Abui people

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Abui people
Barawahing / Barue / Namatalaki
COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Twee vrouwen van het hoofd van Worbain in dansuitrusting TMnr 10004769.jpg
Two women in dance outfit from Worbain, southeast of Alor Island.
Total population
(Approximately 16,000 (2000)[1])
Regions with significant populations
 Indonesia (Alor Island)
Languages
Abui language, Alor Malay, Indonesian
Religion
Christianity (Catholicism and Protestantism; predominantly), Animism (traditionally), Islam
Related ethnic groups
Papuan people

The Abui are an indigenous ethnic group (also known as Barawahing, Barue or Namatalaki) residing on Alor Island, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.[2][3] Abui people are spread across the districts of South Alor, East Alor, and Northwest Alor in Alor Regency.[2] Abui people speak the Abui language, as well as Indonesian, and a Malay-based creole, Alor Malay.

Etymology

The term Abui is an Abui word that means ‘mountains’ or alternatively ‘enclosed place’.

Abui people refer to themselves as Abui loku ‘the mountain people’.[4] The bare term Abui is often associated with the large mountain range in central Alor, Abui foka, and is often contrasted to the smaller mountain range in the Kabola/Adang speaking area Abui kiding in the bird's head of Alor. The language is referred to as Abui tanga in the Takalelang variety (the most well-studied variety) and Abui laral in the Welai, Mola, and Mainang varieties. The glossonym Abui was first introduced by Cora Du Bois in the late 1930s after the ethnonym was already in circulation.

This ethnonym is also used in Alor Malay/Indonesian to refer to Abui speakers.

History

Origins

According to Abui oral tradition, Abui people settled in Alor in ancient times and did not find other settlers there. Later some of them moved to the Kabola peninsula.[5][6] The same tradition accounts that they dwelled in caves in the mountains in the Mainang area. In this area also some rock art is found. Abui refer to neighbouring tribes as ‘younger siblings’ or as ‘new arrivals’. However, the oral tradition in Alor serves too often as a political instrument. The oral tradition has not been verified by archaeological research yet.

Ethnography

The American anthropologist Cora Du Bois studied and lived among Abui people from 1937-1939 in the village of Atimelang, resulting in the publication, The People of Alor.[7] Around the same time, the Dutch sociologist Martha Margaretha Nicolspeyer published a study of the Abui social structure.[6]

Culture

A man playing the gong for a ceremonial song and dance as an appreciation to the United States Navy for providing humanitarian assistance and medical aid to the locals affected by the November 2004 earthquake that struck Alor Island.

Abui people from Takpala village engage in a traditional dance known as lego-lego, in which dancers move in a circular pattern.[8] Gongs and mokos are also beaten.[9]

Religion

The original religion of the inhabitants of Alor Islands was animistic until much later when Protestant missionaries arrived.[10] Majority of the Alor Island communities are Christians, except for those living along the coast line tend to be Muslims as most of the Muslims living there migrated from other islands.[11] However, several coastal communities, particularly in the Bird's head, tend to be Muslim, and this includes the Alorese (the only Austronesian speaking group in Alor Pantar) and Kui ethnic groups.[citation needed]

The Abui people generally are predominantly Protestant. However, their beliefs have animistic influences as well.[12] Catholic communities are found in Kalabahi and particularly among the Abui people in Takalelang and Mainang.[4]

There is also one Muslim Abui community, found in the coastal village of Nurdin. Given that the Alorese are the main Muslim ethnic group, many Alorese women have been married into Nurdin, where they have brought some elements of their culture with them, such as weaving ikat.[clarification needed][citation needed]

Economy

Agriculture

Abui speakers are mainly farmers, just like other inhabitants of Alor. However, in mountainous areas hunting and gathering is also an important supplement to the staple diet of corn, cassava, and rice. In the coastal areas, which are less favourable for agriculture, many farmers have switched to fishing, the traditional activity of the Austronesian population. Traditional livestock are pigs and chicken. However, livestock seldom supplement the diet due to frequent swine fever and poultry diseases. Thus, the diet is not well balanced, often resulting in poor health conditions and anaemia, especially among children and women. In the mountainous areas the situation is better as traditional hunting provides a more balanced diet. The mountains also favour a number of important cash crops such as tamarind, coconuts, coffee, cloves, cocoa, cashew nuts, candlenuts (Aleurites moluccana), vanilla, almonds and tobacco. These provide the farmers with additional income, which results in generally better living standards than for people in the coastal areas.[4]

Tourism

The Takpala community performs a lego-lego dance for tourists.

The Abui "traditional village of Takpala" (kampung tradisional Takpala) is a tourist destination consisting of a small cluster of traditional houses on a hillside. Visitors watch performances, pose for photographs in traditional attire, and buy handicrafts.[13] Takpala is considered a cultural heritage area by the Alor Regency.[14]

Education

Educational facilities in the Abui area are limited to elementary and secondary schools in district capitals. The nearest university is in Kalabahi, which offers limited training in economy, law, English and computer science. The more significant educational institutions are found in Kupang, the provincial capital of East Nusa Tenggara.

References

  1. ^ Grimes, Barbara F. (2000). "Ethnologue: Languages of the World". Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Archived from the original on 2000. 
  2. ^ a b Hidayah, Zulyani (2015). Ensiklopedi Suku Bangsa di Indonesia. Yayasan Pustaka Obor Indonesia. ISBN 978-979-461-929-2. 
  3. ^ "Abui, Barue in Indonesia". Joshua Project. Retrieved 2017-04-11. 
  4. ^ a b c František Kratochvíl (2007). A grammar of Abui: a Papuan language of Alor, Part 1. LOT. p. 3. ISBN 90-783-2828-2. 
  5. ^ Djeki, J.J. 1986. Penelitian suku terasing di Kabupaten Alor Abui. Proyek inventarisasi dan dokumentasi kebudayaan daerah Nusa Tenggara Timur. Kupang.
  6. ^ a b Nicolspeyer, Martha Margaretha. 1940. De sociale structuur van een Aloreesche bevolkingsgroep. Rijswijk: Kramers.
  7. ^ Du Bois, Cora Alice. 1960. The people of Alor; a social-psychological study of an East Indian island. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
  8. ^ Azis Anwar Hidayat. "Suku Alor: Masyarakat Alor Di Nusa Tenggara". Academia. Retrieved 2017-04-11. 
  9. ^ Asdhiana, I Made (25 September 2013). "Saat Abui Menyiapkan Masa Depan". Kompas.com. 
  10. ^ Philip Ward (1975). Indonesian traditional poetry. Oleander Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-090-267-549-0. 
  11. ^ David Levinson (1993). Encyclopedia of world cultures. G.K. Hall. p. 14. ISBN 08-168-8840-X. 
  12. ^ Tony (22 February 2012). "The Abui Tribe in Takpala". Contemporary Nomad. Retrieved 2017-04-13. 
  13. ^ Bere, Sigiranus Marutho (22 April 2016). "Pesona Kampung Tradisional Suku Abui di NTT". Kompas.com. 
  14. ^ "PERATURAN DAERAH KABUPATEN ALOR NOMOR 2 TAHUN 2013 TENTANG RENCANA TATA RUANG WILAYAH KABUPATEN ALOR TAHUN 2013 – 2033". 

External links

  • Abui (short film)
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