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Monday May 1st 2017

Kanékés Dialect

Language | Sunday, 23 May 2010 | sundanesecorner.org

Hawé Setiawan

My Kanékés friends have often visited my residence in Bandung. They usually come in a small group of two or four. Some time we have a visit of just a friend from Kanékés. They are willing to stay at our house for a couple of hours or days.

I always feel happy of having their visit. For me, Kanékés people—which are called baduy by foreigners—provide one of the last chains to Sundanese ancestry. According to Kebudayaan Sunda: Suatu Pendekatan Sejarah (Sundanese Culture: A Historical Perspective) (1995) by the late historian Édi S. Ékadjati, Kanékés people represent “the type of old Sundanese society”. They live a traditional life in Kanékés Village in southern part of Banten Province. I myself, along with some friends from Bandung, visited Kanékés last year and had stayed there for two days and one night.

My friends who have frequently come to Bandung are from outer Kanékés, visiting some cities in western parts of Java mainly to sell some nice crafts made in Kanékés such as koja, iket, etc. They sell madu (honey) too. Urban people, as well as tourists, like the hand made merchandises. My wife and I usually buy madu from them.

Since I am interested in the field of language, what make me very please of having talk with Kanékés friends is the chance to know their Sundanese dialect. It seems to me that Kanékés people speak a more genuine Sundanese, mainly in the sense that the language has no speech levels. Their dialect sounds egalitarian. As far as words and culture are concerned, they are “my informants”. Hence, in order to enrich my own mother tongue, I have also made simple notes of their vocabulary.

Informant: Yaman (18 years old) of Cikadu Kampong.

baris a kind of basket made of bamboo

étém name of a knife used for cutting paddy

jarog a kind of net bag made of teureup tree bark

gintung name of plant which produces sap for colouring cloth

huma rain dependent paddy field

kawalu fast season, for three months (a day in every month)

kebel long (of duration)

keras tulang name of a plant with green leafs, like tea

koja a kind of net bag made of teureup tree bark, which its rope is usually longer than that of jarog

maing-maing each

nyambungan give a contribution to special occasions

sahid a kind of basket made of bamboo which is round above  and square on the botttom

usim season

urang (1) I (first singular personal pronoun) (2) we (first plural personal pronoun)

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4 Responses to “Kanékés Dialect”

  1. This is a very nice site, especially the talking of Kanekes Culture posts. I’d like to read more about this ‘weird’ people of Kanekes and make this site as one of my resource link. My site, visitbaduyvillage.com is dedicated for them to raise public awareness that somehow we must preserving the Kanekes culture, their identity and Land. I am working on it on the fly, far from sounds ‘academics,’ as such the sundanesecorner.org will just augment it. I have also my Kanekes Corner!

  2. hawe setiawan says:

    Thank you so much for your very comment, Kang. I am very glad to know you here and also your concern about Kanekes. Your comment has encouraged me to write about Kanekes in more details. Well, you know, it’s not an easy task. It’s a challenging task. Anyway, let’s share our concerns on the culture of Kanekes.

  3. Ripan Hermawan says:

    An interesting article. In my opinion, Sundanese spoken by Baduy historically represents the ‘pure’ Sundanese as it, among others. does not have speech levels typical of Javanese. I agree with your opinion that their dialect sounds ‘egalitarian’ and it might suggest that Sundanese people used to be ‘egalitarian’ at least as far as lexical forms are concerned. As to the Baduy (or kanekes people) I truly appreciate their harmonious ways of life, living in harmony with the nature. I really hope that they can survive all the ‘modern’ changes in their surrounding environments as they have so far faithfully and indefatigably preserved the proper Sundanese ways of life on behalf of the whole Sundanese speaking communities, the true guardian of Sundanese. Thanks for sharing the info Kang. Hatur nuhun.

  4. Hawe Setiawan says:

    Dear Kang Ripan,

    Thanks for your thoughtful and encouraging comment to this post.

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