Facts about the Badui Indonesia, Banten

Being composed of more than 17.000 islands, Indonesia is indeed a huge archipelago. Besides so many islands, it also has over a thousand tribes. Amongst them all, the Badui stands out as one of the most interesting groups.

Interesting Facts about Traditions and Culture of Badui Tribe

Interesting facts 1
Badui Tribe

What makes the Badui tribe interesting is the fact that no one really has knowledge about them. They close the villages to strangers, especially when sacred rituals are performed. In actuality, their ability to restrict communication with outsiders and maintain mysterious images is some of their biggest strengths. If you are interested in knowing more about this community, then read several intriguing facts about them below.

The origin of their name

The Origin
Badui people are also often referred to as :”urang kanekes

The name “Badui” is actually introduced not by the tribe itself, but by outsiders. It started when the observers of Dutch East Indies might associate them with the Beduin or Bedouin, which is a nomadic community from Arabs. There is also a theory that the word might have derived from the word “Bedouin” that refers to the local river, according to other sources.

All in all, the group actually refers to themselves as “Urang Kanekes”, a term that translates to Kanekes people in English. This is likely based on their territory name, or based of their village’s name, as it is common to refer to Cibeo people as Urang Cibeo, for example.

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They actually live near the capital city of Indonesia

Kampung naga baduy
Kampung Naga badui, Kecamatan Saluwu, Tasikmalaya

Depending on how you count them, there are 5,000 to 11,700 Badui people. The majority of them live in Kendeng mountains (the area with an elevation of 300 to 500 meters above sea level). The group’s homeland, Banten, Java Indonesia, is a hilly forest region with an area of 50 km2 and it is located only 120 km from Jakarta, Indonesian capital city.

Regardless of their proximity with the modernity of the capital city, you might consider them to be a world away. The tribe lives in nearly perfect seclusion, with forbidden customs of wearing shoes, riding vehicles, or using shops. Despite the temptations of living in a modern setting, they cling to the isolated way of life.

Their ancestor is not certain

Ancestor is not certain
The Badui are mostly Sundanese

Several anthropologists believe that the Badui is a sacred descendant group of Pajajaran Kingdom, a once dominating Hindu kingdom in the West Java. They might move to live in the limestone hills to take refuge in order to resist Islam conversion during the 16th century.

In terms of ethnicity, this community belongs to the Sundanese. They bear so much resemblance – whether it is physically, racially, or linguistically to the Sundanese people. What separates them is only their way of life. The group communicates with an archaic Sundanese-derived dialect, but the influences of modern Sundanese and Javanese are quite audible from their speech.

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They embrace a combination between animism and Hinduism

sunda wiwitan

Pancer Bumi, as the group refers to their homeland, is believed to be the central of the Earth, thus they must be the first people on the planet to prevent striking disaster by following a rigid set of rules.

The Badui’s religion is called Agama Sunda Wiwitan, which is a blend between Hinduism and their traditional belief. Even though their believe is more correlated to Kejawen Animism, there are still a lot of Hindu-Buddhist religious elements that influence it, such as how they perform their religious ritual activities or the way they define objects and things.

They are divided into two groups

divided two groups maduy
The inner badui use a white headband, while the outer badui use a blue headband

In general, the people of the Badui tribe are split into two different kinds: Luar and Dalam. The Dalam consists of 400 people of 40 families, who live in Tanah Larangan (Forbidden territory) of Cikeusik, Cikertawana, and Cibeo. No outsiders are allowed to spend a night here, as they are probably the purest between two. The Dalam obey their strict system very rigidly.

On the other hand, The Luar lives in 22 villages and make up the remainder of the group’s population. They act as the barrier of Sacred Inner circle from the outside world. Even though they also follow the strict system, it is not as rigid as the other. They also are more acceptable towards the influence of modern lives.

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They adopt an extremely simple lifestyle

Baduy Simple life
Badui houses are usually made of materials that come from nature

This might not be surprising at all. However, it is still interesting to see how the houses of Badui are constructed from natural materials only such as palm thatching or bamboo. Their houses also have no windows or furnishings inside.
The people of Badui Indonesia do not use manufactured materials, modern utensils, or industrialized equipment like plastic or glass. Even their traditional techniques of rice farming are assisted by animals only. They also don’t utilize instruments of the modern world such as motor vehicles or electronic equipment.

Badui people have succeeded in maintaining a relatively traditional way of life. That being said, as the forces of globalization, modernity, and industrialization take place, they become more open to the influence of the modern world. The recent development also affects the growing tourism industry within the community. If you are interested to know them closer, Airpaz.com is more than willing to assist you on your Badui trip, by providing flight ticket and hotel, which you can book and reserve now. You can also order your tickets through the Airpaz application to make it easier for you to book tickets comfortably.


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