Batagak Datuak

Keluarga Esjepe dapat surat istimewa. Kali ini surat dari Tevka yang baru saja pulang kampung dari Kotogadang. Yuk, simak cerita Tevka yang seru di bawah ini…

Hi, my name is Tevka Isfandiyar Haiza. I am a Minang-Java 11 years old boy . This story is about my journey to go back to my mom’s homeland in Kotogadang , Bukittinggi West Sumatra on 7- 10 November 2014.

Batagak datuak is a traditional ceremony for Minangkabau people.The purpose of this ceremony to choose the leader of the group people allow of its marital from mothers. Its ceremony makes a big party and give food for all the people in this village for three or four days while also giving a donation of one buffalo. Before the people cut its head, the buffalo is being walked around the village. And after that, the meat will be cooked to be a type of food they called kancah. The meat will be given to all of the people in this village.

The name Minangkabau is thought to be a conjunction of two words, minang  (victorious) and kabau (buffalo). There is a legend that the name is derived from a territorial dispute between the Minangkabau and a neighbour prince. To avoid a battle, the local people proposed a fight to the death between two water buffaloes to settle the dispute. The prince agreed and chosen the largest, meanest and most aggressive buffalo. However, the Minangkabau chosen a hungry baby buffalo with its small horns ground to be as sharp as knives. Seeing the adult buffalo across the field, the baby ran forward, hoping for milk. The big buffalo saw no threat in the baby buffalo and paid no attention to it, looking around for a worthy opponent. But when the baby thrust his head under the big bull’s belly, looking for an udder, the sharpened horns punctured and killed the bull, and the Minangkabau won the contest and the dispute.

The roofline of traditional houses in West Sumatra, called Rumah Gadang (Minangkabau, big house), curve upward from the middle and end in points, in imitation of the water buffalo’s upward-curving horns.

The next few events in the ceremony are Makan Bajamba and then the inauguration. Makan Bajamba is technically eating from a very big plate. One big plate is for five people.The plate includes rice, Gulai kancah, spicy duck and vegetables. There are smaller plates for the younger children.

I actually didn’t watch the inauguration but what I know is that it’s like an inauguration for a king – There’s a speech and the event of the oldest datuak puts on a crown to the new datuak.

Take a pose with the happy new Datuak Sari Dirajo in his royal custom

There are 26 Datuak representing hundreds of people in nagari Kotogadang now, I hope this tradition stay forever.

In front of “Balai Adat” the place where the datuak have a regular meeting

See You on the next Journey!

Tevka