An Expression of Da’wah and Life
By Kusuma Dewi Subakir


Title ……………………………………………………………………………. Content ………………………………………………………………………1 Chapter I. Departure; Come Into East Nusa Tenggara…………………….3 A.1. East Nusa Tenggara; A Source of Research …..…………………………3 A.2. Research Practices for Da’wah Inquiry ………………………………….6 A.3. Fieldwork of Research ………………………………………………….9 Chapter IIDa’wah and Economy………..…………………………………..12 B.1. Islam’s Arrival in East Nusa Tenggara………………………………….12 B.1.1. Tracing Back To Muslim’s Trade………………………………..13 B.1.2. Islam Coming to the Heart of East Nusa Tenggara ……………..16 B.2. Fisehry as Arena of Economy ………………………………………….19 Chapter III Da’wah at The Seashore…………….…………………………23 C.1. Mosque; a Center of Da’wah Activity …………………………………23 C.2. Ethnic Leader is Religious Leader ……………………………………..29 Chapter IV …………………………………………………………………..37 D.1. Fishing; a Life Pattern …………………………………………………37 D.2. The Spirit on Workhardship ……………………………………………40



Pictures and Graphic
Pictures: a. Picture 1. Map of Research Area ……………………………………...5

b. Picture 2. The Map of Namosain Village ………………………………9 c. Picture 3. Situation of Interviews and Observations During Fieldwork…………………………………………………………………9 d. Picture 4. Namosain Mosque, Air Mata Mosque, kampung Solor Mosque………...………………………………………………………..17 e. Picture 5. Atulaganama’s Graveyard at Kampung Solor Cemetrial…....18 f. Picture 6. Rogayah (wearing white headscraft) in Muallaf Majlis Ta’lim Mujahidin, Nurul Mubin Mosque …………………………………….25 g. Picture 7. Nurul Mubin after Latest Restoration (1991-2006) ……..…..27 h. Picture 8. Aba Ridwan at one of religious service ……………………29 i. Picture 9. Lampara (Purse-seine), Bodi Tepa, (motor machined boat), and sampan (non-machined small boat) ……………………………..35 …………….41 j. Picture 10. Busy bustling papalele at a non-auction sale

k. Picture 11. Activities at Central Market Oeba ……….………………...43 l. Picture 11. Mama busy at pesta, and the attendants …..………………..45 Graphics: a. Graphic 1. Precentage of Population by age and sex in 2007 …………4

b. Graphic 2. Total Fishermen by Village and Type of Work in Kupang, 2007 …………………………………………………………………. ..20 c. Graphic 3. Total Production Marine Capture by Trimester in 2007 ….....21 d. Graphic 4. Precentage of Religion follower by 2007 …………………… 29 *******


Chapter I. Departure; Come across East Nusa Tenggara
“….. I think a work on fishing community can more fruitfully begin from an observation that the very foundation of fishing community if fishing.” (Pujo Semedi, 2003)

A.1. East Nusa Tenggara; A Source of Research East Nusa Tenggara, like other area in Eastern Indonesia is a diverse region in terms of natural and social characteristics. The scattered islands in this province make the region as miniature of Indonesia completed with inconvenience of rough area. The 566 islands in round 47,349 km2 of the Province comprise of various ethnic groups and enriched with natural quantities as well cultural resources. For the most part of people are lives in main islands such as Timor, Flores, Sumba. Physically, the islands are the continuation of volcanic archipelago begins from Sumatra. (BPS NTT, 2007) This condition affects part of the island to the tectonic vulnerability, such as Maumere, Larantuka at Flores, also Solor and Alor island. The climate of East Nusa Tenggara is semi-arid with low average annual of rainfall 1,500 mm, and the average of temperature is 26.8 degree Celsius on 2001-2006. Having been acquainted as part of Lesser Sunda at the time of colonization, the islands of East Nusa Tenggara are separated from Java and Bali by a deep sea channel to the east of Wallacea line which then has an effect on the Australian-resemble of Flora and Fauna rather than that of


