Karo Ceremony


Hammam Rofiqi Agustapraja, ST., MT.

Ngadas village is one of the villages inhabited by Tengger tribes, people life in Ngadas village still accord with culture and hereditary tradition of Tengger tribes. Several rituals and beliefs also existed in Tengger tribes, such as Karo ceremony. Problems occurred when there were more people live in Ngadas village, but this is not balanced with unfoldment of village area, considering location of this village within region of Conservative Forest, lies in mountain area of Bromo-Tengger-Semeru and by local government or related agency in this matter would be Forestry Agency, has limited the area of Ngadas village, thus making Ngadas village become more dense. One problem occurs would be how they could hold ritual-ceremony in religious-beliefs such as Karo ceremony in such a limited place? Through phenomenological study and viewed from space establishment theory, this study was expected to be able in giving description concerning space establishment that used for cultural ritual Karo ceremony by Ngadas villagers, Tengger.
Keywords: Ngadas village, Karo ceremony, space-culture

Ngadas village administratively lies in Kecamatan Poncokusumo, Malang Regency, East Java Province. People in Ngadas village are the only Tengger tribe that lived in Malang regency area. According to the saying of village elders, Ngadas village established around 1794, emerge from runaways of Majapahit people, since there is exhortation from the Kingdom and new religion that is Islam. Those that still want to hold on their beliefs run into Tengger mountain. At first they only inhabited lower part of mountain slope at about 600-1200 m asl. In time, at mid-eighteen centuries, coerced cultivation program by Netherland has made almost all slope area to become coffee plantation, in which coffee is a superior commodity expected from this program. Strong influence from this program has cause several people lives in mountain slope conduct a migration to stay in upper mountain slope or at about 1200-2500 m asl. This was done to avoiding outer community influence and to keep maintaining a tradition held by the community since Majapahit era (Hafner, 1999). This also occurs to the people of Ngadas.
            Different with general Tengger people that hold Hindu as their religion, Ngadas people mostly Buddhist, this was happening since people of Ngadas village has been isolated from access and relationship with other village, particularly with other Tengger village. Thus sense of belonging own by its people has shaped kinship system formed based on territory. Other than that, for Tengger people, particularly those lived at Ngadas village, marriage system commonly endogamous with the objective to maintain Tengger ethnicity.
People of Ngadas lives in a place administratively called a village, lead by a Kepala Desa (village chief) which is selected by the people, and would hold this position for lifetime. In ritual culture-religion, people of Ngadas would be lead by a Dukun, and this dukun was inherited from prior dukun and cannot be represented by others. Each ritual ceremony at Ngadas village should be lead by a dukun and thus the role of dukun is highly important in their social-cultural life of this people.
            People of Ngadas have knowing four kinship bonds:
  1. Sa‘omah. Kinship in the form of core family
  2. Sa‘dulur, Additional member of family such as grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, niece-nephew, etc.
  3. Sa’deso Kinship group of whole village
  4. Wong Tengger Largest kinship group that covers whole clan
Social-cultural factors in kinship relationship existed in Ngadas village has highly affecting the formation of micro and macro spatial pattern of village. This could be seen when they conduct ritual-religion ceremonies, either in the level of Sa’omah, Sa’dulur, Sa’deso or the largest kinship Wong Tengger, they would form a common space as cultural space that is space used as their traditional ritual location.
These ceremonies are:
1.       Kasada Ceremony, The Largest Tengger’s Ceremony;
2.       Karo Ceremony, Karo festival or Karo feast day;
3.       Unan-Unan Ceremony, The ceremony is held once in 8 years of experience;
4.     Barikan Ceremony, held after the earthquake hit, the disaster eclipses, or other events that affects life villagers;
5.       Pujan Mubeng Ceremony. This Ceremony held in the ninth month or Panglong Kesanga, on the ninth day after the full moon;
6.       Birth Ceremony;
7.       Entas-Entas Ceremony;
8.       Tugel Kuncung or tugel gomba Ceremony;
9.       Marriage Ceremony;
10.    Death Ceremony;
11.    Liliwet Ceremony.

