Ngagah Harimau Dance for Pulau Tengah People in Kerinci

Explorejambi.com – For Kerincinese  in Jambi Province, tigers are like best friends. They can live together side by side without disturbing each other. Tigers are even respected by the people of the regency that owns a jargon Sejuk (cool), Aman (safe),  Kenangan (memorable), Tertib (orderly), Indah (beautiful) usually abbreviated to SAKTI, which means magical power.

The reason behind this relation is that Kerincinese believe that tigers are the incarnation of their ancestors who were assigned to keep the preservation of the mountain forest in Gunung Rayo District. The people call the tigers as Inyiak, Ninek or Tuo which means respected ancestors and older people.

This strong relation has been going on until now. To noble and maintain this relation between tigers and people, the people often conduct traditional ceremonies to honor the tigers, one of them is Ngagah ceremony.

Notwithstanding that this ritual is rarely performed, the tradition of Kerincinese towards the king of the jungle is well preserved. One of popular rituals is the ritual of people in Pulau Tengah, Kerinci, Jambi Province. This ritual is well known as Ngagah dance that means to entertain the spirit of tigers. This dance is performed when there is a tiger found dead in the forest. The purpose is to prevent the group of tigers not to come down the mountain and disturb the people.

In practice, every move in Ngagah dance conceives deep moral values. The dead tiger is covered with white cloth just like the way how human dead is treated in that area. This tiger is later carried to balai adat (a house where traditional ceremonies are always held). In balai adat, the body is upheld like a living tiger. Ketua adat (chief of tribal council) will cast some spells accompanied with the music from tarawoak (sounds produced from the midrib of areca nut tree), which has the function to fetch the spirit of the tiger, as the sign that the ritual begins.

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By performing this ritual, people believe that the spirit of the tiger will hear and incarnate. Villagers believe tigers have ears of the ground, which means that they can hear every footstep. After the cloth is revealed one by one, some offerings are put before the body as redemption.

In principle, this ritual is to redeem the death of the tiger. Hilang Belang diganti belang, hilang taring diganti taring, hilang ekor diganti ekor, dan  hilang mata diganti mata. These words mean that the death of a tiger will be redeemed by the people. In this ritual, the fangs are paid with a Kris, the nails are paid with a sword, the tail is paid with a spear, the sound is paid with a gong, the eye color is paid with the inner midrib of a bamboo tree, and the spots are paid with cloths of three colors (red, white, and black). After the procession, the dead tiger is paraded around the village with some performances such as knife silat and swords silat (silat is a traditional art defense from Indonesia),  and some moves resembling the moves of tigers.

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In the middle of the ritual, there will be many people who are possessed and act like tigers. This phenomenon is believed as the sign when the spirit of ancestors incarnate into the bodies of the people.

(Penerjemah : Lukman Tanjung)

Tari Ngagah Harimau Bagi Masyarakat Pulau Tengah Kerinci

Bagi masyarakat Kerinci-Jambi harimau merupakan sahabat karib. Hidup berdampingan tanpa mengganggu satu sama lain. Bahkan harimau sangat dihormati oleh warga kabupaten berjargon Sejuk Aman Kenanga Tertib Indah (Sakti) alam Kerinci.

Pasalnya, masyarakat Kerinci meyakini harimau merupakan titisan nenek moyang mereka yang ditugaskan menjaga kelestarian hutan rimba gunung rayo. Masyarakat pun menggelari harimau dengan sebutan Inyiak, Ninek atau Tuo yang artinya leluhur/orang yang dituakan.

Kelestarian hubungan itu terus terjaga sejak zaman dulu hingga saat ini. Nah, untuk memuliakan dan menjaga hubungan batin antara harimau dan masyarakat, tak jarang warga dusun menggelar upacara adat untuk menghormati harimau. Salah satunya upacara Ngangah.

Meskipun jarang terjadi, perilaku adat masyarakat kerinci terhadap raja hutan itu terus terjaga. Seperti ritual adat masyarakat Pulau Tengah, Kerinci, Jambi. Ritual tersebut dinamakan Tari Ngangah yang berarti menghibur roh harimau. Tarian itu digelar manakala ditemukan seekor harimau mati dihutan. Dengan maksud agar gerombolan harimau tidak turun gunung dan mengganggu warga.

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Dalam prakteknya, setiap gerakan yang tersaji mengandung pesan moral yang sangat dalam. Harimau yang mati ditutupi kain putih layaknya manusia, Harimau kemudian ditandu menuju balai adat. Diletakkan di tempat yang agak tinggi dan ditegakkan seperti harimau yang masih hidup. Selanjutnya, ketua adat akan membaca mantra diiringi bunyi yang berasal dari Tarawoak (bebunyian dari pelepah pinang) yang berfungsi untuk menjemput roh harimau, petanda ritual dimulai.

Diyakini dengan adanya ritual adat ini, roh harimau akan mendengar dan datang menjelma. Kepercayaan masyarakat harimau berkuping tanah, pendengarannya menembus setiap jejak langkah, setelah kain putih dibuka satu per satu berbagai jenis benda kemudian diletakkan dihadapan harimau sebagai tebusan.

Prinsipnya adalah melunasi, hilang belang diganti belang, hilang taring diganti taring, hilang ekor diganti ekor, hilang mata diganti mata. Dalam ritual itu taring diganti dengan keris, kuku diganti dengan sebilah pedang, ekor diganti dengan tombak, suaranya diganti dengan pukulan gong, warna matanya dengan benda keras yang berkilat seperti kelopak betung (pelepah bambu bagian dalam) dan belangnya diganti kain tiga warna (merah, putih dan hitam).

Setelah prosesi itu, harimau mati diarak keliling kampung diiringi dengan peragaan tarian, silat pisau, silat pedang dan gerakan yang menyerupai harimau.

Ditengah ritual itulah tiba-tiba banyak warga yang kesurupan dan bertingkah mirip gerakan harimau, kejadian inilah yang diyakini warga sebagai tanda kedatangan roh leluhur yang menjelma masuk kedalam raga.

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