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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Folk Tales

Malem Dewa

Malim Dewa

M.J. Melalatoa
Translated by Krishna

The Pesangan river winded through the forest like a giant snake. The closer you got to its source the clearer blue its water and thicker the forest around it. Malim Dewa was walking up towards the top of the river. He walked alone, accompanied only by a beautiful dream. In his hand was a lock of hair as large as a duck’s egg. He had been twisting and curling it around his fingers as he walked and he had been walking for days. His heart had been captured by the vision of a woman’s beautiful face, the one whose lock of hair he held in his palm. The beautiful dream made him walk on with spirit despite physical tiredness. The long way he had traversed had been full of problems. He had to crawl through thorny woods, walk over fallen trees that were slippery with moss grown all over them, cross a gaping gorge On the other hand, the song of wild birds brought joy to his soul, the soft breeze whistling though the trees made his journey pleasant. Somewhere from the edge of his imagination, a beautiful face smiled out at him. He was exhausted, he sat down for a rest. His mind was too tired to think of which way he should go. He’d take the road to the right, he thought, they say the way to the right brings success. He got up and started walking again. His mind travelled back to those twinkling eyes. Oh …, I’m getting closer to her, closer to the maiden who has no match on this earth. But his feet were tired. So he sat down again in the shade of a tree. He watched the dancing ripples on the river. From the bag that lay beside him, he took out a flute. He began to play a soft romantic tune on it. Its sweet high notes rose over the trees and pierced the sky. His spirits rose with the music. If only she could hear this music of my soul. Oh …, I hope she can hear it, I hope she can! But perhaps it’s still too vague and distant a music for her ears. I must get closer to her, close enough that she may be drawn to my music. Malim Dewa rose. He hung his bag across his shoulder and started walking. He seemed more lively and more sure of himself. He walked through the day and slept under thé trees at night. One morning when it was still very early, he heard a cock crow.

To start with, he thought that this was only to announce the dawn. He rose, rubbing his eyes. He listened attentively, with his head cocked to one side. His heart jumped in joy. He was close to village, he thought. The cock crowing on and on from the midst of solitude seemed to Malim Dewa to be singing a welcome song for him. It woke him up completely. He was still swinging between excitement and distress, while the dawn approached from behind the eastern-hills.

Malim Dewa walked slowly, watching the dawn as it spread out on the leaves of trees. He felt the forest was getting thinner. The early morning grey and pink began to brighten, spreading light all over the earth. Birds were noisily setting out in sear»»’ of food. Malim Dewa enjoyed the life and beauty around him. He was eager to find the village from which cocks had been calling out. He looked around, but could see nothing. The south was walled by hills. In the east distant grey hills lined the horizon. It was à cold day. The breeze bit into the bones. Malim Dewa was walking slowly, stiff in the joints, when suddenly he heard the sound of laughter. He listened intently. Some people were laughing—women! Although they were still quite far away, Malim Dewa now moved with the careful passion of a cat chasing a mouse. His heart beat fast, his breath was slow like that of a very frightened man. It was as if he was afraid that those women would hear him breathing. Hiding himself behind the bushes, Malim Dewa observed a beautiful panorama. The river widened there and the water was calm. In the middle of it stood a rock. It was like a huge dough-nut sticking out of the water. Malim Dewa sat spellbound, looking at seven naked figures of pure gold. They were bathing and playing around like children.

Malim Dewa sat ready in his heading place
Malim Dewa sat ready in his heading place

One of them squirted water on another’s face. Another pulled the legs of the girl who was lying on the rock, thus dragging her into the water and she screamed as she slipped in. One girl sat on the rock washing her hair. The tips of her long tresses were swept by the river. Watching the water playing among those long locks, Malim Dewa remembered the Continue reading “Malem Dewa”

General, Social

Save Gayo language Now

Gayo People must fast to take steps, When Not in 2010 Gayo language estimated be Lost.

Domenyk eades In takengon.Photo-winbathin.multiply
Domenyk eades In takengon.Photo-winbathin.multiply

Takengon-The Gayo language is one of the languages that is used in the Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam province. Although it is spoken in Aceh, the Gayo language is different from the Acehnese language. The Gayo language is used by the minority Gayo inhabitants that live in the central highlands of the province.
“The Gayo language will possibly be lost by 2016”, said M.Jihad, a resident of the Bintang Subdistrict, in a meeting with the writer of gayo grammar, (A grammar of gayo, a language of Aceh, Sumatra) that was written by Dr.Domenyk Eades.BA (Hons) PhD (Melb), Asistent Professor, Lecturer in Linguistic and Translation Studies. College of Arts, Sultan Qaboos University, on Friday night (11/7) in the Bale Pendari Building that was of the Reje Linge Theatre. It was attended by artists, the culture critics, students and the public figures.
M.Jihad based this on the fact that the Gayo community often do not use the Gayo language in everyday communication. They are more likely to use the Indonesian language and are too tolerant to this. Moreover, the role of the Government like the Regional Government and DPRK (Regional Legislative Council for regency) was also not involved in in conserving the gayo language through policy.
Domenyk Eades is Professor’s Assistant in Sultan’s University of Qaboos Oman. He came to Aceh to teach English and to research the Gayo language for his doctorate in linguistics. “Literature of gayo made me interested to studying Gayo language”, he said opposite dozens of participants that night.

