Kanekes Social Level
The Kanekes people have a shared history with the Sundanese people. Their physical appearance and language are similar to the general Sundanese people population. One of the differences is their beliefs and lifestyle. The Kanekes people isolate themselves from the outside world influences and strictly preserve their traditional lifestyle, while the Sundanese people are much more open to outside influences and majority of them embraces Islam.
Generally, the Baduy are divided into three groups, namely Tangtu, Panamping and Dangka. The community of villages in which they live are considered mandalas, derived from the Hindu/Buddhist concept but referring in the Indonesian context to places where religion is the central aspect of life.
Tangtu or Kajeroan (Inner Baduy)
The first group, Tangtu or Kajeroan, also known as Baduy Dalam or Kanekes Dalam (meaning “Inner Kanekes”) with population of about 400 consists of 40 families Kajeroan who live in the three villages of Cibeo, Cikertawana, and Cikeusik in Tanah Larangan (forbidden territory) where no stranger is permitted to spend the night. They are probably the purest Baduy stock. A characteristic of the Kanekes Dalam people the color of their clothings are natural white and dark blue, as well as wearing a white headband. The Kanekes Dalam people follow the rigid buyut taboo system very strictly, (see Religion and Beliefs for more information about their taboos) and thus they have made very few contacts with the outside world as they are considered as “People of the sacred inner circle”.
Read also, Sunda Wiwitan: Religion of the last native Sundanese called Baduy
The Kanekes Dalam people are the only one of these two major clans that have the Pu’un, the spiritual priest of the Baduy. The Pu’un are the only people that visit the most hallowed and sacred ground of the Baduy which lies on Gunung Kendeng, in a place called Arca Domas. Unlike their Kanekes Luar counterpart, the Kanekes Dalams people are hardly influenced by Islam.
Some of the rules observed by the Kanekes Dalam people are such as:
· No vehicles are allowed as a form of transportation.
· No footwear are allowed.
· The door of the house should face north or south (except the house of the Pu’un or the customary chairman).
· Usage of electronical devices (technology) is prohibited.
· No modern clothings are allowed. Only black or white fabrics that are woven and sewn clothing are allowed.
Panamping or Baduy Luar (Outer Baduy)
The following group, Panamping also known as Baduy Luar or Kanekes Luar (meaning “Outer Kanekes”) make up the remainder of the Baduy population, living in 22 villages and acting as a barrier to stop visitors from entering the Sacred Inner circle. They do follow the rigid taboo system but not as strictly as the Kanekes Dalam, and they are more willing to accept modern influence into their daily lives. For example, some Kanekes Luar people now proudly sport the colorful sarongs and shirts favored by their Sundanese neighbors.
In the past the Baduy Luar people only wore only their homespun blue-black cloth, and were forbidden to wear trousers. Other elements of civilization (toys, money, batteries) are rapidly infiltrating especially in the villages to the north, and it is no longer unusual for an Outer Baduy people to make a journey to Jakarta, or even to work outside as a hired hand during the rice planting and reaping seasons. Some even work in big towns and cities like Jakarta, Bogor and Bandung. Animal meat is eaten in some of the outer villages where dogs are trained for hunting, though animal husbandry is still forbidden.
Other reasons why there are Kanekes Dalam who have become Kanekes Luar includes:
· They have broken the Kanekes Dalam customary law.
· The desire to come out from the Kanekes Dalam community.
· Intermarriage with other Kanekes Luar people.
Characteristics of the Kanekes Luar people:
· They are familiar with technology such as electronic devices.
· Construction of houses in the Kanekes Luar community that uses tools such as saw, hammer, nails and so on, which were previously prohibited in the Kanekes Dalam customs.
· Traditional attires that are black or dark blue (for men) in color, which signifies impurity. Sometimes modern clothings like T-shirts and jeans are used.
· The usage of modern home appliances, such as mattress, pillow, plastic or glass plates and cups.
· They live outside of the Kanekes Dalam customary area.
· A significant number of them have converted to Islam and have been influence by the outside world.
When the Kanekes Dalam and Kanekes Luar lives outside of the Kanekes customary region, therefore the Dangka or Kanekes Dangka are the ones that lived outside of the Kanekes customary region. At the moment, there are two remaining settlements namely, Padawaras (Cibengkung) and Sirahdayeuh (Cihadam). These Dangka settlements function as a buffer zone to the outside influences.