Defending Tengger Oral Literature

Tengger is a tribe that inhabits the slopes of Mount Bromo. Tengger is famous for its traditions and culture, one of which is the tradition of Kasada and Karo ceremony which are held once a year. These traditions must be assisted by a leader who is called a Pandita who is highly respected by the Tengger.

In this modern era, there are many threats towards the tradition. This was stated by Dr. Sony Sukmawan, M.Pd, a lecturer of Indonesian Language and Literature Study Program, Faculty of Cultural Studies (FCS) Universitas Brawijaya (UB) on Monday (10/28/19) at the terrace of Building B at the Cultural Discussion event, the 10th Anniversary FCS UB.

“They are currently surviving from extinction, threat, and development. Specifically, tourism development threatens them. You can imagine how a tradition that is thick with sacred values is displayed and performed as a production package in ritual tourism,” he said.

This is considered a threat because the tradition will change its function from worship to a show. In an effort to keep this thing from becoming extinct, we need a successor to a Pandita.

In the Munuren ceremony or the ceremonial election for the Pandita that is held early in the morning, a Pandita is required to cast around 138 spells, each of which has dozens of arrays.

There are many other oral traditions in Tengger such as the one that is carried out when harvesting the corns, the celebration for the baby, the circumcision, and Tayub. Tayub is currently rarely performed by the community. In Tengger, Tayub is still used for important rituals. “Tayub must be visited by the people of Tengger because they believe that if they do not come, the ancestors will be angry.”

Then what does Tayub have to do with oral tradition? Sony gave an explanation, “It is told in the relief of the Jago Temple that the ancestors were not only fed with offerings but also entertained with Tayub”.

“The offerings are for communication. So, every tradition must be filled with music and dance. Tayub is an offering shown to village ancestors,” he added. (DT/MSH/Humas FIB)