20140424 Preserving and protecting the forests of Baduy
The Jakarta Post | Feature | Tue, April 22 2014, 12:49 PM
Careful step: Jasmapala members traverse the bamboo bridge in Gajebo village in Baduy Luar.
As the Earth is getting warmer, people are encouraged to actively take part in programs dedicated to protecting and preserving the environment because it is everyone’s responsibility.
Recently, Jasa Marga Pegiat Alam or Jasmapala nature’s club visited Cibeo village in Baduy Dalam (Inner Baduy), Banten, to help preserve the environment.
“Baduy people realize that their lives greatly rely on the environment, so they know that they have to preserve the environment. There are rules for everyone who come here that are part of their nature’s preservation efforts,” a Jasmapala member Chandra said.
During the visit, the group brought mahogany seeds to be planted. Its small leaves that form the canopy make mahogany tree (Swietenia mahagoni) an ideal tree to provide shade. Its fruits are also good for medicinal purposes.
The club actually visited the village during the restriction period that runs from February through May. The Baduy Tribe Council urges visitors not to visit three villages in Baduy Dalam — Cibeo, Cikartawana and Cikeusik — during the period.
“Thanks to our great connection with the people, we found no trouble when we came and stayed in people’s houses,” said Toto Purwanto, Jasmapala’s coordinator. “We always respect their culture and tradition every time we come here.”
Baduy tribe is among Banten natives. They live at the foot of Kendeng Mount in Kanekes village, Lebak regency in Banten.
Planting mahogany: Jasmapala members give mahogany seeds to Cibeo village residents of Baduy Dalam that takes place in Balimbing village in Baduy Luar. The group gives the mahogany seeds to every village in Baduy Luar that is passed over.
Harvesting: An old woman from Baduy Luar is out on the paddy field. Both people in Baduy Luar and Baduy Dalam plant the paddy using the rainwater harvesting system on the hills.
Daily chores: Young women of Baduy Luar carry groceries from the markets to their homes on their shoulders.
Keep it spinning: A girl of Baduy Luar spins the yarn. Besides spinning yarn, children of Baduy Luar are also good at weaving.
Greenery: The scenery from Cibeo village, Baduy Dalam.
Kanekes village is the final track for vehicles that take people who want to visit Baduy and transport people who live in Baduy Luar (Outer Baduy) outside the village.
Unlike people in Baduy Luar, those in Baduy Dalam are not allowed to travel using vehicles; instead, they must travel by foot.
Visiting Baduy is actually a trip to a remote and serene place that has no lights, no electronics and is free from sound pollution. The birds’ chirping, the sound of water flowing in the river, the wind blows are the kinds of sound we will hear in Baduy.
— Text and photos by P.J.Leo