Southeast Asian style. Komodo (giant lizard) and flourished eucalyptus are part of those Australian generated style. (Badan Pusat Statistik, Propinsi NTT 2007) In East Nusa Tenggara, total amount of population is 4.355.121 with highest population density in Kupang municipality. (BPS, 2007; Williams, 2007; 11) The higher population in the municipality and the lower in regencies both designate uneven spread so generate the possibility of higher urbanization. Kupang is one of destination’s cities for which people presume on its highest providences of industrial work, abundant income as well luxurious lifestyle. Regarding to East Nusa Tenggara religious affair, the people affiliated with Christianity in majority. Taking this believe as the only religion conviction gives wrong impression about long ended historical fact and situation. Chronological study on the arrival of Islam on the next chapter will provide a brief explanation on this plurality. Lately, Religious Affair of East Nusa Tenggara Representative recorded the percentage of religion follower by 2007; Islam 8.25percent, Christianity (Protestantism) 34.24percent, Catholic 54.65percent, Hinduism 0.21percent, Buddhism 0.01percent and follower included into other religions are 2.64percent.1 In Kupang municipality, the area where the research is done, muslim population reaches 11.83percent and almost all muslim inhabitants are migrant from other island or even other province in Indonesia. As a matter of fact, the scattered Muslim community at all islands affect to the difficulty of da’wah process as well other dimension of economic and social development in this archipelagic province. (Williams, 2007: 13)

Largest muslim population were at Ende regency (26.51%) and Lembata regency (22.91%) both are situated in Flores island. 4


Graphic (1): Percentage of population by age and sex in 2007

Still, several sources of study on the spreading of Muslim community, both of oral and written, have reported that almost all of muslim communities live at coastal area. They live alongside of coastal from Flores Island, Solor and as far as to Alor, the eastern farthest side of this province. One legend from Solor Island tells two idioms express an even blurry division of religion in the archipelagic area. The story calls coastal’s inhabitant as Watan which mean seaside, while other word identify hill’s inhabitant as Kiwan means hill. The term Watan belongs to muslim community who live in seashore area for almost all generation. On the contrary term Kiwan always denotes to Chatolic follower who take hill as their domicile. The other evidence provides for the religion and dwelling linkage comes from the masterpiece of prominent anthropolog, Schulte Norldhot, entitled The Political System of The Atoni of TImor. The Atoni people (a name belongs to a tribe at Timor island), approved by the text, have only symbolic fishing culture through the story of ancestors arrival and the shape of tribe’s center hut. Since they consider sea as frightening and haunted site, Atoni leave the rest of fishery livelihood behind their agricultural lifecycle. (Norldhot, 1975)





















































Picture (1). Map of Research Area

follows that muslim population scattered dominantly at all coastal area of the province, together with natural recourse development. Alongside Kupang Gulf at Timor Island, take as an instance, muslim communities live throughout all area from Sulamu and Oesapa (where Bugenese Muslim dwelled for) to Namosain and Tenau natural port (Solorese, Butonese and Javanese are mostly live). 2 Muslim society and its spreading throughout the island would never be separated from historical record of Islam arrival. (Nordhlot, 1971) Regarding this issue, Azyumardi Azra, an Indonesian muslim historian affirmed the existence of muslim voyage through all of Indonesia area. He put his words agreeing on van Leur:
“…the first wave of Islamic spreading in Nusantara was tradesmen. There were muslim community who deliver Islamic teaching and practice during their trading voyage in this area…. Those tradesmen –also- married with local prominent women. Thus, muslim family formation age, put the nucleus of muslim community into the front of consequence door and at a more appropriate had have its significant role on spreading Islam. In addition, those tradesmen keep on matrimonial kind of da’wah with royal bound descendants that would facilitate them taking over all the power and use is for the rest of da’wah activity” (Azra, 1994: 31)

