three settlements: Cibeo, Cikertawana and Cikeusik Village. In their daily appearance, Inner Baduy members dress in black/white with a white headband, while Outer Baduy wear black clothes and blue headbands.

Amidst rapid technological advancement of this modern day, this tribe is one who still faithfully defend their customs, living side-by-side with nature in wisdom and simplicity, and resisting the influence of modernization in their daily lives; they are largely dependent on natural resources such as farming, gardening and cultivation of other crops, so they are very knowledgeable about managing and maintaining the natural conditions in which they live.

There are some main customs that need to be observed when going to the Inner Baduy, from a taboo against live video shooting or taking pictures using electronic devices to using chemical materials that could possibly damage nature, such as soap and toothpaste.

During our visit to Inner Baduy, many of the life lessons we get from them included kindness, honesty, sincerity, simplicity and wisdom in living their lives. One note: when visiting Inner Baduy, we should respect their customs by not breaking the rules that have been set as they also accord high respect to their guests. (dessy/yoga)