A visitor with the king of Boti (Photo: Boni Jehadin)

Kupang, Vox NTT-Boti is no more a strange name for domestic or foreign tourists who have ever stepped their foot on Timor island, the land that produces the sandalwood. The cultural attraction of Boti is still chased by local and international travelers. Because of its unique culture, the name Boti continues to spread all over the world and attracts an increasing number of visitors from different corners of the globe.

In this cultural edition we deliberately present the Boti tribe culture as one of the cultural treasures of NTT and Indonesia in general. The main source of information was adapted from disbudpar.ttskab.go.id,.
Boti is a traditional village located in Kie Subdistrict, South Central Timor District. This village is famous because of its indigenous tribe, called Boti tribe, who still maintain the tradition of their ancestors for hundreds of years until now.

Boti tribe population is only about 415 people who still live according to the genuine beliefs of their ancestors.
Although, they are surrounded by other people with different beliefs (mostly Protestant and Catholic), the Boti people are still faithful to the belief of their ancestors. It should be admitted, however, that the people in Boti village are able to live side by side in harmony and tolerance with other people of different faiths and culture. In their daily life, the Boti tribe is led by a supernatural person, “Nune Benu”.

Boti people believes that humans are on the highest rank of God’s creatures among other created beings. In their view, in this life, man has two universal rulers to obey, the natural ruler of the world called Uis Pah and the ruler of the afterlife called Uis Neno. Uis Pah is respected and worshiped because He is the one who guards, supervises and protects human life and all its contents. Meanwhile, Uis Neno is worshiped because of His role that determines whether man can enter Paradise or Hell.

According to these teachings, Boti tribe believe that everything they do in their present life will determine their life in the afterlife world. Good and righteous living in the world will lead people to eternal life.
In the practice of their daily life, Boti tribe people are guided by their leader to do good things all the time to their neighbors and to the environment by maintaining and preserving the forest. Living a good life with others and the environment is a way of showing their gracious and glorious offering to Uis Pah and Uis Neno.
They strongly convince that by giving offerings, they will be rewarded by their creator with blessing, protection and salvation. On the other hand, if they do evil, they will get wrath from the Uis Pah and Uis Neno.
Boti tribe people always live in communion, helping each other who are in need, and lifting the burden of others who needs helping hands.

Boti people are very obedient and faithful to retain the authenticity of their traditions that they descend from their ancestors despite of being challenged by the ever-changing times. They seem to survive in maintaining their indigenous purity. As a result, in their natural culture and customs, they feel their lives are calm and prosperous. Living in tight customary communion, is believed to provide them with inner strength that refreshes the spiritual soul.

Author: Irvan K

Translator: Rini Kartini/HOS

Editor: Mr. Alex Madar

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