On the national scale of fishery, East Nusa Tenggara prominently had known as main producing Province for marine culture (481,123 MT). While National aquatic plant production (especially seaweed) in 2007 reached 1.7 million tonnes, of which 504.7 thousand tonnes from East Nusa Tenggara and that also for producing of marine capture. (DKP, 2007) Seaweed showed the highest production in Aquaculture production, followed by Shrimps and carp. (p.19)



In line with this opinion, Widyatmika, an expert of muslim history in East Nusa Tenggara, grounded his study purposely on mapping muslim society in East Nusa Tenggara, based on their first wave ancestral. This research, thus, trying to reaffirm the study of historical record on Islam arrival in East Nusa Tenggara, together with a short critical attempt on trading motivation as well da’wah voyage of first wave Islam missionaries. (Chapter II) A.2. Research Practices for Da’wah Inquiry Studying Islam and its influence into economical life and practice were none a strange study in Indonesia, and Java in particular. Andrew Beatty was prominent on his anthropological research the varieties of Javanese varieties of religion. The study relied on the previous study on muslim’s pattern of life in Java. Coming back to coastal area, Pudjo Semedi was also has spent half of his research life on fishery and included within his record, a dynamic practice of Islam in Pekalongan. As well several studies on muslim life at coastal area of Java brought by muslim intellectual, Mudjahirin Thohir, take an instance. Having been emphasized on the rituals and religious experiences, the study done by Thohir took area in Eastern part of Java (Tuban) has involved short part of economic activities. At the other hand some other intellectual concerns more on economy and its relation to Islamic teaching. Indonesian prominent expert, Dawam Rahardjo focuses more on philosophical and ethical in this dimension. In order to find its particularity, this research uses previous researches and studies as background for economic modernization that, perhaps, happened throughout all of coastal area in Indonesia. In doing so, Weberian economic style will argue on changing process of economic activity from traditional pattern into more modern one. While this study put the accent on verifying economic capitalization based on religious ethic (Protestan). This great work then, initiates Indonesian researchers to verify the hypothesis in Islam and Indonesia (Java in particular). Abdullah study, based on Weberian idea, mentions the successful


attempts on economic modernization, in an area of Central Java, require some other indicators. Such as urbanized and modern lifestyle of economic actor together with the increasing demand from consumer group. (Abdullah, 1994) Interestingly, Zully Qodir when study the experience of muslim reformist community and its modernization in Pekajangan, central Java accentuated that the process of rationalization in Islam did not merely pointed to the absent of asceticm. Rather Muslim group of Pekajangan pay more attention into different style of ascetism, such as infaq (alms giving) as their custom (Qodir, 2002). Besides that, for Namosain muslim community, this research is trying to consider da’wah activity (as the continuation of historical criticism) providing a guidance either for personal or communal life. As major ulama mainly explored, the word means the “calling” and denotes to an activity which unanimously understood as “enjoining what is right” and “forbidding what is wrong” (Muhdlor, 1997; Crollius, 1978, Natsir, 1999; Dermawan, 2002). The two phrases comprise Islamic way of life, while Muslims have a conviction in believing the one God, Allah, at the same time they are obliged to convey a worldly sets of commands and prohibitions. This concept leads into an ethical message and involves the interrelated dimensions of divine conviction and human conducts (Crollius, 1978). In addition to understand the concept, Andi Dermawan, consider da’wah in a more socio-cultural framework, he refers to Muslims’ strategies and attempts in order to effectively spread the source of ethic and take the goal of human liberation as a major preference. Again, he affirms that none of da’wah major goal to accumulate the quantity of Muslims, primarily it calls for more attention toward the responsibility for surroundings, challenge to free from discriminative barriers among human being, and the experiment on the submissive spirit of life (Islam). Hence, da’wah does not refer to the hierarchical structure of communication among Muslims. Rather it expresses a functional structure emphasizes more on social and cultural interaction among Muslims. Moreover, da’wah relate not only to a matter of official activity, but it also contains individual or communal attempt to implement those ethical command. In line with this


