The Beauty of Bayan
Lombok is an island in West Nusa Tenggara province and it forms part of Lesser Sunda Island’s chain. The island was home to 3.31 million Indonesians as recorded in 2014 census (Wikipedia). The island administratively divided into four regencies and one city. They are North Lombok Regency with Tanjung as the capital city. West Lombok Regency and Gerung is its capital city. Central Lombok Regency with Praya as the capital city. East Lombok Regency with Selong as its capital city and the last one is Mataram City. Have you ever listened “Gili” when talking about Lombok? Gili itself means “Little Island”. Those little islands are one of tourism spots in there. Lombok has several little islands around it, such as Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, Gili Meno etc.
Around 85% populations in Lombok are Sasak, whose migrates from Java Island in the first millennium BC. The rest of it approximately 10 – 15% are Balinese, Tionghoa, Javanese, Sumbawanese and Arab-Indonesians. The Sasak population is culturally and linguistically closely similar to the Balinese, however unlike Balinese that majorities are Hindu, in Lombok the majorities are Muslim.
Lombok has a lot of beautiful tourism spots just like in Bali, Java and other Islands in Indonesia. However, people currently prefer to choose Bali as their priority spending enitre vacation instead of visiting other places. Of course, Bali is one of beautiful island too that Indonesia has, but since Indonesia is an archipelago tropical country that has much potential tourism, we do have a lot of spots to visit. One of them is Bayan in North Lombok.
Bayan is one of district located in North Lombok Regency. The total populations in 2011 are approximately 48.135 people. The popularity of Bayan village might not as famous as Bali or Yogyakarta, but Bayan Village has different uniqueness we need to know deeply. Bayan is known with Wetu Telu tradition, Masjid Bayan Beleq (Bayan Beleq Mosque) and Sasak Bayan.
What do you know about Wetu Telu? Wetu Telu means Tiga Waktu (Three Time). For those who have heard about Wetu Telu, it’s neither religion nor custom. It’s only about philosophical idea which can be translated as Three Worlds. The first world is unseen creation period. The second one is our visible world right now and the third one is the afterlife. This philosophical idea tells us that as Human Being we need to always remember that there are Three Worlds, while we still alive keep being good and doing well then!
Basically, Wetu Telu was introduced in 7th Century by the early Muslim scholars in Bayan. Some people might define that Bayan people do three times prayer per day and it’s quite different with other Muslim people do. Obviously that’s totally wrong. Muslim people in Bayan just like other Muslim in other places that they do five times prayer a day. Before modern Islam came to Bayan, people in Bayan admitted that they had accepted Islam. They only followed Sunnah rituals (unrequired religion practice), when you do Sunnah you will get merits but when you don’t do Sunnah then it is fine. It happened along Patrah period in the history of Bayan. Islam came to Bayan in two periods. The first period was in the 14th century and the second one was in the 16th century. It happened when Sunan Prapen and Sunan Giri came to Bayan. Sunan means a title of honor for venerated scholar of religion. They came to Bayan to straighten Islam practice completely in Bayan.
Bayan has historical religion building, that’s Masjid Bayan Beleq (Bayan Beleq Mosque). It was built in 14th century by the people whose graves surround the mosque. Now the mosque serves for traditional rituals. The mosque’s door is low because it symbolizes that we as human being needs to obey God’s command and stay away from what’s restricted.
Don’t be wrong, there are Sembulan and Sembalun. What’s the different? Is that mistyping? Or, those are the same place with double familiar name. Nope! Literally, they are different. Sembulan is one of area within Lombok, but Sembalun is another Village in East Lombok.
Let’s talk about Sembulan. Most of locals work as farmer in Sembulan. Since Sembulan is still in the area of Bayan, which obviously it’s near the trekking route of Rinjani Mount. In Sembulan, most of locals work as farmer and the wives produce jamu ketan (a traditional medicine consist of herbs and spice ingredients in Indonesia), but what makes it different, it’s made from Ketan (an indigenous fermented rice). Sounds very nice and unique, isn’t it?! Besides, there is another traditional indigenous culinary from Bayan, called Peset Jongkong, a handmade culinary made from beras ketan (fermented rice, but this isn’t sweet).
Bayan also has some cultural heritage that you need to know before going there. Some of them are Angin Alus and Cupak Gurantang traditional dances, old school and vintage coins from the Dynasty of Majapahit Empire (1293 – 1500) that Bayan’s local still using it for trading transaction and the last one is a Sacred and Protected Forest, Mandala Forest that still exist.
First of all, let us tell you about traditional dance in Bayan. Every legend and another historical story in Bayan were described into traditional dances. Angin Alus, a traditional dance from Bayan which is equipped by Jong Bayan, a traditional cloth of Bayan with a long hat. Angin Alus dancing was about Princess Cili Naya who was carried away by the wind since her father couldn’t fulfill his vow/nazar (a promise you really need to fulfill when something you wish come true). In short, The Princess eventually married a Prince. The legend said that Bayan people are their descendant until now.
Cupak Gurantang [https://lombokmusic.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/cupak-gurantang/], is one of traditional dance in Bayan described about a legend story in Bayan. Cupak and Gurantang basically were two different people. They were nomadic wanderers. Biologically, they were not brothers, but since they had lived together for some periods, the chemistry between them grew deeper and they took care of each other just like brothers. Cupak was the oldest and Gurantang was the youngest one. In that time, they intended to save Princess Dewi Sekar Nitra who was kidnapped by an ugly big giant. Shortly, the giant was beaten by Cupak and Gurantang.
However, actually Gurantang was the one who saved and released the Princess. Cupak as the oldest intended to do bad thing, because he was pretty much greedy to own everything included The Princess. He manipulated everyone and ditched Gurantang and buried him within a pile of stone in a very deep hole. Cupak manipulated The King because he wanted to marry The Princess, but since The Princess declared the truth, then Gurantang’s bad image cleared and he married the Princess, meanwhile Cupak was kicked out from the kingdom.
This is just a piece of uniqueness as a brilliant heritage in Bayan village. Apparently, Bayan locals still use coins from Majapahit Empire Dynasty (1293 – 1500) to do trading transaction. The coins are only available to use around Bayan. 1 coin equals to 5000 IDR, pretty amazing isn’t it?!
Mandala Forest is just another sacred and protected forest in Indonesia. Mandala came from a word Bendala means a box filled with something that never runs out. That thing that hopefully never runs out is water, because water is the source of our life. Bayan locals believe that what God gives are entirely a mandate and gift, so it should be protected. Protecting forest equals to save and protect water source. Bayan locals have kept and protected the water source and the forest since in the Ancestor’s Era. In Bayan tradition, there is Pemangku (someone who take responsibility as person in charge to look after their ancestral forest).
The existence of Mandala Forest and Water source couldn’t be separated with the historical of Islam that came to Bayan long time ago. Once upon a time, there was an Islam scholars came to Bayan, then he stuck his walking stick into the ground and it created a water source. The water source now called Ampel Duri, a water source within Mandala Forest. Locals in Bayan live very close to the nature. They live within a very fresh village, near forest and waterfalls. Bayan locals believe they couldn’t be separated with nature and environment, because they are one and naturally unite.
- Wanderlust Indonesia & Locals of Bayan Village