Literature in gayo made me interested to studying Gayo language”. Said Domenyk opposite dozens of participants that night. In order to conserve Gayo language, according to Domenyk, at this time must be written the book in the Gayo language and again wrote the fairy tale, the history and the culture from informant that still living, when not wanting the gayo Language lost.
“So many languages have been lost in the world. Would the Gayo language also was like this”, ask Domenyk to Zulfikar Ahmad St, a staff member of Bappeda who accompanied Domenyk.
Back to M.Jihad, who worried the Gayo language loss from languages in the world. According to the Jihad, the Gayo language was assets or the wealth that were rich in the vocabulary. “Gayo language is rich in words”, said M. Jihad, giving an example of one word in Indonesian for sit, but which had three correspondences in Gayo; that is, kunul, tempoh, semile. Moreover, M. Jihad said that before Rasulullah SAW was born, the Gayo language that more was known with the term “peri berabun”.
In the last 10 years Domenyk carried out the research about the Gayo language, and in the meeting discussed the grammar book he wrote on the Gayo language. In discussions this Gayo language, Evidently many students circles and audiences that precisely the difficulty spoke gayo fully and still mixed it with Indonesian. “this is a proof and argument, already many language vocabularies gayo that no longer is used and tended Losed”,M.Jihad explanation. According to Domernyk, since carrying out the research ten years set, has had the Gayo community that no longer would cares the culture, the language and Gayo history because it was considered not useful.

Save Gayo languge Now and Visit Tanoh Gayo 2008
Save Gayo languge Now and Visit Tanoh Gayo 2008

“If the Gayo language was lost, then the Gayonese identity also would losed.Gayo community will lose identification”, stressed Domenyk. So, because the language will be the identity, continued Domenyk the gayo people from now on must teach generation Gayo children to speak Gayo and get a start to teach Gayo culture. “Books in Gayo language could educate children Gayo to not lose identity”, explained Domenyk. Currently, with his book of Domenyk, A grammar of gayo, a language of Aceh, Sumatra, the Gayo language has been studied in an university in Germany in the Linguistic program.
Yusradi Algayoni, one of the best students USU the Sampoerna version that currently completes the Biography of the famous artist gayo, Drs.AR Moese, explained he had gathered 60 book collections about gayo and now was making the language dictionary gayo that was gathered by him numbering 6670 words. Yusradi asked Domenyk to have the grammar of gayo translated into Indonesian. However according to Domenyk, that must be asked for by his permission with the publisher who handled his book. Most of the students and participants who were present feeling embarrassed because of the Gayo language was researched not by the community gayo, but precisely was researched by the outsider like Domenyk.
Zamzam Mubarak, a Gayo student in Jakarta, questioned the origin Gayo language because gayo it was considered had a big civilisation. According to Domenyk, the Gayo language belongs to the Austronesian group. The Gayo language was connected with the Nias language, Mentawai and Batak Language. Iwan Bahgie, the organiser of the meeting with Domenyk stated that the meeting was held in order to conserve the Gayo language. “After receiving information from Zulfikar Ahmad about Domenyk’s presence with his family in Takengon in the holiday, we offered to be facilitators”, said Iwan. Yuhdi Saffuan, the alumnus of the Indonesian University that is currently in Takengon, said, the Deceased, Prof. Yunus Melalatoa, had said in a forum for the Gayo students Indonesia in Yogyakarta on 2002 that Gayo language including one of the languages that will be lost because of being affected by the culture and the outside language.
“According Prof. Yunus Melalatoa, estimated on 2010 Gayo language has to the critical point. Some for example if asking the community’s Gayo children that was in the Village, the Ama term for the call Father, no longer known by children”, said Yuhdi imitated the concern of Prof. Yunus Melalatoa, a Anthropologist UI.
Said by Yuhdi Saffuan, what is forecasted by Prof. Melalatoa currently has been proven. This was based on the fact at this time, continued Yuhdi, basic school children could not have in Takengon spoken Gayo even his parents suggested their children spoke Indonesia everyday so that not embarrassed to socialise with his friend in the school.
“Could imagined several years in the future, the Gayo language no longer popular and no longer was used in Takengon and will be forgotten history”, stressed Yuhdi. After discussions of the grammar gayo book was spread out. The students and the community who were present agreeing to begin discussed and discourse conservation efforts of the Gayo language with what was acknowledged as a kind of “Balai Bahasa Gayo” meaning Hall Gayo language, and the routine carried out discussions about the language. Needed the role of Regional Government at this time to conserve the Gayo language with more strengthened the Gayo language in education. (www.uranggayo.wordpress.com)

