Baduy Cultural Conservation
The Baduy community in Banten is an utterly unique and closed society, which can be reached via a 10 km village road from either Cibolegar or Cibungur village in Leuwidamar district. The 50 km road from Rangkasbitung is steep. In April and May, the Baduy community is closed to outsiders, as during this time it commemorates certain ceremonies, called Seba, the offering of part of their agricultural products to the Head of the District, Sub-Regent and the Chief Resident. During this ceremony the "Puun of Baduy" sends out a group of representatives of Baduy Dalam people as well as Baduy Luar to act as the community's spokesmen. When conducting this Seba ceremony the Baduy Dalam members refuse to ride any vehicle, instead, the distance of150 km is traveled on foot as proof of their perseverance. To enter this very special Baduy area, one should obtain written permission from the Rangkasbitung District Office stating the purpose of the visit, which may take one whole week to process.
The Badui is a tribe of between 2,000 and 4,000 Sundanese speaking people living in 27 villages in the mountains south of Rangkasbitung. These people still have their own culture. They fight against attempts of the government to make them part of the modern world. Recently they won a struggle against western schools in their area. The culture is very impressive although it is not easy to learn something about this area and their people. There are three villages in the center of the area (Cibeo, Cikartawana and Cikeusik), which cannot be visited. Here live about 40 families of the purest Badui stock. The culture here is almost unharmed yet. The 24 villages in the outer circle are each connected to one of the inner three from which they are ruled. Three of these outer villages can be visited (Leuwidamar, Lebak and Kadukatug). Only visit this area if we are fit and used to adjust to local life forms. Bring food and gifts for the local people and enough money. It is advisable not to go with a group of more then eight people and to behave our self. Only then the people will accept us as a visitor. To enter the area we must first obtain a permit at the tourist office of Rangkasbitung at Pahlawan Street 13. From Rangkasbitung we have to find transport to the entry point of the Badui area at Cibolger. In Leuwidamar, we can stay the night at the police chief (kepala polisi). Give him a donation for the food and drinks. We can ask him also if he knows a guide who can bring us to some other villages.
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