The Traditional Wonokitri Village in the Modern Era

“The Traditional Wonokitri Village in the Modern Era” Teks by Wawies – Wisnu Wisdantio was published in since 2009 before the Helium Publishing sites shutting down in 2014.

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Wonokitri village, a village located on the West side of Mount Bromo is still in the district of Tosari, Pasoeroean, East Java, Indonesia. According to the religious leader called the Dukun Pandhita, Mr Supayadi said that Wonokitri population is a part of the Tengger tribe which is scattered at the foot of the mountain Bromo and descendants of an ancient Hindu kingdom of Majapahit and they still do to this day. Because the area is still in the Tengger National Park – Bromo – Semeru, residents take advantage of the atmosphere of the Wonokitri tourism as a source of income, such as become a tourist guide or selling souvenirs, in addition to their main jobs as a farmer on the steep slopes of the park complex.

Pak Supayadi also explained that on the 20th day of November 2009 they will hold the Mayu Desa ceremony which has actually two core ceremonial tributes to Ibu Pertiwi or the Earth which has provided sustenance in abundance for the people. There is the Mayu Banyu ceremony, for the preservation of water resources for the Tengger tribe, and the Mayu Desa ceremony to protect the tribe from Sengkala or disaster.

Wonokitri 06The implementation of the Peak Day Karo Ceremony in 2009 was held three days in Wonokitri village hall. It all begins with the preparation of various offerings by the people, which is composed of Banten or offerings in three traditional trays made from Bambo strips, that usually called Tampah, it’s contains nine small cones and side dishes: Satay entrails of animals, kara vegetable, white sticky rice and black rice Jadah, Apem, a bunch slices of banana, betel leaf, lime and peanuts (Jambe Ayu). Also, because it coincided with Mayu Desa ceremony once every five years called Unan-unan, the offering ceremony this year came at the expense of buffaloes, two goats and shelves made of each group of people united in the little neighbourhood (RT).

In Tengger every night the people hold the Ojung Games, this is a game where two men, stripped to the waist, turn swinging a rattan at each other. This game according to Pak Supayadi has a lot of meaning and if you look deep enough you learn some of them. Bare-chested or Wuda (Java, naked) means cleaned up, opening cloth has meaning diwudani (Java, stripped) also connotes the meaning of the bombardment (Javanese script wudan meaning rain) that can be interpreted as a blessing in whatever form; this can be rain, an abundant harvest, and so on. In addition, they also held several public entertainments such as a puppet man show, Ludruk, and Tayub.

Karo peak day procession, starting from the night before sunrise on Friday, November 20th, 2009. Then Pamepek ceremonies are held, which means the completion of all the requirements have been marked with ceremony, prayer, recited spells, followed by the Shaman, followed with dinner, and the Tayub show. When the sun has risen, the Tengger people, especially Wonokitri people gather at the village hall with a rack that has been decorated with a variety of Banten creations and various offerings. After that, they will walk around the village in a procession that ends at the village temple to perform the Wonokitri religion ceremony.

After that, the core of the ritual ceremony Mayu Banyu continued at near sources of water for sustaining the life of this Wonokitri population. As a form of sacrifice to the Ibu Pertiwi (Earth), a funeral is conducted for the head, skin, feet and buffalo bones of victims in the crossroad of the village centre. After the Mayu Banyu ceremony, it’s continued with the second core part of the ceremony of Mayu Desa. The ceremony is held outside the village on a bridge called Jurang Sari. In this, the whole rack of offerings are given to the ancestors and to avoid the whole village of Sengkala or Disaster.


The easiest way to travel to the Wonokitri village is departing from Surabaya city. This city is the nearest major airport that serves flights from Jakarta, Bali, and some other countries in Asia. There are three established routes to the Wonokitri Village by road, but the nearest point is the path through the town of Pasuruan. When using public transport, with costs around Rp20,000 or 2 USD, you can enjoy using the executive bus trip from Surabaya to Pasuruan, or when using the economic bus, you just spend Rp8,000 or less than 1 USD.

From the town of Pasuruan, there are two choices of transport media. First, you can take a minibus to the Pasrepan city at a cost Rp8,000 or less than 1 USD, then proceed directly to the Wonokitri village to hire a motorcycle taxi for Rp25,000 or about 2,5 USD. The second way, using a minibus to the Tosari village that is just 3 KM from the Wonokitri village, with costs only Rp10,000 or for 1 USD, and then proceed to hire a motorcycle taxi to Wonokitri Village at a cost of Rp5,000 – Rp10,000 or for 0,5 USD – 1 USD. But the second way of transportation is less accessible is because the service depends on a very minimal number of minibuses, so it’ much more safe if you take the first way.

Depart from the Wonokitri village, by hiring a 4X4WD jeep with a driver at a cost of Rp300,000 or about 30 USD. You can start the journey by visiting all the attractions in the area of the Tengger National Park – Bromo – Semeru. Starting with a trip to the summit of Mount Penanjakan at 3:30 pm to see the sunrise. It is absolutely gorgeous. You can see all three Summits that are Bromo, Tengger, and Semeru from there. Bromo was still smoking till now. After that, the trip can proceed to other attractions such as sea sand, Bromo mountain, Bathok mountain, and many others.

In essence, seeking detailed information about the Tengger National Park, Bromo, and Semeru will make it easier for you to visit all the attractions in a more efficient and cost-conscious manner. Therefore, a better understanding of the Tengger tribe communities, Bromo and the neighbourhood, and local attractions through the study of literature becomes an important thing to do before starting your journey.