Kajang, Human Nature in the Middle of Modernity

An article by Indra J. Mae, a journalist in the city of Makassar, South Sulawesi Indonesia.

MG. Kajang tribe is one of the unique and amazing tribes in Indonesia, they live for generations in a natural way by ancestral custom rules are very strict. Kajang tribe inhabiting parts of Tana Toa in the Village area of ​​approximately 331.17 hectares, with the condition of the area in the form of very dense forest. Almost the entire village is located in the Kajang area, surrounded by woods. Administratively, the village of Tana Toa Kajang is part of a district Bulukumba, South Sulawesi. Located approximately 210 km south of the city of Makassar. To achieve it, can be reached by land transportation during the 5-6 hour drive.

For Kajang Tribe, the Nature is a mother and the forest is the heart of life, all things related to nature is sacred. Destroying it means inviting disaster, and forests can also bring prosperity if they maintain it. They believe the spirits of their ancestors forest preserve. Anyone will get a curse if you dare cut trees or kill animals in it without permission Amma Toa, nicknames their chiefs. They have understood the message of ancestral heredity is ”Naparanakkang juku (fish parted), Napaloliko roared kaju (tree blossom) , Nahambangiko allo (the sun is shining), Nabattuiko ere ‘ Bosi (Pouring rains), Napalolo’rang old ere ‘ (dribbling water sap) and Nakajariangko tinanang (all plants be)”.


Pappasang is the name of the message referenced hereditary Kajang Tribe in life. The above message is a clue or idea of ​​how society Kajang respect the environment by maintaining their forests in order to remain sustainable.

Ancestor of Kajang tribal taught them that people always maintain life balance with nature and the ancestors Therefore, the public interest in Tana Toa Kajang always live in simplicity. This is evident from the form of the house in Kajang Tribe is the same in shape and size. The materials they use to build a house is the same. They believe, if there is no uniformity there will be no jealousy between Kajang Tribe community. Kajang communities also have and abide by a few rules that apply in building custom homes. One of them is the house should not be of brick or soil. For them, only something died is flanked the soil.

Kajang community life away from the influence of modernity, their simple life in a very natural way, although the area around their village, the construction of the city's growing rapidly. Kampung Kajang is still running with natural and beautiful. In the traditional village area, there is not a found non-organic garbage. In fact, all household appliances are made of natural material, no plastic or metal elements.

The hallmark of Kajang tribal is wear outfit everyday is dark blue, black tends. The self-produced clothing fabrics, woven and natural colors of the material. Black clothing every time it is used even for the purposes of ritual and ceremony. Guests or visitors coming in customary land areas, must use black clothing or dark colored. This is to respect the demands of the indigenous people of Kajang . The color of the uniform dress symbolizes the union with the natural surroundings.

In every home residents Kajang, none of household furniture. No chairs or mattresses. They also have none of the electronic equipment, such as radio and television. They assume, modernity can keep the tribe Kajang to nature and ancestors. Generally, home kitchen Kajang tribe is located on the front and immediately visible when entering into the house. The arrangement is intended that guests can see directly, serving meals that are served by the host.

Kajang tribe is led by an elected periodically, called Amma Toa. Amma toa social life as the head of customs, together with the community. There is no difference other than the status as chiefs. Even the Amma Toa house was no different than other house in village.

Currently, the population of Kajang tribe is approximately 1420 households in seven hamlets with a total area of ​​749 hectare, 60 % of the area is covered with forests. Tana Toa village has become one of the leading tourism attraction in Indonesia.

Indra J. Mae

Find out more about Indra J. Mae in the link

Photos credit @MegaPermai

*Check out more about the Kajang in our Tribes section.