Stone Jumping Ritual on the Island of Nias North Sumatra

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Culture, cutural activity, tradition

Stone Jumping Ritual is an ancient ritual on the Island of Nias North Sumatra. This cultural activity is a tradition named Hombo Batu or Fahombo. This ritual has been held for centuries. A young men leaping over stonewall about two-meters tall, 90 centimeter width, and 60 centimeter length. He runs from a certain distance of the stone, then step on a small stone near the tall one.

Stone Jumping Ritual is held in several places such as Bawo Mataluo village (Sun Hill), Bawormataluo village, the southern part of Nias district.

The children of Nias have training by playing Lompat Tali (jumping over a wire). The boys do it since the young age, at 7 years old. Through this training their ability get better.

However, not all young men in Nias are able to do this. They believe that there is a magic power from their ancestor which help them to leap over the stone. Training is not the only way to be able to jump over the tall stone.

The tradition was born out of inter-tribal conflicts. A long ago, people in Nias were short-tempered and led to a conflict. Each tribe protected their territory with high stonewall. Each of them conducted a training to jump over the stonewall to attack their enemy (another tribe).

At that time, the villages in Nias were led by noble man of Balugu stratum. This leader defined which young men were appropriate to be troops. They must be strong, have a good fighting skill, have a magic power, and able to jump over the wall stone.

Nowadays, Stone Jumping Ritual is held not for war preparation, but as a ritual and symbol of the culture in Nias. A young man who can do this will be judged as a mature man and can get married.

The family members will be so happy if their young men are able to jump over the stone. They will celebrate it by slaughtering some animals.

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The Real Education Updated at: 05:07


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