Human Right of Local Belief in Indonesia: Cases of Orang Rimba

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Human Right of Local Belief in Indonesia

In Indonesia, the recognition of indigenous people has actually been since the beginning of independence through its constitutional foundation. It is stated in Article 18B Paragraph (2) of 1945 Constitutional that the State must recognize and respect the units of the community as well as their traditional rights as long as they are alive and in accordance with the development of the community and the principles of the Republic of Indonesia regulated in the law. Human right for indigenous people in Indonesia is becoming an important discussion today. The importance comes due to various problems and ownership and rights to indigenous territories, such as forests, religion, and land. Those are the most urgent things for the life of Orang Rimba.

Baca juga: Local Beliefs Hope: Just Wanna be Appreciated.

Local Belief of Orang Rimba as One of the Indigenous People in Indonesia

Talking about Orang Rimba, we cannot separate them from the forest – because it is their place to live. Many people often referred to Orang Rimba as Suku Anak DalamKomunitas Adat Terpencil, and Kubu. Right now, in total, there are about 2,650 people who claimed their selves as Orang Rimba. Those people who claimed their selves as Orang Rimba was spread to various areas in the Bukit Dua Belas National Park which located in four districts, which are Batangari, Merangi, Sarolangun, and Tebo. With the condition of the forest which is fluid, small, and constantly changing from season to season, it makes them should be moved from one area to another area to find the best area for a living. Forest is their home and source of life. In addition, it is a place for them to breed, and become a place for traditional and religious ceremonies.

Orang Rimba claimed a forest as a place where a spirit lives. The spirit refers to the one who lives and can act like them. The land of the forest is a sacred place for Orang Rimba which make them has a way to relate with it. Orang Rimba also treats rivers as a part of their cosmology which means it is very important to see from a particular understanding. They believe that the flow of rivers symbolized the social and moral orders and the wind symbolizes their life stage rituals. There are about eight kinds of deities as a place for Orang Rimba ask help, which is Tiger, Cats, Huluaye, Honey, Disease, Rice, Pangolin, and Elephant. Their belief surrounding the flow of the rivers and the Gods of sickness is a primary means through which Orang Rimba restricts interaction with the outside world.  Orang Rimba is concerned about the destruction of the forest. Orang Rimba argues that living outside the forest will break their relationship with nature. They will feel more comfortable if they live side by side with nature rather than live in a place full of simplicity. There is one time when the Government of Jambi provided housing for Orang Rimba in between the village and the Kedundung Muda Group in TNBD. It is happening in 2013 when the Government of Jambi provided around 30 homes for them. But, because of the action by the Government of Jambi, it has become the most problematic phenomenon in their customary life. By that, there are at least customary violations committed by forestry and plantation companies, for example, by destroying traditional buildings as a place of worship, customary forest clearing, timber exploitation, where the timber is sacred or abstained from indigenous people.

Through the explanation above, it can be concluded that it is important to understand the belief of Orang Rimba from the perspective of indigenous religion. Orang Rimba beliefs are related to their specific way of knowing their nature around them including land, space, ancestor, and so on. What happens to them in 2013 really makes a bad impact on the future life of their tribe since the forest the only place for them to live. In addition, their religion is entirely part of their culture and their daily life. If forestry and plantation companies destroy the place for them to worship, they will lose hope for life. In conclusion, having a right to live in any place with peace is what Orang Rimba needs so that they can be more comfortable in doing any worship or other activities in their life. So, it is important for all people including the government, forestry, plantation companies, or even us as human beings to understand the belief of indigenous people like Orang Rimba.

Writer: Bimo Aditya
Student of Sampoerna University