History and Culture of The Anak Dalam Tribe (Kubu Tribe)


INDEPHEDIA.com - The Inner Child Tribe --Indonesian: Suku Anak Dalam (SAD)--, known as the Kubu Tribe or Orang Rimba (Jungle People), are one of the minority ethnic groups living on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia.

The Anak Dalam tribe lives in the provinces of Jambi and South Sumatra. They mostly live in Jambi Province, with an estimated current population of around thousands of people.

According to oral tradition, the Anak Dalam tribe is a Maalau people who have gone astray, who fled to the jungle around Air Hitam, Bukit Duabelas National Park. They were later named Segayo Ancestors.

Another tradition says they came from the Pagaruyung area, West Sumatra, who fled to Jambi.

This is reinforced by the fact that the adat of the Anak Dalam tribe has the same language and customs as the Minangkabau, such as the matrilineal kinship system.

Until now, the origins of the Anak Dalam tribe in Jambi Province and parts of South Sumatra have yet to come to light.

Researchers still don't know concrete facts about how this isolated tribe came to be and what caused it to live isolated and primitive.

An article that was published in BMT, Ministry of Social Affairs in 1988, stated that the Anak Dalam tribe came from the Kingdom of Jambi.

In the text it was stated that they were a group of soldiers who were sent to fight against the Kingdom of Tanjung Jabung.

In the article it was stated that King Pagar Ruyung sent troops who had agreed to destroy the kingdoms that challenged the Jambi Kingdom.

In the story, the troops had even promised not to return before their mission was successful.

But unfortunately, in the middle of the trip they ran out of supplies. They were trapped in the middle of a vast wilderness.

The soldiers who had already promised were embarrassed to go home. Even to continue the journey is no longer possible to fight with starvation conditions.

Finally, the soldiers decided to stay, silent and secluded in the forest.

Over time they lived and formed their own culture to become the Anak Dalam Tribe that we know today.

In Jambi Province, in general they live in three different ecological regions.

They are the Orang Kubu in the north of Jambi Province (around Bukit 30 National Park), Bukit 12 National Park and the southern region of Jambi Province (along the Sumatra causeway).

They live a nomadic life and base their lives on hunting and gathering, although some of them now have rubber and other agricultural lands.

Beliefs of the Anak Dalam Tribe

The majority of the Kubu tribe adheres to animistic beliefs. This tribe does not have beliefs like the religions that are generally adhered to in Indonesia.

They only believe in something they think is great and powerful. In addition, like an Avatar, they believe in the four elements such as water, earth, fire and wind, which they consider powerful.

This tribe also believes that the spirits of people who have died will immediately return to heaven, to the place where they came from and were accepted by the king of Souls.

That's why they perform tribute ceremonies to people who have died.

That way, they believe the spirit will not disturb those who are still alive and go to heaven soon.

Socio-Cultural of the Anak Dalam Tribe

The Anak Dalam tribe is said to have high supernatural powers. However, this tribe lives simply and supports themselves with what is available in the forest.

Hunting and looking for fruits or plants is their way of making ends meet.

In the forest, they are divided into several small groups. Each of these groups has a group leader and their respective hunting areas. Their group leader called Tumenggung.

The daily clothing of this tribe is a loincloth for men and subordinates for women.

Women only wear cloth covering their breasts when interacting with outsiders.

The Rules of Life for the Anak Dalam Tribe

In carrying out their daily lives, the Anak Dalam Tribe has customary rules that the local community must know and obey.

Here are 4 rules of life for the Suku Anak Dalam (SAD) that we need to know:

1. Abstinence from the World of Light

The Orang Rimba community refers to life outside the jungle as the 'world of light'.

Likewise with the people who live in the area of the Anak Dalam Tribe which they call a bright society.

For them, interacting with the "bright world" is systematically restricted and governed by customary arrangements.

There are also those who say they believe that the people of the "light world" are man eaters.

That is why the Orang Rimba community is very careful when interacting with outsiders.

2. Dreaming

One of the customs of the Anak Dalam tribe is a nomadic life or changing places of residence.

If one of their family members dies, they will leave their place of residence.

Then, they look for a new place to live. It aims to get rid of the sadness experienced.

They call this kind of activity Melangun. They will remain dreamy, until the sadness of being left behind by a loved one is gone.

3. Prohibition of Being Alone

In the Suku Anak Dalam (Inner Child Tribe) community, there are strict rules regarding men and women. They strictly forbade men and women to be alone.

Those who are caught will be subject to forced marriage punishment. However, before being married, they will first be punished with rattan caning because they are considered to be an embarrassment to their parents.

Apart from that, there are other rules. Foreign men who enter the forest must be accompanied by a man from the Anak Dalam Tribe.

Even after entering, they have to shout “Ado Jentan Kiuna? (is there a man there?)” to see if another man was there.

If they get answers from those who are shouted at, they are only allowed to enter the forest.

4. Take a Shower

The Anak Dalam tribe lives in harmony with nature. They live simply in the forest.

They are used to sleeping by lying on the ground. However, there are several groups that set up tents in the forest.

For matters of bathing, they make use of rivers in the forest and around their homes.

They don't need to use soap or other toiletries. They only need to throw themselves into the river until they are considered clean.

Yes, the Anak Dalam Tribe has its own way of surviving. However their life and culture, they are part of Indonesia.

Their culture is part of Indonesia's diversity. Our ethnicity and culture may be different, but we are Indonesia.

Equally important, the Anak Dalam tribe also has the right to receive the same treatment from the government as other ethnic groups in Indonesia. (BD/R-01)

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