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The Tenggerese : The Native Society of Mt Bromo

Posted by : Harmawan's Site |

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Tenggerese is the native ethnic who lives in Bromo and around

Having found a “Tengger” charter in 851 saka (years in 929) and “Penanjakan” charter in 1324 saka (years in 1402) is known that a “Wandalit” village in the Tengger mountainous, there is “Hulun Hyang” (God men = people who have strong religion), they are called by “Hila – hila”, it’s meant “Holy”. Due to, Tengger is free from Majapahit tax. It’s a special place since ancient kingdom period in Java land

The Tenggerese society is obeclient to God, have history relation with Majapahit. A king gives special attention to that people. So, it’s difference from Hindu follower in Tengger and in Bali

According to etimology, “Tengger” means stand (without moving) and filosofically “Tengger” means “signing a good manner”. It can be proved by Tengger society that they live full of peace full, safe, there is no thief or criminal. In mitos, Tenggerese is known coming from the word Teng (the last part of Rara Anteng’s name) and Ger (the last part of Jaka Seger’s name). They are a couple married who are the beginning of Tengger society


The Tenggerese Religion

Hindu in Tengger and Bali are different. In Tengger, there is no Kasta, people believe that their God (named “Sang Hyang Maha Agung”) is a leader in the universe. They believe something hidden and nature phenomenas such as sun eclipse, moon eclipse and earth quake. They still believe dynamism, fithesisme and believe to “Bhatara – bhatara (servant for the God)”.

It’s like Bhatara Krisna who will protects the people, Bhatara Iswara with the white symbol keep the east. Bhatara Brahma with red symbol keep the south, Bharata Wisnu with the black symbol keep the north, Bhatara Maha Dewa with the yellow symbol keep the west. Batara Guru’s symbol is five colours to keep the middle. Tenggerese pray in the morning, afternoon and evening

After the government confirms that Tenggerese who is Hindu Dharma, is built the Pura, places for praying. Their attitude is based on “Karma Phala”, it’s means that the result of the action. They believe tat good action (called by “cubhakarma”) will get a good resul and bad action (called by “acubhakarma) will get a bad result. Karma Phala become a motivator to do a good action. They are honest, simple and respective. They never lock their door in the evening and there is no thief here. It’s caused they believe the Karma Phala. They keep it in traditionally in the outside of the house without guard

The groups of Tengger society is lead by “Medicine Man”, in Tengger is called by “Dukun” who has a duty and responsibility in leading the ceremony and praying
He is helped by others, they are :
1. The Old Men (called by “Wong Sepuh”), his duty is to help the medicine man to prepare “the present”, here is called by “Sesaji” in dead ceremony
2. The Wedding Helper (called by “Legen”), his duty is to help the medicine man to prepare the equipment and “sesaji” in wedding ceremony
3. The Circumcise Doctor (called by “Dukun Sunat”), his duty is to circumcise the son (nearly adult). But it’s different from Islam, cirumucing in Tengger just cut a little
4. The Baby Nurse (called by “Dukun Bayi”), his / her duty is to help a mother who will get birth


Medicine man here is very important in Tengger, so every village has medicine man. He’s choosen by people with the condition :
1. Married man
2. The son of medicine man
3. Mastering the charms


To exam the medicine man to be is done in Poten, the place where Yadnya ceremony is done. This examination is done at Kasada ceremony


The Tenggerese Culture


Due to the Tenggerese are also Majapahit people, so they bring the Majapahit kingdom culture at the new area. Because they want to hide their identity. They escape from Majapahit kingdom. But their culture still alive up to now. They speak Javanese Tengger and it’s different from east java. They know “semedi” (pray ritual), “ngebleng fasting” (not eat and drink at all), “mutih fasting” (only eat rice and water), it’s all depent on sun calculation and called by candrasengkala

They use Caka Year where for one year is consist of 354 days. It’s divided into 12 months : Kasa Month, Karo Month, Katiga Month, Kapat Month, Kalima Month, Kanem Month, Kapitu Month, Kawolu Month (26 days), Kasanga Month, Kasepuluh Month, Desta Month and Kasada Month. Special in Kasada Month, the Tenggerese society celebrate the “Wilujengan Kasada”

This celebration is famous with called “Yadnya Kasada” which is known and seen by thousands visitors



The Young people

Native Tengger people do not want to leave their village because they think that it’s enough to fulfill their lifes needs. They plants potatoes, cabbage, vegetable, and also corn for main food. In general, they have strong power to walk far away and bring an heavy thing.
The characteristic of this people is wearing “Sarung” wherever they go, men or women. The more of young men in Tengger don’t want to get the knowledge from other city, it’s caused that they love very much with their family and avoid to separate them. Also, their faith with culture and religion, makes them pure and strong, not be influenced by other life and culture style

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