Large ceremony within clan such as Upacara Kasada conducted by people of Tengger in the crate of Bromo Mountain.
While Karo ceremony, Unan-unan, Barikan, Pujan Mubeng is ceremonies within village (Sa’deso) but also use agenda of Tengger people.
For Birth ceremony, Entas-entas, Tugel Kuncung/Tugel Gomba, Marriage, Liliwet, is ceremony of Sa’dulur and Sa’omah, in this matter it only covers small kinship.
This study was conducted to found out how does space formulation used to conduct ritual cultural-religion existed in Ngadas village? It could be used as guidelines description to conserve this space existence as part of their ritual cultural-religion.
According to Dharmojo et al in Sugiarto (2006:27), there are several opinion tries to define space:
  1. Space is a place; a dynamical location with things directly related and has qualitative meaning in its use;
  2. Space in its concern with behavior is a place to interact between human that has activities and behavior;
  3. Space established with ingredients and structure so that there will be hole for human activities;
  4. Space in its relevance with psychology that is space related with perception of its actor’s egocentricity, that space would be depending on its experience diversity, where the same place would be addressed differently by each person.
According to Robinson (2004) that explains hierarchy of space, suggesting as follows:

  1. Public civic domain, was such as main road in which some people could gather, 500 people and more (foreigner domain, open for public access, in which everyone could enter);
  2. Public neighborhood domain, was such as main road or side road that form sub-part of bigger urban region, regional unit of 100-500 people (domain in which everyone could go or be at this place with certain reason);
  3. Semi-public (collective domain), was such an estate road that contain about 5 until 30 people (a place in which everyone could be there for a reason, but neighbors could feel when there is people coming without any objective and thus look suspicious, and they would feel uncomfortable);
  4. Semi private domain, was such as grass yard, front porch or entrance (area side by side with private area controlled by inhabitant and when someone gain entrance without permission would create particular sanction from inhabitant);
  5. Private domain was such as living room, kitchen or dining room that generally used by 1-6 people in the house;
  6. Semi-intimate domain was a place such as hall related with bedroom and bathroom;
  7. Intimate domain was such as bedroom or bathroom (an exclusive domain for individual and other should gain permission to enter).
According to Lang (1987), common space would give opportunity for people in meeting others but to realize this, it would need several catalysts. Catalyst could be done individual by bringing people together in an activity, discussion or general topic. Common space could an open or closed area. According to Rustam Hakim (1987), open space basically is a good neighborhood either individually or in group and could be used by public (everyone).
            According to Kamus Bahasa Indonesia, Budaya (cultural) could be defines as mind; thought; human thought. While realization of culture according to Koentjaraningrat (1990) in Adinugroho (2003:19), there is 3 form of culture, that is:

1.    Ideal form; as a complex of ideas, concepts, values, norms, rules; mostly refers to as culture system;
2.    Behavioral form; as a complex of human activities; typically refers to as social system;
3.    Physical form; as human craft which refers to as physical culture;

Ideal form
Behavioral form
Physical form
Think à idea
Doing à Norms
Moving à Thing
as a complex of ideas, concepts, values, norms, rules; mostly refers to as culture system
as a complex of human activities; typically refers to as social system
as human craft which refers to as physical culture
Abstract, behavior, Arranging, giving, requiring,  
Social system, human activities, human interactive.
Physic, concrete
Religious beliefs, Folklores.
Rules, Customs, Rites, Ritual.
Building, Artifacts, Object d’art.

Table1. Three forms of culture according to Koentjaraningrat.
Origin: Adinugroho 2003

According to the above literature review, we could define that culture space is a or several places, which has relation with attitude, that is space as interaction place between human in activity and human with attitude while holding some human thought in the form of tradition and provision, enacted in certain period (as long as tradition was hold).
Material and Method of Study
Method used in this study is analytic descriptive method, with descriptive study aimed to seek factual information in order to create imaging in field, and by seeing phenomenon existing on the field, and these findings would be analyze to obtain data inferences.

Result and Discussion
Village Existence: People of Ngadas village divided their village with Head Zone, Body Zone and Feet Zone.
1.    Head Zone, is a sacred Zone, area located highest among all and used particularly as their praying location. In this place there were Padanyangan, Sanggar Pemujaan, Village Cemetery, and Pure.
2.    Body Zone, is a public zone, this was meant for public activities area, with schools (elementary and junior high) and also village hall.
3.    Feet Zone, is residential zone that covers all people of Ngadas

This zoning was also influencing the life of social-cultural people of Ngadas, such as, they would only able to establish their residence at feet zone and not unfolded it into sacred zone.
In sacred zone there is also custom rules, that is no entrance in Padanyangan except together with dukun as their religion leader.
This zoning was also function to protect their cultural intactness including when Islam enter the village, they didn’t want to put religious building (in this matter, mosque) other than their building at sacred zone, but they put it in feet zone since they didn’t think of it as sacred building.

 Cultural Space
At Ngadas village there is a very important space (room) as ritual location (other than places at sacred zone: Padanyangan, Pure, Sanggar pemujaan, Public Cemetery), these were important places since it is the requirement to have ritual legitimation, although those places didn’t assumed to be sacred in normal days, and this places becoming important when ceremonies was held. These places are:
1.    House of Village Chief: Ngadas village didn’t have Special House of Village Chief. This house lies in feet zone and portraying common villager that carry the confidence of people in becoming village chief.
However, each ceremony in village scale, always started from Ngadas village chief’s house named Bapak Kartono. These ceremonies would include: Karo, Unan-unan, Barikan, Pujan Mubeng. These activities would use terrace and side yard about ± 300 m 2, field that use to be semi-public has become public zone during this ceremonies.
Thus, role of village chief in this area is highly important, that is as massa gatherer before implementing subsequent ritual.

