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  • Organisation

    Sumba Integrated Development (SID) is a local non-government organization based in East Sumba and established in 2010. The vision of SID is to develop and empower the community by strengthening their values of life to improve the welfare of the people, family, women, and children. SID primarily focuses on developing a good environment for children and youth in cooperation with related stakeholders in Sumba island, in particular community leaders, local government, and other civil society organizations. Currently, SIDis working on programs in Southwest Sumba and East Sumba for over 2115 children and families in 7 sub-districts and 23 villages funded by ChildFund International. Some of SID#s main programs are: 1. Early Childhood Development (ECD) Program for Children 0-5 years old integrating cross-cutting issues including inclusiveness, Disaster Risk Reduction, Child Protection, and gender equality. 2. Children’s Programs for children 6-14 year olds include: Life skills and financial literacy, creating a creative house for Sumbanese children, a reading centre (Taman Baca), literacy for the family, safe schools, and local language preservation. 3. Youth Programs for teenagers 15-24-year-olds include Peer learning on HIV and AIDS, Young Entrepreneurship for traditional weavers, farming, etc.

    • Organisation

      Sumba Integrated Development (SID) is a local non-government organization based in East Sumba and established in 2010. The vision of SID is to develop and empower the community by strengthening their values of life to improve the welfare of the people, family, women, and children. SID primarily focuses on developing a good environment for children and youth in cooperation with related stakeholders in Sumba island, in particular community leaders, local government, and other civil society organizations. Currently, SIDis working on programs in Southwest Sumba and East Sumba for over 2115 children and families in 7 sub-districts and 23 villages funded by ChildFund International. Some of SID#s main programs are: 1. Early Childhood Development (ECD) Program for Children 0-5 years old integrating cross-cutting issues including inclusiveness, Disaster Risk Reduction, Child Protection, and gender equality. 2. Children’s Programs for children 6-14 year olds include: Life skills and financial literacy, creating a creative house for Sumbanese children, a reading centre (Taman Baca), literacy for the family, safe schools, and local language preservation. 3. Youth Programs for teenagers 15-24-year-olds include Peer learning on HIV and AIDS, Young Entrepreneurship for traditional weavers, farming, etc.

    • Project

      The Anda Li Marapu (The Marapu Way) project will increase access to social and education services for indigenous Sumbanese Marapu believers in East Sumba including children (15-18 years old), youth (18-30 years old) and women through fostering political participation. This impact will be achieved by improving the district level functionality of the Organization of Marapu Believers (known as the Organisasi Penghayat Kepercayaan Marapu or OPKM) which was formally registered with the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Kementrian Hukum dan HAM) in 2016 but is not yet functioning to optimal capacity. Once this organization has improved functionality through the support of civil society organizations and the district government, these organisations will join to form a Marapu Taskforce. This Marapu task force will support the Organization of Marapu Believers (OPKM) to mobilize their resources and advocate for better social and education access for Marapu believers throughout East Sumba.

      Traditional community-based Customary Institutions (Lembaga Adat) will be established in the cases where they do not yet exist and/or will have their functionality improved in 5 targeted villages within the 4 East Sumbanese sub-districts of Umalulu, Rindi, Kota Waingapu and Kahaungu Eti. These locations have been selected based on the fact they contain the highest population of Marapu believers in East Sumba according to 2020 data from the East Sumba Bureau of statistics. This statistical data was cross-referenced by SID and Marungga in January 2021 by a qualitative rapid assessment in the 4 sub-districts which also identified the various issues affecting Marapu believers in these locations. Senior high schools in targeted sub-districts will standardize a model of Marapu inclusive formal education services. Additionally, Marapu inclusive informal education programs will be implemented at the village level. Local government at the district and village level will create and enact relevant policies to increase access to social and education services for Marapu believers, and the results of this project will be recognized by the government at the province and national level. It is expected the government will share the results of this project for replication in other areas throughout East Nusa Tenggara province and Indonesia.

