Meeting the Sasak Tribe of Lombok, Indonesia

On a cultural Heritage trail of exploring Indonesia, meeting the ancient tribe of Sasak in Ende village of Lombok was an interesting walk.

Who are Sasak Tribe of Lombok, Indonesia

The people of Sasak are the oldest inhabitants, settled in Lombok for over 2000 years, comprising about 85% of the island’s population. Though there hasn’t been any clear theory as to what led them to settle here and what does Sasak actually means. There are many translations regarding the word Sasak but one such belief says that the word Sasak came from sa’-saq which means “the one”. Followed by the word Lombok which originates from the word Lomboq, meaning “straight”. Hence by combining the words together Sa’-saq Lombok, it means “something that’s straight”.

Most of the Sasaks today are adherents of the Lima Waktu version of Islam. Lima Waktu or Five Times signifies the five daily prayers which Muslims are required to do. The Sasaks converted to Islam between the late 16th century to early 17th century under the influence of Pangeran Prapen (Sunan Prapen), the son of Raden Paku (Sunan Giri) who were frequently mixing basic Islamic beliefs with Hindu-Buddhist beliefs, thus creating the Wetu Telu religion.The men in Sadak tribe practice farming while the sadak ladies are the weavers operating out of their home

Ende Village of Lombok, Indonesia

One of the things that I really appreciated about Sasak people when I met them, is that they preserve their culture and traditions as it is, as it was during the earlier times.

A glimpse of which I got during my visit to Ende village of Lombok, which is located about 2 hours from Senggigi beach area

Sasak Architecture at Ende Village, Lombok

One of the things that I couldn’t ignore noticing while I entered the ende Village of Lombok was their eco friendly way of making their homes. Technology owned by the Sasak tribe on the island of Lombok is still relatively simple, but highly environment friendly. Sasak traditional building structure is a frame system made of wood in the form of a beam and a rectangular pole. While the wall coverings made of woven bamboo (chamber), which is left on the original color and character.

Entrances to houses are made low so that anyone entering the houses is forced to bow his or her head in respect to the dwellers. After the birth of first child, the new father must sleep outside the house As I spoke with one of them, they told me that for Sasak communities to build houses, they usually take care of few conditions which include: choosing building materials, direction of the house, choosing a good day and doing selamatan. In addition to the architecture of traditional house buildings, berugak is one of the traditional buildings that became a means of socialization conducted by the community of Sasak tribe including traditional ceremonies.

Presean Dance for Sasak People of Lombok

I was lucky to get a glimpse of the world famous presean dance of Sasak people of Lombok.

Presean, the traditional martial art form of Lombok has been a part of the sasak tribe of Indonesia for many generations. Presean which means the fight by using Penjalin (Rattan) as a tool and Ende (Shield) as a protective device has been preserved with the people of Lombok for a long time now, a belief with which they pray the rain god for better rains. You can read a detailed blog about it here

So, tell me ever heard or met the Sasak tribe of Lombok ?


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