The Rote Tribe History in Indonesia | Social Politics of The Rote Tribe --> Skip to main content

The Rote Tribe History in Indonesia | Social Politics of The Rote Tribe

The Rote Tribe History - The social structure of people in Rote is Leo. Indigenous institutions are purely genealogical, and there is no more structure that is characterized by genealogists solely on it. The larger structure is a smell of genealogical is Nusak but not purely genealogical because of territorial claim.

Social Structure and Community Organizing in Rote

rote tribe history

Leo is a social group (based on genealogical) that earliest formed in Rote and its leader is called Mane Leo. After Leo gained many members it was divided into small groups called Kitak, Nggitak, and Manulanggak, and after that the new family group Batih (Uma Lo or household).

Furthermore, the community organizing in Rote increasingly increasingly complex. All the scientific material describing how complexity began to grow is not found at all until the Portuguese arrived (1620) in Rote and the Netherlands (1650 's) in Rote (Fox: 1996). In the official document or letter between the officers of the VOC with the Governor-general in Batavia is always listed terms such as Nusak, Leo and Manek referring to the social structure and power in Rote.

The term is actually part of the "way of organizing the community" Rote, also the original governmental system that was ever embraced. The original social Structure of Rote society at present was shifting as the impact of a decision The Indonesian government to dissolve the government with the government system (Nusak) in 1962. Although it is considered to be completed administratively but still has a continuous social impact, one example is the break-out of family in a clan (Leo) who do not know each other.

Can writers add that since Rote officially became an autonomous county in the year 2002, the role of the institution of Maneleo was again turned on (fortified) its existence by the Government of Rote Ndao District with the aim to maintain and unite/ Revived the group Kitak, Nggitak, and Manulanggak in a family Batih (Uma Loh/household) in each region of the former Nusak. On the other hand Manaleo's whereabouts were also "utilized" by the Regent in power for the sake of succession election of regional heads.

Government System in Rote

The historical development of the government in Rote was initiated from the customary government called the Nusak or the kingdom led by a Manek (head of the Nusak/king). In the beginning, Rote consisted of 5 Nusak, namely Termanu, Dengka, Thie, Ringgou and BAA and then evolved into 19 Nusak.

There are at least two basic reasons why the division is important, namely: first, because it relates to the local political issues of competition and conflict between tribes. Secondly, the political interests of the Dutch in controlling the southern region of Timor as the fortress will be in relation to the conflict between the Dutch and Portuguese in NTT on the other side (FanggidaE, 2002). If traced further, Rote Actually divided into 18 Nusak or it is said that Rote land contained "Dedeo Sanghulu Falu".

Dedeo means flag, Sanghulu Falu means eighteen. "Dedeo Sanghulu Falu" means eighteen flags, namely the progression of the stand-alone eighteen Nusak, in which the Nusak were one not or controlled by another Nusak. The 18th Nusak was Landoe, Oepao, Ringgou, Bilba (Beluba), Diu, Korbaffo, Termanu, Bokai, Talae, Lelenuk, Baa, Lelain, Keka, Lole, Thie, Dengka, Oenale, Delha and add one Nusak again in Ndao Island namely Nusak Ndao, then all Rote/Ndao there are 19 The Nusak.

The post of Manek which was then associated with the Nusak was more formal political terminology that took over the form that had existed among the previous society associated with the Tribe (Leo) and the tribe leader (Maneleo). Thus the Nusak in this case becomes an expanded area/coalition between the nearby tribal territories, Manek is an expanded form of Maneleo. Manek institutions in fact have hardly any authority over the reality of tribes because they have Maneleo themselves. Manek in this case becomes an extension of the hands of the Dutch political government and the relationship with issues arising as a consequence of the encounter between tribes.

According to the narrative of Filiphus Tasi (50 Years), the head of the village of Bo'a interviewed by the author, actually there are 20 Nusak in Rote, Nusak was the last Nusak Dhana (Pulau Dhana), the Nusak was destroyed after being attacked by a young man named Nalle Sanggu.

