History

GAYO

august 29 2009

ETHNONYMS: Gayo, Gajo, urang Gayó, Gayonese

Orientation

Identification. The Gayo live predominantly in the central highlands of Aceh Province in Sumatra, Indonesia, and are Sunni Muslims. Gayo refer to themselves as “Urang Gayo,” meaning “Gayo people,” primarily on grounds of command of basa Gayo, the Gayo language.

Gayonese Groom with neck and head jewelry./6470
Gayonese Bridegroom and bride with neck and head jewelry./6470

Location. The Gayo homeland lies across the Bukit Barisan Range in Aceh Province, between 40 and 5° N and 96° and 980 E. The range divides the homeland into four plateaus, each with a river system along which Gayo have settled. The largest concentration of settlement is the town of Takengen (Takengon) by Lake Lat tawar. The area gradually declines in elevation from about 1,500 meters in the north to  about 500 meters in the south. Northeast trade winds bring heavy rains in a four-month period between October and  March; the southeast trades can bring a lighter rainfall between April and September.

Demography. The 1980 population of the district of Central Aceh was 163,339, of which about 140,000 were Gayo speakers. In the 1980s about 45,000 Gayo resided in other districts in the Aceh highlands and about 25,000 lived elsewhere in Indonesia, giving a total population of about 210,000 Gayo.

Linguistic Affiliation. The Gayo language belongs to the Western Indonesian Branch of the Austronesian Family and lexically is most closely related to the Batak Subfamily. The presence of Mon-Khmer loanwords suggests early coastal contacts with some Mon-Khmer-language-speaking societies.  The earliest known writing in Gayo used the Jawi script (Arabic letters) but since the 1950s most Gayo have used standard Indonesian orthography. By the 1980s most Gayo had at least minimal competence in the Indonesian language.

History and Cultural Relations

Substantial written references to the Gayo only begin in the late nineteenth century. It is likely, however, that the Gayo homeland belonged to the Islamic kingdom of Aceh in the seventeenth century and that Islamization of the area had begun by that time. At the outbreak of the Aceh-Dutch war
in 1873, Gayo possessed a strong sense of ethnic distinctiveness but recognized a nominal Acehnese suzerainty. Some Gayo continued to resist the Dutch after the invasion of the highlands in 1904. During Dutch occupation (1904-1942) Gayo developed a thriving cash-crop economy in vegetables and coffee, attained a relatively high level of basic education,
and participated in the movements of Islamic modernism and Indonesian nationalism. Gayo fought to maintain Continue reading “GAYO”

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Art Culture, General, History

Gayonese

GaYo People

Gayonese traditional clothes (Kerawang)/Tamanmini.com
Gayonese traditional clothes (Kerawang)

The Gayonese are an ethnic group native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Gayo ethnic group was an ethnic group that lived in the plateau in the province of  Aceh.
The Gayo ethnic group lived in three regencies that is the Regency Middle Aceh, Th Regency Bener Meriah and the Gayo Lues Regency.The Gayo ethnic group also lived in several villages in the Regency aceh South-east,The Regency Aceh Tamiang,Nagan Raya,Simpang jernih subdistrict  and in the Serbajadi Subdistrict in the Regency East aceh.
The Gayo ethnic group was religious Islam and they were known obeyed in his religion.

The Gayo ethnic group used the language that was acknowledged as the Basa Gayo.

The Belief

The Gayo ethnic group was religious Islam

The government’s system

The Gayo community lived in small community that was acknowledged as the village. Each village was headed by a person gecik. The collection of several villages was mentioned kemukiman, that was led by stayed. The government’s traditional system took the form of the element of leadership that was mentioned sarak opat, consist of:

Sarakopat
Sarakopat

1. Reje (king)
2. petue (counsellor, mentor, adviser)
3. Imeum (Ieader of communal prayer)
4. Rayat (Pople,citizenry)

In the period now several kemukiman was part of the subdistrict, with elements of leadership consist of: gecik, the representative gecik, imeum, and intelligent that represented the people.

A village is usually occupied by several of the clan’s groups the crack (Belah). Members of a crack felt came from one ancestor, was still knowing each other, and was developing relations continue to in various raditional ceremonies. The line of the descendants was pulled was based on the patrilineal principle. The current marriage system was based on the tradition was crack exogamy, with the tradition resided after being married that patrilokal (juelen) or matriokal (angkap).

The smallest affinity group was mentioned saraine (the nuclear family). Unity of several nuclear families was acknowledged as the kitchen pension. In the past of several kitchen pensions live with in a long house, so as to be acknowledged as the pension House (Umah).Several the long house gathered in one crack (the clan).In the period now many nuclear families that lived in the house personally.In the person’s Gayo past especially developed matapencaharian engaged in farming in the paddy-field and raising, with the complicated livelihood customs and traditions.

Moreover had the gardening inhabitants, caught the fish, and gathered results of the forest. They also developed diligence made the ceramics, plaited, and wove.Currently the dominant livelihood is gardening, especially the coffee crop.Diligence made the ceramics and the cane work had been threatened extinct, but by being made this area as one of the areas of the aim of the tour in Aceh, by him ceramic diligence began to be developed again.Other diligence that also often received attention was diligence made the open-work embroidery with the typical motive.

The livelihood

The main livelihood is farming and gardening with results especially coffee.
They also developed diligence made the ceramics, plaited, and wove.
Other diligence that was enough to receive attention was diligence made the Gayo open-work embroidery, with the typical motive.

Cultural art

An element of the culture that had not been tired in the Gayo social circle was art, that almost had not experienced the standstill in fact tended to develop.
The form of Gayo art that was famous, including the dance saman and art spoke that was mentioned didong.
Apart from for entertainment and recreation, forms of this art had the ritual function, education, information, at the same time as means of maintaining the balance and the social structure of the community.
Besides this had also the form of art Like: Bines dance, Guel Dance, Munalu dance, Sebuku (pepongoten) ,guru didong, and melengkap (speech-making art was based on the tradition), that also not forgotten from the period to sour, because the Gayo ‘s was rich in cultural art.

Gayoland

Gayoland

In all the aspect of the life, the person Gayo had and cultivated several values of the culture as the behaviour reference to achieve the order, discipline, the solidarity, carried royong, and hard-working (munentu).
The experience this value of the culture dipacum by a value that was mentioned bersikemelen, that is the competition that brought about a value of the foundation concerning the self-esteem (mukemel).
These values were realised in various aspects of the life, like in the economic field, art, the affinity, and education.
The source from these values was the Islam religion as well as the local tradition that were followed by all the Gayo community. (uranggayo.wordpress.com)