The Kajang
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The Kajang

Forest-dwellers

Forest-dwellers

Discover what it truly means to live a life of simplicity as you join the community bound by their strong traditions and beliefs.

Step into the abundant Indonesian forest among the Kajang people. Kajang, meaning ‘housed or sheltered’.
Snapshot

Snapshot

  • Region is Southern Asia

  • Climate here is Tropical

  • The challenge here is Medium

  • This trip has been rated 5 by other travelers

Life

Life

The tribe is made up of two groups; Kajang Dalam and Kajang Luar. Both groups are taught to live in complete harmony with nature — they believe nature is their mother and the forest is the heart — and learnings that are passed down from ancient ancestors, the only difference between the groups is where they’ve settled. The Kajang Dalam live within the forest, whilst the Kajang Luar live in villages on the forest outskirts.
Home

Home

The Kajang way of life is simple. Homes are very bare, in fact there’s no furniture or electronics. Each home is made in the exact same way by following a set of rules and regulations. These include; homes must be built with a wooden structure, the roof should be made from leaves, and the house should always face west.

Culture

Social Structure

There are both informal and formal social structures, these are called Adat Limaya and Karaeng Tallua. The informal head is called Ammatoa. This is someone who has an understanding of Kajang people which has been passed down from generation to generation, known as Pasang ri Kaiang.

Religion

The Kajang tribe are predominantly muslim, however they also practise the traditional belief Patuntung. Patuntung means ‘to find the source of truth’ which they do by consulting three pillars; land, ancestors and most importantly, God.

Traditions

Traditions and beliefs are still very much part of everyday life of a Kajang member. Communities follow the lessons of ancestors whilst taking learnings from living with nature. From their homes to what they wear, the Kajang live simply and in unity. They all dress in dark or black clothing as they believe the colour symbolises simplicity. The Kajang prepare for death from birth by always doing good, protecting nature, obeying commands of God, and teachings from ancestors. They believe that social relations should be based on mutual benefit and goodness.

Language

The traditional language is Konjo, which is still spoken today.

Art

Myths and stories are told as a way to teach the community how to live with nature. Some practise a style of dance called Pabitte Passapu, others play drums or perform pencak silat—a form of martial arts—at marriage ceremonies. They also create their own art, however this must fit with their simplicity principles and they shouldn’t imitate the art of newcomers.

Celebrations

Life events such as weddings and birth, among other phases of life, are celebrated with dancing and music.
Further knowledge

Further knowledge

Kajang people live in simplicity, so this should be respected. Modern ways of life may be seen as deviating from the Kajang beliefs.



Cover photo iStock.com/IqbalFauzan3003

Kajang kids @MegaPermai

Kajang woman @MegaPermai

Kajang elder @MegaPermai

Floating village - Lake Tempe
iStock.com/lanabyko

Buffalo
iStock.com/Elena Odareeva