By Georgi Kalaydzhiev via Unsplash

Unraveling the Traditions of Sasak, an Indigenous Tribe in Lombok

As a country rich in cultural heritage and traditions, Indonesia is home to a multitude of indigenous tribes, each with its own unique way of life. As the modern world rushes forward, the Sasak people in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, continue to keep their time-honored customs alive.

To truly experience these age-old customs, you must journey to the heart of the Sasak Tribe in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. Are you prepared to delve into the rich tapestry of their traditions, revealing the deep-rooted connections between the Sasak people and their environment?

Together, let’s unravel the captivating narrative of their origins, language, and unique characteristics through this article!

The Origin of Sasak Tribe

History of the Sasak Tribe

As you begin to learn about Sasak, you’ll see how tradition play a big part in the lives of the people, and they managed to carry the torch over generations!

The history of the Sasak Tribe is a captivating tale that weaves together centuries of cultural evolution. The Sasak people, primarily indigenous to the island of Lombok in Indonesia, can trace their roots back to a complex combination of ethnicities, migrations, and interactions.

In their early history, the Sasak people established themselves as a resilient group, maintaining their distinct cultural identity in a region marked by diverse influences.

Throughout their history, the Sasak people have encountered various external influences, including the Majapahit Empire and Islamic traders. These encounters left indelible imprints on their culture and beliefs.

However, the Sasak people have admirably held onto their unique traditions while also adapting and incorporating elements from these interactions.


At the heart of Sasak culture lies their unique language. The Sasak language is an essential component of their cultural identity.

It serves as a vessel for storytelling, oral traditions, and the preservation of their history. The Sasak language, with its distinct dialects and rich vocabulary, is more than just a means of communication; it’s central to their folklore, myths, and traditional knowledge.

It not only facilitates communication but also plays a pivotal role in passing down cultural practices from one generation to the next.

Traditions of Sasak Tribe

1. Bau Nyale

Bau Nyale, also known as the sea worm festival, is not just a celebration of marine biodiversity but a deep-rooted cultural event. The Sasak tribe believes that the worms bring good luck for their sustainable harvesting practices. The Bau Nyale ceremony is an annual event conducted on the 20th day of the 10th month of the Sasak Calendar. Isn’t that fascinating?

2. Nyongkolan

The Nyongkolan ceremony is a unique marriage tradition from the Sasak Tribe. Nyongkolan is usually conducted in the afternoon where a groom would be paraded like royalty with loud music, local dances and a big crowd following him while on the way to the bride’s house.

Nyongkolan’s purpose is to introduce the new couple to the public and approve their marriage.

3. Peresean

“Peresean” is a tradition of fighting between two men from the Sasak tribe in Lombok. They use a rattan stick like a sword, and a shield made of buffalo skin called ende.


The fighters are called “Pepadu”. During the fight, they are only allowed to attack the opponent’s back and shoulders. As a companion, traditional musical instruments are played, such as gongs, drums and flutes. Injured Pepadu will be treated with traditional medicine in the form of oil that does not cause pain when applied to the wound.

4. Perang Topat

Topat war is a war attraction carried out by Hindus and Muslims people, where the war uses ketupat as its weapon. This war was carried out after the two residents made a prayer, both lined up facing each other to throw ketupat. At the end of the war both residents will collect scattered ketupat to be buried in the rice fields; they believe that by doing so, it will fertilize their land.

5. Merariq

Merariq is a marriage custom that’s still commonly practiced by the tribe, where the bride is “kidnapped” before the wedding. Merariq is the first stage out of five in Sasak wedding rituals. The bride-to-be must be secretly “kidnapped” from her house at night to avoid any commotion. Should there be a ruckus, the groom would be fined.

6. Begawe

This tradition warms our hearts. Meaning “working” in the Sasak language, Begawe tradition is a joint dining event or party by the Sasak tribal community. Begawe is usually held for big events such as marriage, where the locals will bring their personal tools that can be any help for the host in conducting Begawe. The purpose is none other than to strengthen the bond within the local community.

Photo by Jarvis Fisipol

7. Ngayu-ayu

Getting to the spiritual side of the Sasak tribe, Ngayu-ayu ritual is a ritual to fight the devil/pests that are threatening the harvest of Sasak people. It’s also to maintain good relations between humans, the earth and God himself and as a form of gratitude to Allah SWT for giving land fertility, abundance of harvests and avoidance of disasters.

As you immerse yourself in the rich culture of Sasak traditions, it becomes clear that Lombok, with its wonderful views and destinations, is a place where the old and the new coexist harmoniously.

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Now that we’ve dived deeper into the culture of the Sasak tribe, We encourage you to consider a holiday in Lombok, where you can experience these traditions firsthand.

For a perfect stay amidst nature, with breathtaking views of Mount Rinjani and Pergasingan Hill, look no further than Bobocabin Gunung Rinjani! Your journey to explore Lombok’s cultural treasures is just one click away from becoming a reality.

Let us discover the blend of traditional charm and modern comfort that Lombok has to offer with Bobocabin!



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