According to Fox (1996), Nusak is grouping the Genealogical society and has a territorial claim (there are 19 Nusak) which in its development color the pattern of relations between people in Rote called Leo. Leo by Fox (1996) aligned with the clan and the data obtained also strengthens this. In the Adat law of Rote people of the Nusak, "it is not advisable for the citizen of one Leo to hold a marriage relationship" the indigenous Institution of Leo, is the social structure with the foundation of the genealogists only, and no more larger structures that The mere genealogists are characterized. The larger structure that smells of genealogical is Nusak but is not purely genealogical because of its territorial claim.

According to the Fanggidae (2002), the Nusak in this is a unitary semi-autonomous territory formed by the Dutch political government to organize/manage the interests of internal tribes such as possessions, territorial borders, belist problems and A number of other ethnic problems such that the political government is not preoccupied with the domestic affairs of the tribes which in turn will be able to encourage the form of supervision of the tribes referred to. In subsequent developments of the Nusak and Manek institutions as the King then concentrated on the issue of the tribal judiciary in which Manek assisted by the dope Mane decided on tribal/customary matters. The Nusak became the union of the tribal judiciary.

In the perspective of governance, Nusak entered the classification of regional alliances or decentralised villages with authoritative central affairs bodies (consisting of: Nusak/Nabuak meetings in charge of establishing Adat, Manek the personification of Power to implement the custom and Mane Dope/Manedompe which is the personification of the power of prosecute customs violations).

The different views of Messakh (2006) were submitted by Soh (2008). According to Soh, the NUSAK structure is not dominant because of the mere prosecute affairs. The Nusak was also assisted by a kind of functional office called the traditional elders or the Nusak, which the Dutch also called the Hoofdend (the state authorities).

The Department of Lasi Nusak consists of:

  • Manek (head of Nusak/king)
  • Fettor (Deputy chief Nusak/Deputy King)
  • Maneleo (chieftain, unterritorial)
  • Temukung (Leo who is given territory by the Dutch)
  • Langgak/Nggitak (hamlet)
  • The department of Lasi Nusak consists of:
  • Manesongo, is a position with the function of Imam, in Nusak 
  • Termanu, while serving as a water divider.
  • ManekilaoE, authorized to divide the water in the rice
  • Manemok (the name for the Nusak Thie, Baa and Loleh) or Mane Dope (a designation for the territory of Termanu to the east). Is a Judge/Supreme judge who is tasked with prosecuting customary disputes. (If there are animals that damage crops, jump over the fence of crops and damage the plants that are in them, then the Manemok/mane-Dope office is in charge of prosecute.
  • In some of the Nusak which has a forest also known as the Mane Nulla office serves as a judge of a forest dispute.
  • Dae Langgak or landlord in Rote's customary governance system has a distinctive meaning because it is not one who controls the lands and is capable of redistributing. He Was only one who had knowledge of the lineage of land possession in his Nusak. Because of this knowledge, in the case of land he stood as an expert witness of both disputes over tribal lands (Leo) or private land or individual.

The five functional positions above are one that runs the government along with Manek, Mane Leo and Temukung and Langgak. In this system of governance Maneleo serves as a judge of the customary dispute of marriage (including divorce), in a communal conjunction with the other Maneleo then confer to decide matters concerning customary disputes. While Manek more functioned as the final judge, when the decision on the level of Leo, Lasi Nusak and Temukung and Writak was not successful.

First appreciation of Manek is very high. Even to eat meting (take the result of low tide time) should be set aside for the king. The harvest, the slaughter was always set aside for the King's family. The Sons of the King (Prince and daughter of King) were served by citizens. But now it's all over, the people no longer appreciate it as it used to be. They also live daily for their own lives, especially in the realm of democracy where it conflicts with the feudal principles.

With the advent of Indonesian independence in the year 1945, this traditional system with minimal adjustments was incorporated into the government structure of the Republic of Indonesia and held to be a legitimate way to govern in Rote. And since the year 1962, the Nusak government system was dissolved by the government and replaced with a village government system that is still valid today.

Socio-political developments in a region such as Rote (Rote Ndao Regency) will not only affect the people's attitudes in the development process, but also affect the organizational structure at the local level, especially at the Nusak level Which is still preserved in the era of regional autonomy, although the existence of the Nusak is only as symbolic to facilitate the government wheel in Rote Ndao regency.


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