This article was translated from http://www.winbathin.multiply.com

by: FG

Art Culture

Saman Dance

The history of saman and development

Saman Dance.Photo-Groups.yahoo.com/ipgl_jakarta
Saman Dance.Photo-Groups.yahoo.com/ipgl_jakarta

Saman or a thousand hands Dance were the traditional dance withered Gayo people that came from Blangkejeren,Gayo lues Regency. “Saman” name was taken from the person who created and developed of this dance,Syeikh Saman, that is one of the Muslim scholars who spread the Islam religion in Nanggroe Aceh darussalam,Sumatra, Indonesia.The poem language or the song that was used Arabic and Gayo that contained the religious message,satire,idyl advice and the quatrain love. The dance was known with several name kinds That is:

1.Saman Gayo (Aceh tenggara,Gayo lues,Bener meriah And Aceh tengah Regency)
2.Saman Lokop (Gayo Lokop, Aceh timur Regency)

That not yet in found the explanation that was more specific concerning the equality and the difference of the dance saman from respectively the area.But,I’m a Gayonese that was domiciled at the Bener Meriah Regency at least a little know about the equality and the difference of the Saman dance from the two areas. The equality of the Two saman this used the Gayo language,and the difference only in the Gayo variation diaelek,  Kerawang (traditional Gayonese clothes) and the colour of kerawang.The Saman dance only was not take pleasure in the Gayo community,but also by the wider public community,Moreover down to foreign.That caused saman often experienced Changed. Although also the saman change in the person’s circle gayo.But,The originality still continue to in maintained now.

If want to watch the performance of saman dance that still original,may visited blangkeren the Gayo lues regency,or watch the Video original Gayo saman dance on youtube .Usually the contest Saman agenda was carried out a year very much coincided in the agenda celebrated the Republic of Indonesia birthday in August.in days of yore,The dance showed in the special traditional agenda.Among them in the ceremony commemorated the birthday of prophet Muhammad’s saw, And what is more, contemporary This dance was shown also in the formal agendas,like as,guests’s visit the statesmanship,or in the opening of a festival and the other agenda.

The dance saman including one of the dances that was unique enough, cause only put forward the movement of other clap hand and the clap chest, like the movement Guncang,Kirep,Lingang,Surang-Saring (all these movements were gayo language).

The saman player wore the typical gayo clothes (kerawang).Photos-Winbathin.blogspot.com
The saman player wore the typical gayo clothes (kerawang).Photos-Winbathin.blogspot.com

The saman dance played not less than 13 Man,The important the amount must be odd.In the next development,Saman dance also was played by the woman group.The other opinion this Dance was danced approximately from 10 person,by details 8 dancers and 2 people as the command giver while song.for arranged various movements was pointed out by a leader who was mentioned syeikh.In addition to arranged the movement Dancers,Syeikh also was assigned to sing song saman poems.

The Saman dancers wore the typical uniform costume kerawang gayo,with Bulang teleng in the head,The cover of the neck as well as the bracelet in two the wrist. In The perform, the dancer sat lined up long nearby with genuflection.Syeikh sat in the middle of the others dancers.The movement and the song that were song had relations wiht dynamic,synchronism and showed the solidarity.This dance was preceeded with the movement slow voice,with the clap hand,dabn the clap chest and clap thigh,As well as lifted the hands above in the turn manner.long increasingly,The movement of this dance was increasingly fast until this dance ended. / Ariga (uranggayo.wordpress.com)

See also:

http://www.facebook.com/samandance

http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tari_Saman

Update: Nov 11 2009

History

Linge Kingdom

This Stamp Was Found In Lukup Serbejadi Aceh Timur Regency
This Stamp Was Found In Lukup Serbejadi Aceh Timur Regency/winbathin.blogspot

The Lingga kingdom or Linge (in the gayo language ) in the Gayo land, according to M. Junus Djamil in his book of the “Gajah Putih” (White Elephant) that was published by the Cultural Aceh Agency during 1959, Kutaraja (Banda Aceh), said that around in the 11th age , the Lingga Kingdom was established by Gayo people in Sultan’s government’s era of Machudum Johan Berdaulat Mahmud Shah from the Perlak Kingdom.

This information was known from information of King Uyem and his child King Ranta that is King Cik Bebesan and from Zainuddin that is from the kings Kejurun Bukit that both of them had had the power as the king in the colonial Dutch era.

King Lingga I,  it was mentioned had 4 children.
It was eldest that a woman was named Empu Beru or Datu Beru, that was other Be As Sibayak Lingga, Meurah Johan and  and Meurah Lingga.

Sibayak Lingga afterwards left home to the Batak land his ancestors to be precise in Karo and opened the country there he was known with King Lingga Sibayak. Continue reading “Linge Kingdom”

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)