Pasah Kamanthuhu, the Sacred Place of the Village Protector

The belief of the Dayak Ngaju people, especially those who are Hindu Kaharingan, towards sacred places or objects is still maintained today. This produces local wisdom and becomes a tradition that has been passed down from their ancestors. The community also believes in sacred places or objects as symbols of respect for the people who have guarded the village. There is a place as a symbol of protecting the village which is called Pasah Kamanthuhu by the Dayak Ngaju people.

Pasah Kamanthuhu or commonly known as sacred stones (pasah Patahu) is a sacred place in which there are several stones which are often used by villagers for special rituals. For the Dayak Ngaju people in the villages of Gohong, Mantaren I, Buntoi, and Kalawa, another name for Pasah Kamanthuhu is Pasah Panganthuhu, Rumah Panganthuhu, or Patahu.

Mrs. Emi (48 years) as the representative of BPD Mantaren I explained that Pasah Kamanthuhu is often visited by both village and outside village people because they believe that this place can grant intentions or wishes. For example, if there are people who are sick, have a celebration, or are going to travel, then they will ask for protection and ask for all their affairs to be smoothed out. The usual offerings for Pasah Kamanthuhu in Mantaren I Village are flags, red fanta, black rooster, red and white cucur cakes, free-range chicken eggs, red sticky rice, and butcher’s ketupat and sinta. There are also certain special rituals that are usually held annually.

Ibu Sayang (49 years) as a member of the Gohong Village community also revealed that apart from the stone which is believed to have the power as a symbol of guarding the village, in Pasah Kamanthuhu there are also around 7 invisible creatures believed by the community to be guardians of Gohong Village. This creature was once a descendant of the original ancestor of this village. These creatures always help the community in overcoming various problems that exist in the village. The way to summon the creature that is believed to be the guardian of the village is to come to Pasah Kamanthuhu with the intention of offering a prayer or ritual and providing offerings in the form of red fanta water, limed betel leaf water, and sticky tape water which will later be stored around Kamanthuhu Pasah. Even though they are invisible, the community feels the presence of creatures from Pasah Kamanthuhu who are guarding the village, one of which is by granting the wishes of the people who come to Pasah Kamanthuhu.

The placement of Pasah Kamanthuhu which is located at the end of the village or in the middle of the settlement adjusts the function of Pasah Kamanthuhu itself as a guardian or protector of the village. Based on Sunarningsih’s research in Kahayan Hilir villages in 2015, the location and shape of Pasah Kamanthuhu in Gohong Village is located in an area not far from the banks of the Kahayan River with the shape of a small stilt house wrapped in yellow cloth with black stones inside gray with a naturally rounded shape and a cannon or piece of metal that has had some of the ends missing. There are 3 Kamanthuhu Pasahs located in Mantaren I Village which have different locations, one pasah is in the residents’ yard with the form of a small stilt house complete with offerings and there are no stones inside and under it, while the other two pasah are located on the banks of the Kahayan River in the form of houses a small ridge in which there are several black and gray stones formed by nature as well as offerings.

Not only the people of Gohong Village and Mentaren I, outsiders who have the wish and want to pray at the Kamanthuhu Pass are also welcome to come and convey their wishes by bringing offerings in accordance with the provisions of the Kamanthuhu Pass from each village and must be accompanied by the local community. According to Ms. Emi, if you pray, you have to believe in the existence of village guardian beings in Pasah Kamantuhu. If you are half-hearted or hesitant to believe in that, your prayer or wish will not come true. When praying, you also have to make a promise (whatever it is) if your wish comes true. If his hopes or wishes come true, he must return to Pasah Kamanthuhu to realize the promises that have been made. Usually carrying out the ritual of paying for the hajat carried out by that person and accompanied by traditional leaders or balian by planting yellow flags and carrying red bottles (Fanta) or giving offerings in the form of free-range chicken and palm wine.

The community also often helps accompany outsiders who come to cure illnesses, including diabetes and hair loss, to Pasah Kamanthuhu. The oil brought by the person is rubbed by the community on the person’s body. In addition, for hair loss, the community helps roast soybeans which are later used as medicine.


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