strategy, Sukriyanto considers the role of da’wah will function when it displays dialectic character and interacts within both of the practical life and teachings of Islam. This is what the so called historical da’wah (Dermawan, 2002). While mosque encompasses the center for Islamic ‘calling’, Muslim Namosain has exemplified this symbol. Mosque represents such dynamic interaction between teachings and practical life of muslim Namosain. Their present as largest muslim community within a surrounded Christian believer in majority partly brought a sense of solidarity among the members. This example likely reveals the significant role of da’wah in Namosain. This is the fact that da’wah represent a source of ethical consideration as what Abdullah articulates a
“…..Islam with its teachings, such as praying, fasting, pilgrimage, and avoiding certain food and drinks, has also induced economic effects. The prohibition of gambling has affected the attitude towards speculative trade of religious groups.” (Abdullah, 1994).

A.3. Fieldwork of Research My first visiting East Nusa Tenggara in 2008 has given me a chance in learning people and social life as well the cultural dimension which surrounded their archipelagic area. Take an example, the historical and social setting of its people who put emphasis mostly on ethnic affinity within this complex and modernized life. Similarly, people dissemination in regard to religion’s affinity, would hardly ever to neglect the long story of colonialism (for both Portuguese and Dutch) which in part involving the process missionaries from Rome Chatolic and Zending. Taking its emphasis on study of muslim society, again, it is implausible to take away the existence of fishery which in fact has contributed the annual capital for the province.


Picture ( 2 ). The Map of Namosain Village

I began with preliminary research historical record on the coming of Islam in East Nusa Tenggara in order to find the management of Da’wah used by ulama and traders in this region. I was very lucky for meeting such intellectual and historians, also prominent figures from Muslim society as well valuable advantage from Department of Religious Affairs in this region, both East Nusa Tenggara region and that of Kupang municipality. Apart from historical review of Islam’s arrival, it is worth to mention the study of da’wah at Nusantara as background of this research while economic documentation is crucial element regarding in particular. During my constant fieldwork (May 12 up to July 02, 2009) I went extensively through all the city of Kupang, begin my attention to some basic area of fishery activity (i.e. District Namosain and District Oesapa) and single large fish market, Oeba. Later I continued to observe three concentrated Muslim community around the city; Solor, Airmata, and Namosain. Finally, I concentrated to choose Namosain as the existed fishermen community for the rest of my fieldwork. For all three villages I observe the daily life in order to understand their regular practiced Islam. Some interviews are made to complete this observation, a thankful for imams Airmata and three other mosques at Kampung Solor. It is regrettably to say that during this research it is difficult to have a meeting time

with an imam of Raya Mousque, Kampung Solor because of his busy as member of house of representative. But then it was a glad to –unintentionally- find an older imam, Aba Ja’far so he took the place and told us much of complete story on Islam arrival in Kupang municipality.

Picture ( 3 ). Situation of Interviews and Observations during fieldwork

Considering the complexity of the issue, research on da’wah and economic activity would not be qualified if it merely focused on the historical aspect independently and separate any other aspects. The study on economical side of Kupang municipality and the dynamic fishery income rate are completed by the help of Departement of Fishery on Kupang municipality and Statistic Departement record. Apart from this literally study, data collection regarding income rate and that of distribution among fishermen has been collected trough in-depth interview and survey study given to every informants group. Those are in depth interview decided for about five juragans and survey are permeated for thirty five of every group of fishermen’s wives and anak buah (boat-crew). For further information of survey result, we decided to have interview for five Mama


(fishermen’s wives) and that of boat-crew.3 While for papalele group I decided to use the very open interview during observation at the seashore along with their preparation for their sale activity. (Abdullah, 1994) During a month and a half stay at Namosain, has contributed great part of my data collection. These stays offered me an opportunity to interact with the family and observe their households relation, daily life necessities and to some extent such domestic dispute. These all, at the same time, has provided me a deeper understanding of the informants’ very domestic domain. (Wiliams, 2007)


