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Preserving Harmony: Unan-unan, the Sacred Ritual of the Tengger Community

Kamis, 25 April 2024 - 02:31 | 21.35k
The culture bearer of Tengger lead the Unan-unan ritual. (Photo: Dsikominfo for TIMES Indonesia)
The culture bearer of Tengger lead the Unan-unan ritual. (Photo: Dsikominfo for TIMES Indonesia)

TIMESINDONESIA, LUMAJANG – Deep within the misty landscapes of Tengger, where the whispers of the mountains meet the songs of the forests, a timeless tradition unfolds every five years – the Unan-unan ritual. More than just a ceremony, Unan-unan is a profound expression of reverence and gratitude towards the ancestral heritage that has shaped the identity of the Tengger people.

As the sun rises over the majestic peaks of Java, Agus, a respected member of the Tengger community, reflects on the significance of this ancient rite. "For us, Unan-unan is not merely a ritual; it is a sacred bond between our past, present, and future," he shares, his words carrying the weight of generations.

At the heart of Unan-unan lies a deep-seated respect for the natural world. "We see ourselves as stewards of the land, entrusted with the responsibility to preserve its beauty and integrity," Agus explains. Through this ritual, the Tengger people reaffirm their commitment to living in harmony with nature, honoring the symbiotic relationship that has sustained them for centuries.

The term "Unan-unan" derives from the word "Una," meaning to extend or prolong. Beyond its literal interpretation, this ritual embodies the Tengger people's desire to extend the blessings of their ancestors into the future. It is a poignant reminder of their interconnectedness with the land, the sky, and the spirits of their forebears.

Every aspect of Unan-unan is imbued with symbolic significance. From the elaborate offerings of buffalo heads, adorned with intricate designs, to the solemn processions that wind their way through the village streets, each ritual act serves as a conduit for prayers and aspirations. Through these rituals, the Tengger people seek not only material abundance but also spiritual harmony and collective well-being.

As the day culminates in prayer and reflection at the sacred site of Sanggar Pamujan, the entire community comes together in a spirit of unity and solidarity. "Unan-unan is a testament to our shared heritage and our shared destiny," Agus remarks, his voice resonating with conviction. "It is a celebration of who we are and who we aspire to be."

In a world that often seems fractured and divided, the Unan-unan ritual offers a glimpse of a different reality – one where reverence, gratitude, and harmony prevail. It serves as a beacon of hope, reminding us of the power of tradition to bridge the gap between past and present, and to guide us towards a more balanced and sustainable future. (*)

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