LOMBOK TRAVEL GUIDE – Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), has a lot of tradition that still maintained by Sasak tribe (Native people of Lombok). One of the tradition namely Ceremony “Gawe Beleq Nyunatan” (Gala circumcision) performed by villagers of Bayan, Bayan sub-disctric, Nort Lombok (KLU). This ceremony is very eagerly awaited by the local community because implemented once in 8 years. Moreover, the event is held for 11 days and 10 nights in cooperating.
The traditional ceremony “Gawe Beleq Nyunatan” this time was held in Orong Bat (Lorong Barat-west corridor) of Bayan, which focused on “Berugaq Agung” (house barn without walls thatched roof). There are 6 Berugaq in the Berugaq Agung (Supreme) that indicates the amount of Hamlet there. There is a major Berugaq covered fabric used as a place to put the herilooms of royal heritage Bayan sacred and magical high value.
The heirlooms are guarded by the royal wives who stay temporarily in Bayan Main Berugaq during the ceremonial procession. It means that, after the traditional ceremony is completed, the heirlooms were returned to their original place. In the Berugaq Agung also contained a “Bale Lumbung“, as the information center of the ceremonial procession. There are equipment and sound system loudspeakers were used to inform, organize, and give orders from indigenous elders to their people.
During the traditional ceremony procession, the whole society of Bayan village, invited guests, and visitors must use the Sasak traditional clothes. It is consisted of “Dodot” (sarong) and “Sapuq” (headband) for men and “Kemben” for women. The traditional dresses of Sasak area Sasak batik. A time of using the traditional clothes, men and women must pass through a procession of “Tepayas” (dress up).
Interestingly, the man and women in the village of Bayan, their left hands should be hidden by wrapping a cloth on the left hand itself. This means that people in Bayan village must hold negative traits represented by the left hand. The other meaning is every guest who comes to the village has to be greeted with goodness symbolized by the right hand.
The traditional ceremony of Gawe Beleq Nyunatan this time, there are 8 nobleman’s son who will be circumcised mass. Hereditary nobility in Bayang kingdom was given the title of “Raden” for men and “Dende / Lale” for women. It is contrast to a noblemen on the island of Lombok who was given the title “Lalu” for men and “Baiq” for women. The preparation of this traditional ceremony was conducted for 1 year prior to the day of execution.
During the 11 days execution of this ceremony, there are about 30’s traditional procession to go through. The procession for the sake of the procession is carried out every day to be in accordance with the direction of the Cairman of Stakeholders (Leader) of local Indigenous. Some of the unique processions like Bisok Menik (Wash Rice), Ngalu Aik (Find Water), Nampah (Slaughter), Periapan (Cooking food), Bedak Krames (Shampooing), Beperaje (Stretcher), Peresean (Adu Agility), Nyunatan (circumcision), and others.
The procession of “Bisok Menik” is carried out by women that dressed with a custom holding a basket of rice to be washed. The men are guarded them wearing the traditional costume while “Begending” (playing a musical instrument). They walk about 350 meters to the river. At the river, the procession of “Bisok Menik” implemented. Once the rice is washed, they go back to the “Berugaq Agung” accompanied by group of music Gending for doing “Periapan” procession.
The Procession of “Periapan” is doing by women in cooperation. The way to cook, cookware and others are conducted through a series of rules. Ine of them is using firewood. Once the meal is ready, the men serve the food and drinks to the guest as their duty. The guests sit in Berugaq or below ground mats and enjoy the food and drinks in the way “Begibung” (eat together).
The process of “Ngalu Aik” is the same like “Bisok Menik”, the difference is that procession “Aik NGalu” taking the water at some springs point around the village of Bayan. Before and after the water is taken, there some rituals that held in “Berugaq Agung”. This water will be used for various purposes of “Gawe Beleq”. One of them is used by Kyai (religious leaders) to perform ablutions, before performing some religious rituals, such as the “Nampah” Procession.
The procession of “Nampah” is undertaken almost every day, between 3-5 cows and a few of chickens. The cow is tied up and soothed advance in the field. Once ready to be butchered, the Kyai who are seat at “Berugaq Agung” called. The Kyai accompanied by his student then perform slaughterhouses. If the animal is dead, then the Kyai and his student return to the “Berugaq Agung”. At the place, the Kyai perform rituals handed to student to continue the buthcer.
About 3 minutes to perform the ritual, the students back to the field and sat cross-legged beside the dead body of a cow. The student performs about 2 minutes. Once the ritual is completed, the student back to “Berugaq Agung” and shook hands with the Kyai. Then people are worked together to cut and clean the beef to be cooked.
The next procession in “Bedak Krames” in which the childern of the nobility were given powder and washed their hair. Before circumcision, these children will pass Porcession “Ngerendem Kanak Tesunat” (soak child will be cicumcised) on the river. The next morning the children who will be circumcised will be carried in procession “Praje” (strecther). When this event took place, long traffic jams on the road will happen because the procession involving many people.
The children who will be circumcised wear a complete dress like prince with its accessories. Commonly, the young or alder sister of the children also follow the Praje procession and dressed like a princess. The procession will be accompanied by women and men in Sasak Traditional clothing. The event will be more festive with Sasak traditional music, “Gendang Beleq” and “Kecimol” (combination Gendang Beleq and modern music).
After the procession of “Praje”, the procession of “Nyunatan” is conducted. The children who have been on crutches and paraded around the village will feel happy, so they are not afraid to be circumcised. Docter, chaplain, Indigenous bearers, parents, and communities together read Sholawat when childern circumcised. Nyunatan ritual is the culmination of Gawe Beleq for 11 days. Various closing rituals also continue to be held, so it would be very interesting if travelers followed and watched them.
Gawe Beleq procession is sensed not complete if you do not see them directly. You will in the kingdom era while following each of the procession. Gawe Beleq is very thick with values of mutual cooperation. In Bayan, there are also traditional ceremonies Gawe Beleq Maulidan (Birth of the Prophet Muhammad), Gawe Beleq Ngurisan (cut baby’s hair), and other are held every year.
Bayan village is consisting of Bat Orong (Lorong Barat-West corridor), Timuq Orong (Lorong Timur-East corridor), and others. If you visit and attended the ceremonies, then you must comply with the rules that apply there. One of them is wearing the Sasak Traditional clothing. It is because the traditional rituals are performed with the full magic. We suggest that your camera is ready with an empty memory so you can capture every procession perfectly.
Source : Lombok Magazine Editor : Jackysan