B. Chapter II Da’wah and Economy

“….It is a matter of discovering just what sorts of beliefs and practices support what sorts of condition. Our problem, … is not to define religion but to find it.” (Clifford Geertz, 1968)

B.1. Islam’s Arrival in East Nusa Tenggara

Survey method was not designed primary on the beginning of research. Rather it replaces the research plan on FGD. The reason behind this changing method was due to a troublesome of short timing research and trouble on collecting all people in the very different villages.



Mapping the contact of Islam with local people in East Nusa Tenggara means an effort to go far beyond the coming of colonial era (by Portuguese and Dutch and/or VOC). It is, then, a draw on historical path for a useful broader relation while at the same time giving a good reading on the attempt how Islam is conceived trough economical, political and social interaction among Islam in this major Dutch and Portuguese influence of colonialism. The significant of this cross-cultural study on religion were accentuated by Geertz, a prominent anthropolog. One of the purposes of comparative approach to religion, he affirmed, extended from the actual historical outcome of religious development up to the dynamic practical life toward God communication. It is actually, a mere fact of what Geertz called upon:
“Islamization has been a two-sided process. On the one hand, it has consisted of an effort to adapt a universal, in theory ….usually wellintegrated system of ritual and belief to the realities of local, even individual, moral and metaphysical perception. On the other, it consisted of a struggle to maintain……the identity of Islam in general.” (Geertz, 1968; 14)

In line to the above excerpt, the investigation toward historical Islam as well the current aspect of practical life both have the purpose on tracing back to the way that locality –in fact- never work in particular. Except It always denote to the way the particular practices of life communicate to each other.

B.1.1. Tracing Back to Muslim’s Trade East Nusa Tenggara an archipelagic province in eastern part of Indonesia, consists of several islands with various site of natural harbor extended among bigger and smaller islands. Those are the connecting port for Mollucas and other western areas of Indonesia expedition, such are; Solor Island, Ende island, also Alor island. Besides, the sites also significantly run for transitory port of international trade relations from both local manufacturer agents and international agents sequenced from China, India, Malay, and even from Egypt


and Persia. Those agents had benefited the port for waiting a helpful strategic weather, in order to have their commerce voyage toward Australia continent. The agents, at the same time also- had projected for these islands’ natural capital such as sandalwood, candle, ceramics, and horses (Nordhlot, 1971; de Jong, 2002) Thus, investigating the sites as the gate for Islam’s arrival are plausible evidences why Islam develops on the coastal area of these islands. Predicting the coming of Islam from a single group of carrier is not appropriate for East Nusa Tenggara case. Widyatmika has recorded that the wave of Islam’s arrival can be tracing back to the destination of those commerce’s agents. Islam had come to this area since 15 CE, first story stated that Islam come from Palembang trader ulama (West Sumatra) namely Syahbudin bin Salman Al Faris. The place he had stepped his armada was called Menanga4 the similar word denoted for the place where Sultan came from. Another record referred the first hand of Islam arrival to Lamakera natural port at the same land mass, Solor. It was a Ternate noblesse who had entered to this area, namely Syarif Sutan Sahar together with his wife, Syarifah al Mansyur. Along before colonialism penetrated to this area, the history indicated that Ternate, which had North Moluccas as the central of kingdom, have had East Nusa Tenggara for their territory and command. (Azra, 1994) Both trade ulama from Menanga and the King from Ternate, Widyatmika affirmed, had used similar mode in spreading Islam in this area. They had started strategic with cultural and familial approach toward local leader. At the same time, building mosque or praying central point had been precisely benefited for themselves and local people as well. Further, Sultan Menanga have had built muslim community in this place. Furthermore, some other places in East Nusa Tenggara also benefited from this religion’s arrival and later on become the central of muslim communities in East Nusa Tenggara. Both are Flores Island and Alor; two different sites with more similar natural characteristic as transito port for Malay, Minang, Java as well Ternate merchants. Flores, Ende in particular, even went for further

