Buang Jong, A Tradition of Offering to Sea Authorities in Belitung

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Belitung Article #184
 Asep Irwan Gunawan  8/03/2019
Location: Belitung VIEW 9927 LIKE 200

Buang Jong is a popular tradition and culture in Belitung. Even the popularity of this cultural tradition has made the local government make Buang Jong a festival that is held once a year. With the positive response from the government to the Buang Jong tradition, it will be very unfortunate if you miss this cultural event during a visit to Belitung. But before actually witnessing Buang Jong, it would be nice to examine this tradition in full. Following the review.


foto #0 Buang Jong di Tanjung Kelayang
Buang Jong di Tanjung Kelayang

Buang Jong history is a tradition that was once carried out by the Sawang Tribe or called the Sea Tribe. The Sawang tribe itself is an indigenous tribe in Belitung that lives in the ocean because their lives depend on the sea products. But according to a story, the Sawang Tribe used to be migrants from the Riau Islands. When the West wind season blows, the Sawang tribe will go to sea to do Buang Jong. Dispose of Jong, what the Sawang Tribe has done is in the form of a sea barrel with a jong (small boat) and some offerings. The purpose of Buang Jong which is done by the Sawang Tribe is to respect and symbolize offerings to the ruler or sea god.


foto #1 Tari Ancak Sebelum Buang Jong
Tari Ancak Sebelum Buang Jong

As explained earlier that Buang Jong is a sea barrel activity by throwing Jong (a small boat) into the sea. Discard Jong originally consists of two words namely Buang which means discarding and Jong which means small boat. So in general, Buang Jong is an activity to throw a small boat into the middle of the sea in the concept of a sea barrel. But in practice, Buang Jong does have a lot of activities, where the peak activity is throwing or banning a small boat into the sea.


foto #2 Perahu Jong Simbol Sesaji
Perahu Jong Simbol Sesaji

Dispose of Jong is done with the aim as a form of respect and offerings to marine entrepreneurs. In addition, Buang Jong is also done to ask for safety and protection when going to sea to avoid disaster. When doing this sea barrel the elders or traditional leaders will pray that when they go to sea they will be able to get a blessing with a lot of sea products. Not only to get protection and blessing while at sea, but Buang Jong is also done to honor ancestors and families who have died.


foto #3 Perahu Jong Dibawa ke Laut
Perahu Jong Dibawa ke Laut

The peak procession of throwing a small boat into the sea was done after several previous activities carried out. The whole Dispose of Jong procession is indeed very long. In fact the whole Buang Jong procession took 3 days and 3 nights. One of the initial processions before the sea barrel in the Buang Jong tradition is Berasik. This ritual is a procession of summoning spirits and reciting prayers by the traditional leaders of the Sawang Tribe. Usually after this Berasik is done there will be strong winds and even bigger sea waves.

After the Berasik procession, then there is the Ancak Dance performed by male dancers in the middle of the forest. The dancer himself performed the dancers by shaking a replica of the framework of the house which would later be drained to the four cardinal points. The dance accompanied by the sound of drums and gongs themselves is performed with the aim of inviting the spirit of the lord of the sea. Later at the end of this dance the dancer will be possessed when climbing a high pole (jitun).

foto #4 Jong Dilepaskan ke Laut
Jong Dilepaskan ke Laut

After Ancak Dance, the procession of Buang Jong continued with Sambang Tali Dance which represented the life of fishermen at sea. Furthermore, there is the Mermaid Numbak ritual which is a ritual of tying a rope to a spear while reciting a mantra. Next, the procession was continued by fishing at sea, where when the fish were obtained a lot then those who were fishing were prohibited from washing their hands in the sea.

From the Mermaid Numbak procession and fishing, Buang Jong continued with buying and selling jongs. As the name implies, this jong buying and selling is a Sawang Tribe transaction transaction with land people. Although there are trading transactions, the method of payment in this procession does not use money, but the exchange of goods or barter. The procession of buying and selling jong itself is not only of economic significance, but there is also a social meaning, namely harmony and friendship between land people and Sawang people. Even in the trading of these jongs, the Sawang and the land people make agreements that support each other's lives. The point here is that in agreement, the Sawang people ask the landlords not to antagonize them. Some of the land people also asked the Sawang people to always be able to meet their food needs with the seafood they obtained. After buying and selling jong, the procession continued with Beluncong in the form of activities to sing typical songs of the Sawang Tribe accompanied by simple musical instruments. And the last procession before the peak event of Buang Jong is Nyalui which is a singing activity while remembering the spirits of deceased ancestors.

foto #5


After the Event Passing, the procession of Buang Jong reached its peak which is Buang Jong. Dispose of Jong is done in the middle of the sea with the activity of floating or throwing jong (small boat) into the ocean. Besides jong (small boat), there are also bamboo houses or houses in which some offerings are placed. The offerings which are placed in a boat and joined in the sea are usually in the form of six coconuts tied together, four lepat, two banana combs and a candle. After the larung activities, a badaek will take place in the form of a rhetoric as a symbol of gratitude for Buang Jong's smooth procession from the start. After this peak event, in the next three days, the Sawang people are prohibited from going to sea as a symbol of resting the sea.


Because of the profound meaning of the procession of Buang Jong for the Belitung people, making the local government make Buang Jong a tourism event. The Buang Jong Event itself is usually held every February at Mudong Beach, East Belitung Regency. Meanwhile in addition to Mudong Beach, the Buang Jong Festival is also usually held at Tanjung Pendam Beach, Tanjung Pandan District, Belitung Regency every November. One more place that also often holds Buang Jong is Selinsing Village, Gantung District, East Belitung. The west monsoon which has always been the benchmark for Buang Jong activities by the Sawang tribe itself usually appears in August - November. So you don't forget to look at the calendar when you want to take a vacation to Belitung and watch this exciting Buang Jong Festival.

Discard Jong is indeed a tradition that deserves to always be preserved and preserved. This is because in addition to ancestral traditions, Bung Jong has also received a WBTB (Intangible Cultural Heritage) certificate from the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture 2016. Because it has become an official tourism event, Buang Jong will always be watched by the public and tourists. This legendary ritual will always attract attention because it is unique and so impressive.

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