The Rote Tribe History in Indonesia | Origin of Rote Tribe Skip to main content

The Rote Tribe History in Indonesia | Origin of Rote Tribe

The Rote Tribe History - The author summarizes the history of Rote tribe from various written documents, research and
Indonesian National History Book (1977)

Early History of Rote People


Rote is the most southern island of the Indonesian archipelago has a history of a residential that is difficult to know initially, because the written documents that can be confirmed only the Dutch East Indies documents. The rest relies solely on verbal stories from speakers who are in the social system in Rote known as Mane Helo.

The ethnic group came to the island. But when they start to come to and inhabit the island is a new issue. It is possible that Rote Island began to be visited in the Neolitikhum period of about 4500-2500 BC. Another possibility is that the island was approached during the Bronze Age. Physical evidence in the form of cultural artifacts that confirm the truth is in the UPTD Museum of NTT and national Museum of INDONESIA in Jakarta.

There are people in the Neolitikhum era in Rote obtained from the results of surveys and excavations that show some caves indicated as the place of the ancient human settlement. Excavations (systematic excavations of archaeology) in the Mbia Hudale Caves, Mokdale village, Lobalain Subdistrict. Excavations open three squares with a depth of 85 cm and findings in the form of stone artefact and abundant molluscs and also find bone and tooth fragments.

Excavations at Lua Caves Bafak, Oematamboli Village, Lobalain Sub-district, opened a box and many found stone tools, earthenware, and molluscs, while in Cave/Lua Bote opened two Galian boxes and found tools stone, mollusks, earthenware, fragments of bones, and Muti From shellfish. From the findings of the third cave/LUA excavated indication as an ancient human dwelling cave. The cave in Rote that was surveyed by the NTT Education and Culture Office (in collaboration with the Yogyakarta UGM) amounted to about 30 caves/niches and hopefully this surface survey can be continued with a more systematic research process in the capacity Long enough time to record more complex data.

Two identical bronze axes were found in Rote which was thought to have originated in Bronze Age. The Bronze Age by archaeologists is expected to start around the 4th century with a center in Dongson and Vietnam. In addition, the collection of NTT Museum also shows the resemblance of Rote ikat weaving motif by weaving Pasola from India.

The other places that become the first landings of Rote's inhabitants are:

  1. Tenalain and MaeoE in Nusak Landu
  2. Landulain and Namoain in Nusak Landu
  3. Korlo and Tualulik in Nusak Landu
  4. SeleAi in Nusak OEpao
  5. Papela and Nusalai at Nusak Ringgou
  6. Danolon, OEulu, OEboka, Tatula in Nusak Bilba or Beluba
  7. Pouk at Nusak Bilba
  8. Batubela and OEnggae in Korbaffo
  9. Nusakdale, Ingulangga (Bengubelen) on Bokai
  10. Hala and Solokaendafo di Nusak Termanu
  11. Baadale and Namodale di Nusak BAA
  12. Kekanes in Nusak Dengka
  13. The village of the Nusak
  14. Ndau, Daodulu, OElaba and Lailete in Nusak Dengka
  15. Tongga and Sai di Nusak OEnale
  16. The Nemberala of the Nusak Delha
  17. Landu and Nusa Rene Islands in Nusak Thie
  18. The Fatula oil in Nusak Ndao (Ndao Island)

From this landing site they settled, forming settlements that tended to concentrate on the fertile areas. Fertile areas usually have their own source of water, so all Nusak have their own spring water. In the future, the water source continues to be one of the motives for the conflict in Rote.

From the above description can authors add that ethnicity (the number of tribes/Nusak in Rote that is not "line") is a device that forms the existence of identity unity as a group of individuals by Weber (1968) called as Ethnic Group (ethnic group). The history of Rote People's journey from time to time has also proved that the role of differences in culture (ethnic group) is not an obstacle in creating civilization society. The development of the Civil Society in Rote expects a deal to ensure a more responsible democratization of the people in the spirit of regional autonomy.

History Originated from Rote Name

Rote has many names. In the Dutch East Indies government archive, the island was written as Rotti or Rottij "then bread". However, Rote people who have nine dialects often call this island "Lote", especially for those who cannot call the letter "R". The other Rote community referred to the island as "Lolo Deo Do Tenu Hatu" which means the dark island. There is also the name "Nes Do Male" which means the Layu/dry Island (Otta, 1990) and some also refer to it as "Lino Do Nes" meaning the Silent Island (Naladay, 1988).