       
  • Project

    The Anda Li Marapu (The Marapu Way) project will increase access to social and education services for indigenous Sumbanese Marapu believers in East Sumba including children (15-18 years old), youth (18-30 years old) and women through fostering political participation. This impact will be achieved by improving the district level functionality of the Organization of Marapu Believers (known as the Organisasi Penghayat Kepercayaan Marapu or OPKM) which was formally registered with the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Kementrian Hukum dan HAM) in 2016 but is not yet functioning to optimal capacity. Once this organization has improved functionality through the support of civil society organizations and the district government, these organisations will join to form a Marapu Taskforce. This Marapu task force will support the Organization of Marapu Believers (OPKM) to mobilize their resources and advocate for better social and education access for Marapu believers throughout East Sumba.

    Traditional community-based Customary Institutions (Lembaga Adat) will be established in the cases where they do not yet exist and/or will have their functionality improved in 5 targeted villages within the 4 East Sumbanese sub-districts of Umalulu, Rindi, Kota Waingapu and Kahaungu Eti. These locations have been selected based on the fact they contain the highest population of Marapu believers in East Sumba according to 2020 data from the East Sumba Bureau of statistics. This statistical data was cross-referenced by SID and Marungga in January 2021 by a qualitative rapid assessment in the 4 sub-districts which also identified the various issues affecting Marapu believers in these locations. Senior high schools in targeted sub-districts will standardize a model of Marapu inclusive formal education services. Additionally, Marapu inclusive informal education programs will be implemented at the village level. Local government at the district and village level will create and enact relevant policies to increase access to social and education services for Marapu believers, and the results of this project will be recognized by the government at the province and national level. It is expected the government will share the results of this project for replication in other areas throughout East Nusa Tenggara province and Indonesia.

     
  • Results

    Since the second half of the last century the effects of globalization have challenged the vitality of the cultural practices of the indigenous Marapu minority group in East Sumba. Modernity and technological innovation have undoubtedly improved health, education and living standards, however, the vibrancy of inter-generational transmission of traditional music and culture has drastically declined. This decline is in part due to the various socio-economic and political factors associated with modernization, soft cultural power originating from the dominant Javanese urban centres and the marginalizing effects this has had on the Marapu people. The canon of many traditional Marapu music genres is now only known by elderly members of the community and is not being transmitted to younger generations. This puts the music in a critical position. Various Marapu musical genres have already disappeared and many are at risk of disappearing if revitalization does not occur before the oldest generation of culture bearers is finally gone. 

    Sumba Integrated Development (SID) is a local non-government organization established in 2010 and is based in East Sumba.  Its vision is to improve the welfare of the people, family, women, and children by developing and empowering the community by strengthening their values.  SID’s project, Revitalizing Traditional Marapu Cultural Assets in East Sumba, aimed to empower and support Marapu communities in three locations in East Sumba to revitalize, document, archive, disseminate and celebrate their own traditional musical heritage.  

    East Sumba’s Marapu community covers a large geographic area and in designing the project in order to ensure the widest regional range and number of participants it was practical to divide the East Sumba area into three cultural “hubs” in the north, south and inland area (Waingapu, Melolo and Kahung eti districts) which served as convenient centres for surrounding communities to participate in program activities and also increased the inclusiveness and accessibility of the program for various Marapu communities in East Sumba. In addition, each area has distinct local variations of endangered music traditions that required equal support and therefore using three locations provided a more complete representation of the diversity and regional differences in East Sumbanese Marapu cultural expression.  

    Practical and culturally appropriate measures were taken in close collaboration with local traditional music leaders and youth communities to produce workshops, performances, song books, CDs, archives, video/audio documentation. Additionally, efforts were also made to build and distribute traditional instruments and to facilitate inter-generational transmission of endangered Marapu music genres and songs. To address the under-representation of women in traditional music in Sumba, this project in all activities prioritized the participation and empowerment of women, particularly young Marapu women and facilitated their support and mentorship by elder Marapu women.  

    The project followed the ethical principal of ‘first voice’ to ensure the culture bearers themselves were empowered and guided the process according to the wishes of the community. Local language transcriptions along with Indonesian and English translations of Marapu songs amplified the voices, stories, songs and rich culture of the East Sumbanese Marapu community and ensured their music was widely disseminated to a wide variety of audiences both within Indonesia and abroad.  

