Bali Aga Tribe: Indigenous People Of Bali

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  • Trunyan, Kabupaten Bangli


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Bali Aga Tribe: Indigenous People Of Bali.

Bali Island always has an attraction that can lure tourists to come visit. Its uniqueness is proven not only in the form of traditions, nature, and culture. But it can also be found in the community. You can find a group of people in Bali who still uphold customs and traditions to the way of life that they do from ancient times until today. Namely the Balinese Aga tribe.

Bali Aga Tribe

There are three classifications of ethnic division in Balinese life. The distribution is based on waves of population migration to the island of Bali. Well, there have been three waves of population migration that have occurred on the Island of the Gods. The first wave took place in prehistoric times. The second wave occurred when the Majapahit kingdom spread Hinduism in the Nusantara region. While the third, the wave of migration took place when the Majapahit Kingdom collapsed and there was a process of Islamization on Java by another kingdom. Now, from the three waves of migration, the first two waves of migration are called the Bali Aga Tribe. Meanwhile, the people who came in the third wave were known as the Bali Jawi.
The Bali Aga Tribe people build their own residential area on the island of Bali. Usually, they choose to live in mountainous areas. They believe that the mountain is a stana of the almighty creator. So staying at the foot of the mountain can bring them closer to God. There are around eight villages that are home to the Balinese Aga. These are Trunyan Village, Tenganan Village, Pedawa Village, Tigawasa Village, Julah Village, Cempaga Village, Sembiran Village, and Sidatapa Village. Of course, the location of these villages is spread under the foot of the mountain in Bali.
For daily communication, the Bali Aga people use Balinese, but with a different dialect. You won’t find any similarity between the dialect spoken by the people of Bali Aga in Tenganan Village and those in Trunyan Village. Even so with other villages of the Bali Aga. The existence of these dialect differences make the Bali Aga Tribe even more unique and interesting. As for customs, the Bali Aga people still hold the original culture of their ancestors. Starting from rituals, ceremonies, community norms, to home architecture which are all written in awig-awig (customary rules). For example, the people of Bali Aga are only allowed to build houses from a mixture of red stone, river stone and ground stone. While the roof of the house must be made of piles of rumba leaves, which are known as good roofing material. So to preserve its culture, the people of Bali Aga Tribe are required to marry fellow villagers. They are not allowed to marry residents from outside the village. If this happens, the person must leave the village and not obtain the rights of his family.
Even so, it does not mean that the Bali Aga people do not open access to outside visitors to come to their villages. There are two Balinese Aga villages that are famous as tourist attractions, namely Tenganan Village and Trunyan Village. The way these two villages introduce themselves to tourists is through the arts. Tenganan Village often holds an annual event called the Tenganan Festival. In this festival the people of the Bali Aga Tenganan tribe will usually display a number of art attractions, such as the Pandan War. There is also an exhibition that presents the typical woven fabric of Tenganan Village, which is Gringsing Fabric. As for Trunyan Village, tourists are allowed to come see the unique villagers' cemeteries, where the bodies of village people who had died were not buried, but instead were placed under a Trunyan tree.
Surely if you visit the two villages of the Bali Aga Tribe above during the holidays, you will get excitement and new knowledge. The important thing is, always remember to respect any customs and culture of the local community wherever you are.