Tarik Batu Ceremony in Sumba, Tradition to Respect The Ancestors

Tarik Batu Ceremony in Sumba, Tradition to Respect The Ancestors, Parinseja.com – Known as one of the areas that is rich in potential tourism, Sumba also has unique traditions and ceremonies. It is can be a cultural tourism for the traveler.

Megalithic artifacts, especially stone graves and menhirs, can be found in Sumba. The Sumba community also knows the Tarik Batu ceremony or stone pulling ceremony as part of a tradition to respect ancestors.

This traditional ceremony is a funeral ceremony of the Marapu tradition, the traditional belief of the Sumba people. The process of drawing stone graves from the place of origin to the new location is a very interesting phenomenon.

stone pulling ceremony in sumba
(Photo: maxfmwaingapu.com)

Hundreds of people worked together to pull graves weighing tens of tons. This activity can take days. However, recently the withdrawal of many grave stones was done with the help of heavy equipment and trucks.

In Tarik Batu Ceremony in West Sumba, the stone drawn is a rectangular megalithic tomb stone similar to the altar. This ceremony was conducted with the intention of preparing the best stone tomb as a tribute to the ancestors.

The stone was dragged from outside the village area and brought into the village area to be carved with Sumba’s distinctive shapes and carvings. Furthermore, the stone tomb was used to bury the dead.

This grave is communal. Because one grave is intended for the body of a husband and wife, children or grandchildren.

Tarik Batu Ceremony is expensive. Before the ceremony is conducted, families and communities perform rituals and sacrifice animals such as buffalo and pigs. They partyed to invite families and other communities in large numbers. In this ritual, prayers and dances are performed throughout the night.

megalithic tradition of sumba
(Photo: femina.co.id)

When stone pulling ceremony, the stone tomb is decorated with horses (tenan) in the form of two whole round logs that are the same size as the stone. Both ends of the wood are joined together and shaped like a horse’s head.

Tenan symbolizes the boat as a vehicle that will carry a stone tomb. Above tenan are given a rectangular wooden frame around the stone, as a place to place paji and flags.

Paji is a stretch of white cloth, while the flag (regi khobu) is in the form of woven fabrics of original Sumba motifs which are donations from relatives. Paji and flags have the meaning to “shade” the journey so that it is always cool and shady.

The Tarik Batu Ceremony in Sumba is led by Paaung Watu. He played a role in arranging the ceremony. Paaung Watu will shout words of enthusiasm.

Paaung Watu will sprinkle coconut milk (way malala) into the stone, as a symbol of washing stones so that the stone is easier to pull. On the stone also prepared gongs (katala) and beduk (laba) as musical instruments to encourage the participants of the ritual.

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