2.    Village road: Ngadas village also held two main road, that is main road that divided the village and common road that become road that connecting this village with another village.
Other than circulating facilities, these roads would also held cultural space for custom ceremonies that is circulation space from the house of village chief toward sacred zone (Padanyangan).
3.    Public/Village Cemetery: In general, this cemetery is no different than any other cemetery, with its vast area of land containing parallel tombs, but on certain days in which ritual was held, this place would become common space-cultural space, since the center of all village-wide activities would end up in this place.
Normally, they would hold dining festive and entertainment (tayuban) in here. In which each family would create their own “space” to gather in their family tomb. According to them, if they had bad or good times, they should always remember about their ancestral (family tombs).

Formation of Cultural Space in Karo Ceremony as Ritual in Ngadas Village
            This ceremony was held for 7 days, and held for ceremonial meal that involving all village officials and its people. Space being used in this ceremony would be house of village chief, village roads and village cemetery.
            House of village chief was chosen as the place to hold this ceremony since the villager trust the village chief as their protector, thus by holding it in his house this would function as respect. Compared with other kind of activities, Karo ceremony is participatory by their people, either in funding and labor. From funding, to hold this Karo ceremony most villagers would have to pay about Rp 75.000 for + 350 KK. Meanwhile, for cooking labor in kitchen, it would use all villagers’ labor. 
            Considering that Karo ceremony last for 7 days, below was ritual schedule and cultural space that being formulated.

At 18.00:
First day of Karo ceremony was started when sun has set; this was due to Java days started when the sun has set. Activity held would be Tari Sodoran that is such as traditional dance followed by people of Ngadas village and this would last until the sun rise. Place used is yard of village chief’ house.
Tari Sodor is symbolization movement of the beginning (process) of human which being visualized with movement considering polite behavior. Tari Sodor was done by people from village of Tengger tribe inhabiting Bromo Mountain. Dancer would use sodor (stick) in which during its climax would spurting seeds symbolizing fertility. Tari Sodor only performed in traditional ceremony of Karo. Dancers could be paired in males, but also could be paired between man and woman.
      Other than, Tari Sodor, as complement there would be food and drinks, this could be consume by anyone who feel hungry, and to separate between place of Tari Sodor and place to eat there would be only separating fabric. Food provision was done by people of Karo village, either the one who cook or preparing food, and space used would be large kitchen provided by village chief of Ngadas.

 DAY 2:
At 09.00: Second day started when each family head brought food wrapped in banana’s leaf, this wrapped food consist of rice, market snack (jajan pasar) and banana.
            Food collection would be done at front terrace of village chief which has been spread by tarpaulin and enacting order thus family not yet called would have to wait on the street side.
At 10.00: After all wrapped food was collected, dukun would be praying on it for about 15 minutes. When this has been done, this wrapped food would be grabbed for ‘alap berkah’ or gaining luck.
At 11.00: After grabbing food, dukun would come to each house and every door to door to pray for the safety of the family, and this ritual would be stopped when it is struck afternoon and would be continued by the day after. 

DAY 3 and 4
Dukun would have to complete visitation toward people’s house, consist of no less than 350 KK (family head).
DAY 5 and 6
There is no particular ritual; only each family would visit their neighbor, and their relatives, such as when Iedul Fitri holiday for Moslems.

DAY 7:
This would be the peak of ritual activity in Karo ceremony of Ngadas village, or called as SADRANAN / NYADRAN
At 09.00 : Ngadas officials would gather in the house of village chief, and there would be an activity for entertainment “Jaran Joget” as one ritual instrument, which become genuine culture of Ngadas village. For people of Ngadas, they would come to Village Cemetery while carrying food and their best clothes, this activity would be started when “Jaran Joget” and village officials would enter Village Cemetery. During their way, “Jaran Joget” would show their action along the village road.
At 12.00 : “Jaran Joget” and village officials would arrive in village cemetery and showing its action, with all villagers preparing food, they gather above the tomb of their own ancestor/parents.
At 12.30 : There is short speech from village official, and then dukun desa would pray for the safety and bless of the village and ended with dining festive, complemented with “Tayuban” on stage build in Village Cemetery.
After this dining festive, all villagers would go back to their own home.
Formation of cultural space occur during Karo ceremony, started with villagers who hold custom-culture norms existing at Ngadas village, in which people would adjusting themselves with the existing space, and there would be form a cultural space for Karo ceremony ritual. Thus, local custom role in space formation has become a standard


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