Osing Tribe 524,000

Written by on October 1, 2010 in Java Tribes with 0 Comments

Osing Tribe 524,000

East Java, east and northeast coast. Alternate names: Banyuwangi. Dialects: Related to East Javanese.

The Jawa Osing reside in the Banyuwangi district in East Jawa Province and seem to be the original occupants of this eastern-most area of Jawa (Java). The Jawa Osing are part of the Jawa cluster of peoples, but they have their own cultural variations which differ from other Jawa peoples. Banosingyuwangi is a transit city for tourists who are en-route to Bali. It seems Banyuwangi was the capital city of the Hindu Blambangan Kingdom that was the last kingdom in Jawa.The Osing speak Ngoko Osing (Osing language). For other Jawa, this language is considered old fashioned and corrupted because of influence from the Madura language.
Family, housing, food, as well as social and health patterns of the Jawa Osing are very characteristic of the Jawa culture, but the Bali culture has also influenced them. An example is seen in the Janger dance. This dance has the theme of love, and is performed to the rhythm of the two-sided drum (kendang kempul). Their clothing is Jawa in style, but the wigs (sanggul) used resemble that of the Bali people. Many of the Jawa Osing people make their living by farming, raising livestock, and trade. In addition, there are also some who work as local government officials or private employees. They never experience water shortages because they live on the slopes of the Ijen-Merapi volcano.The Jawa Osing take great care and highly value preserving their relationships with relatives, whether they are near or far. Good relationships with others are also maintained through mutual sharing and giving, as well as trying to understand other people’s feelings and abilities. This practice is summarized as tepo seliro, which means not doing something one would not want done to one’s self. The Jawa Osing are known as hospitable and well mannered people. Their culture, which is under governmental protection, has become popular and interesting to tourists. The government wishes to preserve and utilize the unique beliefs and culture of the people. This has added to the pride of the Jawa Osing in their culture.
Islam became the dominant religion of the Jawa Osing after Hinduism was pushed from their area to Bali. The Kiai (Islamic teacher) has the ultimate authority in matters of religion. The Jawa Osing have many selametan (ritual meals) specific to each occasion, such as: the death of a family member; the cleaning of the village, tilling and harvesting the land, birth, marriage, and moving to a new house. Selametan combine a mixture of Jawa and Islamic culture ceremonies and are thus also done for Islamic holidays. A few of these days are: Suran, Muludan, Ruahan, Punggahan, Rejabatan, and Sekaten. The traditional dukun (shaman/healer/occultist) is famous for his ability to apply his black magic from far distances. Through his magical powers he can heal or destroy whoever or whatever is a cause of problems.

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