Kampung Naga, A Borough with 111 Houses

Did you believe that Tasikmalaya had a borough with its thick traditions? A small borough at Neglasari Singaparna where the road has been connected Tasikmalaya to Garut from the south. It has been widely discussed since I was a child and it was firstly visited by foreign than the host.

To completed my curiosity, I was accompanied by Navilah to explore the borough which was told 111 houses by one of residents. I was also curious about why was namely Kampung Naga? I confused at the place because I didn’t know the procedure for entering the village. People said that we need to permit before entered, so we could enjoy the moment freely. And where were they? I have not seen an indigenous resident at the outside door apart but the traders and parking lot managers.

I thought the houses behind Kujang Pusaka Monument were the boroughs, but It was not. It was still quite far entered the village even though I was already at the gate and the area. Oh guess what? Did you know Kujang? It existed above the monument as a symbol of the traditional weapon and symbol of West Java government which have been inherited from the ancestors. They said, establishing Kujang at Kampung Naga had two very important elements, namely to symbolize how strong the Sundanese culture was in West Java with a burning passion and also an appreciation for the people of Kampung Naga  which was currently a mainstay of tourist attractions in Tasikmalaya.

When I arrived at the field of Tangkahan sawah, I asked permission to an old man who was sitting in front of his shop. In my mind, maybe he was one of the residents of Kampung Naga because he looked at me in surprise. He only gave permission and told me that the village was still quite far.

As soon as I arrived at halfway, I saw a sign that contained a prohibition. It would be better if the visitors read that words so that they would not harm the community and be more comfortable exploring the place. I continued my journey by climbing 439 stairs totaling even though I was a bit tired. I was amazed by the vast expanse of rice fields and the cool natural situation when I saw the roof of the housing at Kampung Naga which was increasingly visible.

Source picture from Pinkky Nurcahyaningrum

I immediately arrived at the place after crossing hundred steps of stairs. I also counted the uniqueness roof of the house and confirmed 111 buildings. It’s been a long time and people said the building was the same, including the number of houses which was limited to 108. They did not reduce or increased the number of houses. The house arrangement was also very neat and all the front houses faced to east while the back houses faced to the west. I did not know what the meaning but hopefully I will meet one of the chiefs and asked him about some of the valuable history.

Source picture from Dian dwi Saputra

The view of this borough was not directly presented housing, but the river and the bathroom. There were many bathrooms made of wood and look fenced with caretakers from one of National Bank of Indonesia that was BRI. I thought BRI was one of the banks that may have contributed a lot to the preservation of this borough by empowering neat development.

Source picture from Pinkky Nurcahyaningrum

The public bathroom was also close to the huts above the river as a barrier to protect the sustainability of Kampung Naga. The boundary was also a differentiator from other borough areas where the hills lead to the west and Ciwulan river at the east.

Many tourists came so did me who mingled with them. We immediately met at a point in front of the local tribal chief’s house. We also listened to a story submitted by a student Padjajaran University who was currently researching for.

The history origin of the name Kampung Naga

One of an old mans said to me, the term Kampung Naga came from of  “Naga”  which was explained on the yellow plate namely the “Naga Charter”. The charter has been destroyed along with several ancient manuscripts, heirlooms and the other historical objects stored at “Bumi Ageung”, namely which was made sacred by the resident  when the DI / TII rebellion occurred in 1956. There were also people who said that the “Naga” showed a borough jutting into a large river or on the coast as a Sundanese terms meant “Na Gawir”. There was not a right source to found the meaning of the word Kampung Naga and who was the founder, but there was a version of the history behind the existence of Kampung Naga. When a servant of Syeh Syarif Hidayatullah or Sunan Gunung Djati named Singaparna was assigned to spread Islam to the West, he arrived at Neglasari region and received an instructions to meditate or inhabit for a long time. That’s we called what was now known as Kampung Naga.

Hajat Sasih

It was the culmination of a sense of submission and obedience to their ancestors, which was also a tradition of Kampung Naga. According to a resident of Kampung Naga, Hajat Sasih was a ceremony to clean ancestral graves which was carried out at certain times according to the Islamic calendar. The requirement for this ceremony was cleaning their-self first at Ciwulan river.

Source pictutre from Adhitya Ramadhan

Live without music and electric

What distinguished Kampung Naga from the other cities was the stereotype of modernization where this village did not allow every citizen to installed electricity and listened to the music. They used firewood for cooking instead of LPG and they got the light from the torch. They said, music was nature that reverberated out loud such as chirping of birds, the gurgling of water and the whirlwind. The reason where there was no electricity and music were because they want to appreciate their closeness to the universe.

I also continued my journey by exploring every corner of the borough. I really took care of every steps my way because there was a road that should not be traversed near the graves of their ancestors. So, if you walked around the house and met with the residents, you have to ask a lot of questions first. No need to worry about our arrival as visitors, they were very open and kind, even the small children I met also easily smile even though they will be shy when they were greeted.

Just like the other ordinary borough, many household items were made of wood and I touched “ayakan”. It was familiar and can be found everywhere that served as a place for drying rice or raw food that required sunlight to ripen. There was something even more unique right next to my side namely the chicken incubates the eggs. So, the chickens were not kept in a cage but separated in a basket made of woven.

Source pictures from Kumparan

If you like an antiques made of wood, it was one of the places that provided these items. Such as bags, sandals, hats and other accessories that were no less beautiful. I also choose items freely because several houses were buying and selling of these items.

Source picture from Pinky Nurcahyaningrum

All the houses at Kampung Naga have survived for about 30 years and these houses were able to save the residents from earthquake shocks. I enjoyed my day by capturing every corners and especially seeing the roof. The roof structure of this house was made of palm fiber and had an inner layer called Krepes.



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