Further, James Fox (1996) says, in the Portuguese documents of the 16th and 17th centuries listed various names such as "Rotes", "Enda". In the Dutch map, at first the island is called "Rotthe", which is then cited incorrectly as "Rotto". However, in one of the maps in the early seventeenth century, the island is referred to by the indigenous name "Noessa Dahena" (Nusa Dahena) derived from the Rote dialect of the east which literally means "Isle of Man".

Except in the map, the name is not used anymore. In the mid-17th century, the Dutch East Indies trade union in documents used the name "Rotti" with three distinct spellings: "Rotti", "Rotty" and "Rotij". This official term continued to be used until the 20th century and was changed to "bread." Furthermore Fox (1986, 1996) outlines, the name "Roti" is the Malay language change of "Rote", a change that raises a game of meaningless and outdated word from the word "Roti" which happens to be in Bahasa Indonesia means ' food Made from wheat flour '. "Rote" is more frequently used in everyday language but this raises the problem because r and l are used to change in the nine regional languages in Rote. Therefore, there is also a mention of this island "Lote".

In the official government document originating from the island, it uses the name "Rote", while most of the central government documents use the name "Roti". This name is used in the map of Indonesia in general as well as the current world map. And for this dissertation the author uses the name "Rote".

History of Socio Economic Life in Rote

Rote residents spread evenly across ten sub-districts almost wholly live as farmers and ranchers. It is in accordance with the climate in Rote that is semi-abried or semi-arid. Therefore, business in the field of agriculture can only harvest once a year, that is during the rainy season only. After Harvest, His activities switched to other areas that could help the economy of the family, one of which was the Lontar tree. The Utilization of the Lontar tree, a type of palm borassus (Borassus sundaicus Beccari). Other types of palm trees Also utilized is the Gewang tree (Corypha elata Roxb) that grows in Rote.

Rote residents can take advantage of the various results of the gewang trees such as the results of lontar trees. With these lontar trees as shafts, the inhabitants of Rote have created a complex and diverse economy. This palm tree is generally not planted or maintained, but grows fertile and so much that not all of these trees are utilized. Bullan (2011) Calculates the potential production of lontar trees with a mass of sadap 184 days can produce about 726.84 liters. When multiplied by the number of trees that are tapped as much as 5,326,400 trees, the total production of 3,871,440,576 liters.

Almost 4 billion liters. With that amount, this potential is a strategic commodity as a source of raw materials development of agroindustries that can support the revenue of the Lontar. The Use of Lontar is only the essence of a complex economy that is mutually Associated. One of the advantages of the forgotten time in the dry season is to catch fish off the coast regularly. Fishing in a short period of time is part of the daily activities for most of the inhabitants of Rote. Until now the Palm tree processing is still limited To the traditional processing of the community. Everything is just to meet the needs of everyday life. Market prospects are done solely for the same sake. Ironically, until now there has been no specific research to know the positive and negative impacts of Tuak production.

The traditional Nira processing mechanisms make it less competitive with modern production drinks on the market. With a culture of tapping lontar since long ago, the Rote people should be able to gain greater economic gains, which can also guarantee their lives. The two other activities that are closely related to Rote's population economy are the large number of pig, cow, buffalo and honey collecting. Rote residents are your role in the sense that they "collect results" palm trees to fulfill the greatest part of their needs.

They are also farmers who have planted soil with very bad circumstances, nevertheless the existence of the population of tree lontar28 also sustain the life of Rote people especially for household consumption purposes as a substitute for materials Staple food such as rice, corn and sweet potatoes, therefore Rote society has never experienced a shortage of foodstuffs especially for household consumption.

Now the economic development in Rote slowly began to shift from the economy of the lontar to the seaweed economy in some coastal areas such as in Papela village, East Rote; Oelaba Hamlet, Oelua village of north-west Rote; Nemberala Village, Oenggaut Village and Sedeoen village in West Rote. Especially for tourism area Nemberala (Sedeoen village, Nemberala Village, Bo'a Village and Oenggaut village) long before getting to know seaweed has long developed tourism economic activity where most of the land in the tourist area of Nemberala is now "mastered" by Foreign tourists who build hotels, resorts and villas.

The surrounding community provides home stays for foreign tourists who want to experience the natural atmosphere of Nemberala instead of staying in hotels and villas. In addition, economic developments in the trade and services sector also showed progress, especially in the city of Ba'a as the heart of the city from Rote Ndao Regency. The observation also showed that the work as a grower or seaweed farmer is still dominated by the old generation Group, while the younger generation Rote group especially the higher educated tend to hang the livelihood The economy is outside of the farming effort not even a few who choose to work outside of the agricultural field and others choose to wander outside of Rote. This group has a lot of access to obtain information and knowledge about matters relating to developments in the field of politics, law, information technology and human rights.

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