Indonesia is a very diverse country, including the beliefs of its people. It is proven by the existence of 187 belief groups in this archipelago that have been registered by the government. The beliefs held by the Anak Dalam tribe are one of the local beliefs that exist in Indonesia. However, the Indonesian people themselves rarely know about it even though it is interesting to know it deeply.
The Anak Dalam is also called Kubu or Rimba tribe that lives in Jambi and South Sumatra. They are primitive in daily life, and their belief system is more uncomplicated than common mainstream beliefs. Their traditions are still relatively simple because they live in the forest and are nomadic. Therefore, this tribe is considered a culturally and relational “alienated” society.
Anak Dalam people have a belief system that can survive and succeed in keeping the existing environment sustainable for its residents to live. They do not have a specific name for their faith, but they still believe in mystical things and that there is a great God who created the universe. They also believe in helpers or deity or what they call "dewo-dewo" in the form of large animals and ancestral spirits who reside in large trees in the forest.
Rimba people believe in more than a hundred gods with their respective duties. There are at least eight gods who are most often used as a place of help for them, which are Tiger God, Elephant God, Cat God, Huluaye God, Honey God, Disease God, and Pad God.
Moreover, the Anak Dalam tribe has many rituals in their beliefs, such as Besale. This ritual is performed to Almighty to give health to the members of their group who are sick. Besale is also a ritual to thank God or make a vow.
Anak Dalam tribe is known for the strict rules that exist in their belief system. Some of the rules are directly related to environmental sustainability, such as the prohibition of defecating in rivers, urinating in rivers, disposing of the trash both on land and in rivers, cutting trees, selling wood and fields to outsiders, fishing with poison, and many other restrictions.
If they violate the restrictions in their belief, then they will be severely punished. For example, they believe in the curse of the fruit god. If Fruit God is angry, they believe there will be a disaster in the form of destroying the fruit in the forest. Either in the form of no fruit, little fruit, or the fruit is damaged by pests.
In addition, another taboo in the Belief of Anak Dalam is the prohibition of cutting down trees. The belief of the Rimba people forbids them to cut trees carelessly. They keep the trees in the forest growing. One of the trees that are prohibited from being felled is the Sialang tree, the Singgris tree, and the Sentubung tree.
Unfortunately, the Anak Dalam tribe continues to be marginalized in this globalization era. Many companies have opened oil palm plantations in the vicinity of the area where this tribe lives. Thus, the place where they look for food is reduced, and the forest ecosystem is disturbed by deforestation. Rimba people depend their life on the forest, both from hunting and from the fruits. If there is damage to their source of life, their lives are threatened. It is what they are worried about.
In conclusion, as an original tribe of this nation, the Anak Dalam tribe must be guarded and respected. Preserving nature that is sacred to them is not only for environmental preservation but also as one way to respect their beliefs.
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