Get to Know The Tengger Tribe in Mount Bromo

When we hear Mount Bromo, we automatically remember its famous nature and view as tourist attraction. Mount Bromo is well known for its beautiful sunrise, green and fresh Teletubbies hill, also elegant Pasir Berbisik desert. But beside its tourist attraction, we must know that there is a tribe living around Mount Bromo called Tengger tribe.

Here are several things to get to know the Tengger tribe in Mount Bromo:

  • The Origin of Tengger Tribe

The origin of Tengger tribe is Majapahit Kingdom’s inhabitants who fled away after its defeat. It happened when Demak Kingdom, led by Raden Patah, conquer Majapahit Kingdom under his power. This conquest occurred in the 16th century that made the inhabitants of Majapahit Kingdom fled away to various places.

Some of them are Roro Anteng and Joko Seger who led the inhabitants to flee to mountain area in East Java, precisely in Mount Bromo now. The refugee then called Tengger tribe, which are the descendants of Roro Anteng and Joko Seger. They lived quietly and shut theirselves from the world since then, but they still has their own unique tradition and culture.

  • The Meaning of Tengger

The name “Tengger” has three meanings. First meaning is Tengger as mountain, in accordance with the geograpical of Mount Bromo that has been their living place. And the second meaning of Tengger is Tenggering Budi Luhur, which can be interpreted as good, noble, and honorable character. This meaning is intended to describe the core character of Tengger tribe from generation to generation.

And the last meaning from “Tengger” is the combined name of Roro Anteng and Joko Seger, as the ancestor of Tengger tribe. The name was taken from their name, Teng from Roro Anteng and Ger from Joko Seger. So the name “Tengger” can be seen as a tribute to their ancestors, Roro Anteng and Joko Seger, which led them to Mount Bromo.

  • The Belief of Tengger Tribe

The belief of Tengger tribe was strongly influenced by their ancestors as Majapahit Kingdom inhabitants. Their ancestors were the loyal believer of Siwa-Budha belief that adhered by most of Majapahit Kingdom inhabitants. So, different from other tribes in Java that mostly as Islam believer, Tengger tribe is still maintaining the belief from their Majapahit ancestors.

  • The Language and Dialect of Tengger Tribe

As a Javanese tribe, Tengger tribe is also using Javanese language in their everyday life. But what makes them unique is the dialect that they’re using to talk. They’re using Kawi dialect and some of ancient Javanese language that rarely used by other tribes nowdays. Because of their dialect, their language is hard to understand even by people from Javanese tribes.

  • The Calendar of Tengger Tribe

Not only their language and dialect, Tengger tribe has also its own calendar system beside the BC calendar. Tengger tribe is using Saka year system as their calendar, that was adopted from Hindu calendar system. This calendar system is similar with Javanese traditional and Balinese calendar system.

The Tengger tribe’s calendar system has 12 months a year, with 30 days in every month. The name of months from this calendar system are Kasa, Karo, Katiga, Kapat, Kalima, Kanem, Kapitu, Kawolu, Kasanga, Kasadasa, Dhesta, and Kasadha. This calendar system is used as the standard for Tengger tribe to do their traditional ceremonies and other tradition.

  • The Livelihood of Tengger Tribe

To get to know the Tengger tribe in Mount Bromo, we need to know how is their livelihood. Because of its geographical condition in the mountain, Tengger tribe is mostly living from their farming. The geographical condition of Mount Bromo makes Tengger tribe prefer to farm the vegetables and tubers, rather than farming the rice. Beside farming, people of Tengger tribe also work as guide in tourist attraction of Mount Bromo.

  • The Tradition of Tengger Tribe

Tengger tribe has many tradition as their culture that passed down from generation to generation. One of their tradition is Yadya Kasada ceremony that always held on 14th of Kasadha in their calendar system. This ceremony is a form of their praying and sacrifice to their God and begging for the safety and blessing. The Tengger tribe will serve their livestock and farm products such as vegetables and fruits to the crater of Mount Bromo.

This Yadya Kasada ceremony is actually a tradition from their ancestors back then. Roro Anteng and Joko Seger wanted to have children and begged to their God. They promised that they will sacrifice they youngest child if their wish come true. But when their wish came true, they didn’t fulfill the promise and it made Mount Bromo was angry. Only after Roro Anteng and Joko Seger sacrified their younges child, Raden Kusuma, the Mount Bromo was calming down again.

Those are several things you need to get to know the Tengger tribe in Mount Bromo. Hope this information is helpful for you!