Preserved Wisdom: Uncovering the Myth of the Baduy's Sacred Forest

Preserved Wisdom: Uncovering the Myth of the Baduy's Sacred Forest

Myths are the inherited stories believed by a culture, including tales of powerful gods and legendary heroes. They express beliefs about the origins of the universe, humans, and the nation itself, and contain deep messages that are mysteriously revealed. Myths generally tell of the creation of the universe, the world, unique hybrid creatures, and fascinating landscapes.

There are some myths that are believed to be advice or messages from ancestors that, if violated, can lead to negative consequences or unwanted karma. However, if we look at them with rational logic, examining them from a medical point of view as well as from a belief point of view, many myths do not actually have a strong connection. Nevertheless, the purpose of these myths is essentially to advise or preserve the values of life.

Although irrational, myths are not born without reason. As intelligent beings, every concept produced by humans is a product of culture, accompanied by ideas that are in accordance with the natural environment in which humans live. Myths in culture contain a wealth of values, especially positive values that aim to improve morals, good behavior, health, beauty, family ties, and more. Myths are an integral part of the cultural history of every nation in the world.

One of the myths that is still preserved is the myth of the sacred forest of the Baduy tribe in Indonesia. One of the most respected places by the Baduy community is the Sasaka Domas forest. This place is considered sacred and should not be visited at any time, even by the Baduy themselves.

According to the beliefs of the Baduy, the earth began as a thick and clear mass that hardened and expanded. The starting point of the creation of this world is believed to be in the Sasaka Buana area, on Mount Pamuntuan, upstream of the Ciujung River, in the southern part of Cikeusik village, in the Tangu area (Inner Baduy).

They believe that this area is the birthplace of the world and mankind. Baduy community also has a protection system to protect this area. They divide the forest into three protection zones.

First, in the village and Dukuh Lembur, there is an area that is considered sacred and should not be used for open fields or agriculture. Then, there are areas designated for huma or reuma, which are secondary forests that were once agricultural land and have been allowed to return to forest. Finally, there are old forest areas that are guarded and preserved and never used as agricultural land.

This local wisdom, in turn, will provide meaningful support for conservation efforts and wise environmental stewardship. As in this myth, sacred forests are protected from logging, agricultural clearing, and other damage. These forests also play a very important role in conservation, including the preservation of various plant and animal species, soil protection, and water availability.

Despite many irrational myths, some of the beliefs inherent in these communities have a significant positive impact on the development of biodiversity conservation. In this case, traditional communities are consciously doing so based on the beliefs inherent in their culture.

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