Jakarta, IO – The Baduy natives will hold the annual Seba ritual at the end of this month when they will walking tens of kilometers to stay in touch with government leaders, reported Suara, Wednesday (26/4). The unique tradition, which has been observed since the era of the Banten Sultanate, always steals the spotlight. The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry (Kemenparekraf) confirmed that the ritual will be held on April 27-30 at the townhall of Lebak Regency, Banten.
Seba, which means offering, is part of a series of traditional ceremonies which are carried out after Kawalu and Ngalaksa, fasting and visiting relatives and neighbors with the harvest. The ritual is also a manifestation of the allegiance of the Baduy people to the Indonesian government represented by heads of government in the region, namely the Regent of Lebak and the Governor of Banten.
The ritual generally begins with the election of urang Kanekes representatives by the elders and head of the customary council. Representatives of the Baduy tribe will take part in the journey from Inner Baduy (Baduy Tangtu, dressed and wearing a white head scarf) and the Outer Baduy (Baduy Panamping, dressed in black and with a blue head scarf) to Lebak townhall and ending at the Banten cityhall.
The journey covers the distance of about 80 kilometers on foot save for people from the Outer Baduy area, who are allowed to use vehicles.
After arriving at the Hall, the representatives of the elders will recite tatabean, an offering chant in native Baduy language which describes the condition of the residents, harvest, and security. Urang Kanekes will then have a dialogue with the regional government who thank the tribe for preserving the values and ancestral heritage as well as the natural environment.
Seba Baduy ends with the handing over of crops to the regent or governor. The crops include rice, sticky rice, palm sugar, bananas, durian and taro. A set of kitchen utensils such as a bamboo steamer, basket, fan and ladle were also presented to signify their close relationship with nature. (un)