    “My name is Jekshon, aged 21, I am from the Karita clan, from East Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. I am a representative of the next generation that will preserve the culture of East Sumba. I am a wunang (ritual speaker) for traditional Marapu (the indigenous belief system from East Sumba) rituals, besides that I am also a singer, musician, writer, builder of traditional musical instruments, builder of traditional houses, a teacher and a farmer. 

    I composed the song, “Hadangu Said Pahada Belinya Na Ngguti Na Kalaratunda” as an invitation to sustain the types of culture in Sumba which are almost extinct. We shouldn’t let Sumbanese culture become extinct. We as the next generation must provide an example by sustaining and developing our culture, through music, through customs, rituals and cultural arts.”  

    There were 513 performers involved in the project, 312 males and 192 females. SID addressed the gender inequality among traditional music performers by recording harvest songs generally sung by women, but the number of males was significantly increased during the harvest festivals as the majority of harvest workers were male. There were also 236 children (under the age of 18) who participated in the project as performers.  

    The number of persons reached indirectly can be estimated at about 25,962 (88.8% of these recipients were Indonesians aged 25-30 years according to data from YouTube analytics). These people viewed documentation of traditional Marapu intangible cultural assets (music, ritual, folk tales, mythology). These numbers are expected to continue to increase to over 200,000 indirect recipients who will view the YouTube video archive by the end of 2021. The reach of the cultural assets is expected to continue increasing year over year. 

    The number of Indirect participants cannot be measured easily. This is due to sharing of traditional Marapu intangible cultural assets via flashdisk, ripped audio from YouTube sharing, sales/sharing at local markets, use of by government, personal use and so on. 

    In advocacy activities, SID used tools that included the cultural vitality data gathered using the Music Vitality and Endangerment Framework survey, the “East Sumbanese Intangible Cultural Assets Audio Visual Archive” (produced and published by SID), the “East Sumbanese Marapu Research Library” (published by SID) and the Ruling of the Federal Ministry of Villages and the Development of Village areas and Transmigration of the Republic of Indonesia Number 11, 2019. In addition, a new publication of the traditional songs recorded during the project along with documentation was published in three languages (East Sumbanese, Indonesian and English). 30 cassettes of Sumbanese music “Ludu Humba” produced in 2019 and released by Yes No Wave music was distributed to the Sumbanese musicians featured on this album.      

    140 Marapu traditional songs were produced during the project as audio/video files, about (466.6% over the project’s original target. From these songs a selection of videos was uploaded to Ata Ratu’s YouTube, a popular channel for distribution and dissemination of Marapu culture and by 2021, had already garnered over 250,000 views. The remainder of the audio recordings and other material were disseminated via flashdisk containing the “East Sumbanese Intangible Cultural Assest Audio Visual Archive”. 

    SID also held workshops in Waingapu that included activities to learn about repairing and transferring old archival cassette recordings of Sumbanese music and ritual. Other workshops for youth and senior Sumbanese researchers were concerned with the various interpretations of old forms of ritual speech/poetic couplets found in songs recorded during the project. Finally a series of 9 small scale workshop sessions to learn traditional songs for infant and primary school children were implemented by Sumbanese musicians (Ata Ratu in Palanggay and Haling and Ester in Mbatakapidu).  

    Socialization meetings were held in the sub-districts of Mbatakapidu, Kamanggih and Hanggaroru where local Marapu leaders, cultural experts, ritual speakers, local musicians, educators and the wider community met with the project team to discuss and perform endangered Marapu traditional music and to curate and plan the programs performance, workshop and documentation activities. There were 10 established and respected traditional Marapu music experts to perform, transmit knowledge and facilitate relationship building with other Marapu communities and collect qualitative data on the vitality of 13 genres of Marapu traditional music and 5 types of Marapu ritual. 

    This project has succeeded in stimulating Marapu community pride, empowering Marapu women, strengthening national and international awareness and engagement with ‘at risk’ musical genres, and forming the basis for further cultural reclamation projects. 

    Ata Ratu, East Sumba’s beloved singer song writer and female Marapu cultural figure, preparing to record songs to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic-2 

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