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Introducing the Baduy tribe in Indonesia

Introducing the Baduy tribe in Indonesia

The Baduy tribe is a traditional Bantenese community that lives in the southeastern part of Indonesian province of Banten. They are one of the few groups that are almost completely isolated from the outside world. Visitors and tourists are not allowed to in their villages. 

In fact, according to Antara news agency (Baduy tribe remains free of coronavirus), the Baduy are so isolated that they have not been affected by COVID-19, the community continue with their lives as usual farming in fields, beekeeping, cultivating palm sugar and making woven clothes. 

To them the contact to the exterior is so relevant that it determines how they divide themselves; which is into two groups, the Inner Baduy and the Outer Baduy, separating the ones who are in some kind of contact with the outside world and the ones who aren’t. 

The Inner Baduy live in the forest and inhabit three villages and are very obedient regarding the rules set by their customary leader, called Pu’un. Some of the rules they must comply with are that they must reject technology, money and the institution of schools and they can only communicate in their native language, the Sundanese. 

On the other side, the Outer Baduy live in an area surrounding the Inner Baduy, they have accepted modernization and are familiar to foreign customs like schools and money. 

Once a year they celebrate the Seba Baduy, a ritual for which both Inner and Outer Baduy emerge into the world to pilgrim 115 kilometers on foot, descending from their villages in the Kendeng Mountains to enter the city of Serand, the capital of the province of Banten. They carry fruits and vegetables with them as presents to the province’s officials. Seba celebrates the last day of a 3 month long fasting rite, with the gifts presented in the capital to the rulers of Banten the Baduy express their hopes and wishes for good governance of their people.

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