Lombok is another city in Indonesia that had me visiting again and again. Each visit is meant to discover new places. Two major destinations in Lombok that I explored in this trip were Sasak Sade Village, Rembitan and Gili Trawangan.
The Sasak people is native to Lombok who live mainly on the island of Lombok. Although related to the Balinese in terms of language and race, the Sasak people are dominantly Muslim. There are Sasak Muslim who practises Wektu Telu (Wektu Tiga) that is praying for 3 times a day. The Sasak who practices Wektu Telu can be found around Bayan, a town north of Lombok.
The Sasak played the musical instruments that resemble gamelan repercussion as we marched into the entrance that read Desa Sasak Sade, Rembitan. Almost instantaneously, everyone turned into hungry papparazi clicking endless shutters for worthy pictures.
After the welcoming act, we gathered at the center stage for briefing. Apparently, there were 4 cultural performances for us to watch.
The first of all was tarian gendang belek. Gendang is a traditional Sasak instrument played in a group meanwhile belek is big. Traditionally, the Sasak played gendang belek to entertain warriors at war and welcome warriors coming back from the war. Today, the Sasak performs Gendang Belek during traditional ceremonies such as merariq (marriage ceremony), sunatan (circumcision ceremony) and ngurisang (aqiqah). The player of Gendang Belek danced to the rhythm while playing Gendang Belek.
The petuk dance is performed during circumcision of boys around 7 – 12 years of age. In Lombok, the circumcision ceremony is celebrated as lavish as a marriage ceremony.
Peresean dance is a ritual fake fight between two warriors with sticks and shields. It symbolizes the manhood of the Sasak men. The stick, known as Penjalin, is made of rattan meanwhile the shield is made of the thick buffalo skin. In the old days, Peresean dance signified the happiness of the warriors after winning the war.
The last one performance was the funniest dance I have ever watched in Indonesia. The name of the dance is Amaq Tempengus. A man heavily draped in funny dress danced to the music and recited dialogs in Sasak language. He had a clown make up and pulled joke the pantomime way. We had a good laugh throughout the Amaq dance.
After the exciting shows, I joined one of the two groups to explore the Sasak Sade Village. One of the distinctiveness of Sade Village is the Sasak house. The house consists of the roof (bungus) made of beams with walls of woven bamboos. Normally the house has one window or no window. The Sasak calls their home as bale. There are two parts of the house which are the holding area (inan bale) which includes a sleeping area (bale out).
During the tour, a friendly Sasak woman invited me into her house. You would not have guessed what she was doing! She was putting the buffalo dung to her house floor. The Sasak women layer the floor with the buffalo dung twice a week. The traditional practice get ride of the dust as well as mosquitos. I peeped over the kitchen area and sleeping area with my shoes off to see the interior. Pretty minimalist. While going around the house, the smell of the buffalo dungs penetrated my nose. I asked how did they keep up with pungent smell. They said, it was normal.
It was dark in the house and I do not think they use electricity.
Another distinct feature of Sade Village is the bonnet-shaped rice barn known as lumbungan. The Sasak people stores their paddies in the lumbungan, which is usually shared between 5 – 6 families.
Because the Sasak people in the village are Muslims, there is a mosque in the middle of the village which is only open during the prayer time.
Here almost every household sell souvenirs ranging from beaded jewelries to Sasak design weaved clothes. Every nook and corner of the Sasak Sade Village lies traditional wooden weaving machine with women manning them.
Where are the men, you may want to ask? While the women earn their living by weaving, the men are in charge with farming. Back then, a woman could only be married off if she were able to weave clothes.
In the middle of Sasak Sade Village lies a dead tree. A beautiful place for photography.
The trip to Sasak Sade Village was really an eye opener for their tradition and way of life are totally different from mine.
For more info on Makassar, please visit Indonesia Travel.
The trip to Sasak Sade Village was made possible by the invitation of Ministry of Tourism Indonesia for Trip of Wonders – Wonderful Indonesia campaign.