The Sacred Forest of Kanekes People

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Nobody knows when the Kanekes people started living in this area, in this territory that has been entrusted by their ancestors, which had been neither expanded nor reduced. According to their perception, human lives on Earth began in Kanekes, which then developed and expanded to various parts of the world. The Kanekes people have often been referred by many as the Baduy People.

The Kanekes people impose many restrictions on themselves, especially on things related to modernity. Fasting, limiting and knowing themselves. Their houses are made of woods, bamboos, and sago roofs. Streets are made of stones that are arranged and patched with dirt or sand. No asphalts and no concretes.  No electricity and no gas stoves. Children are not allowed to go to school because education is the responsibility of their community, not that of a particular organization.

As farmers, they save their crops as much as possible and prefer to buy rice from neighboring villages if they have the money instead of consuming their own rice. This is due to the fact that paddy is very valuable to the people of Kanekes. Paddy is a manifestation of their good relationship with Mother Earth that they wish to pass on to their descendants.

They establish one-third of the Kanekes area as a Sacred Forest whose products may not be taken and left as they are. It is where ancestral spirits reside. There reside various rivers and tributaries that flow throughout the Kanekes region. A forest that continues to give, but one they never steal from. It is a perfect concept about nature preservation that has long been outlined and obeyed.

Thus, from the very beginning, Kanekes people are an independent community who understand how to act wisely and behave virtuously…


THIS IS INDONESIA! is a campaign created by Spektakel ID to show Indonesia‚Äôs rich and colorful diversity. The world largest archipelago seen through mass media is only in a microscopic scope. It’s more than about beautiful sceneries. It’s also about the humans that matter, the people that make Indonesia actual.

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