Located at the edge of Lohayong, where Potuguese built its fortress, later (Widyatmika,

2004) 14

development, become the place where first Islamic education centre is built at the time when Portuguese have had its pastoral institution. (Widyatmika, 2007, Widyatmika, 2004) The historical record of first arrival of Islam gives an idea about Islam’s attempt to infiltrate its values and teachings into more local practices life without –at the same time- changing its life pattern in general. Thus, the da’wah have had something to do with handling religion into an attempt on improving upon local practice of religion, and at the same time declining the practice from extremely revolutionized that of the local. (Azra, 1994) But then, a short critical study on this record evidences that Widyatmika’s approach on this study was followed a major economical method, which has expanded by van Leur tradition of colonialism. For this logic economical as well political facets always preserve for spreading of Islam. Local figures and their acceptance toward Islam’s arrival benefited internationally for the persistence of inter-oceanic commerce. While at the same time Islam’s agents –still- had their activities as well got their protective support from the local figures. To sum up, Islam’s arrival has their internationally parallel characters, such as good relationship between Islam’s da’wah activity and coastal commerce; the holding da’wah depend upon small amount of individuals; and the need of local access and relationship with local figures. What’s more, first Islam’s spreading noticeably indicated by central place activity, that it is mosque or praying place. (Widyatmika, 2004; Azra, 1994) Likewise, some other aspects also denoted the dynamic life of those international trading agents. It is worth to note the province’s position along before colonialism era was peripheral area of Islam’s development at all, but it had played a part in connecting the successful commerce from Asia into Australia and Pacific as well. The area had pointed to the primary trace of 18 CE19 CE national trade water ways, where hundreds of merchants from Sulawesi (Bugese and Macassar) annually went to North coastal area of Australia in order


to gain tripang trade.5 In addition, JW Schoorl also recorded that Buton sailors (West Sulawesi) also involved into this trading while they had been the primary good tripang exporter for Batavia. (GJ. Schutte, 1994) And what’s more, these islands had provided incredible contribution for sandalwood, wax, and horse trading for all international trace. The existence of China merchant groups and that of Srivijaya in this coastal area at earlier century were the evidence of East Nusa Tenggara eminence role providing for those special goods. As well, I Gde Parimartha and WGC Smith study entitled Horse Trading The Economic Role of Arabs on the Lesser Sunda Islands, c 1800 to c 1940 recorded well interaction and commerce process between Arab traders and local rulers. WGC Smith stated in detail:
“Good relations with indigenous rulers were as essential to the prosperity of Arabs merchants as keeping on the right side of the colonial authorities. Local rulers determined many aspects of trade … ” (Ahmad Ibrahim, 1985: 148)

Finally, the previous factors which had supported Islam’s arrival at East Nusa Tenggara point to last aspect where influence immediately to the access of local people for the new religion. The emergences of Islam base of Kingdoms at eastern part of Nusantara have had great role in infiltrating Islamic teaching and believe to this area which in part become those kingdoms’ territory. To mention those monarchy are great Gowa Kingdom at South Sulawesi which had taken over eastern part of Nusantara such as Sulawesi, Bima, Dompu, Wuton (Buton), Selaprang, Kutai, Flores and Alor. At 1605, the kingdom in alien with lesser kingdoms in Flores had succeeded in controlling over Portuguese and VOC in various sites such as Bima, Solor, and Timor as well. Next, the role of Ternate as another Islamic Kingdom could not be neglected in this narrative. The latest Kingdom had controlled over and expanded culturally East Nusa Tenggara sites, to mention partly: Solor, Alor, also Adonara. Both great Kingdom were simultaneously left their influence toward muslim in East Nusa Tenggara well.
During their trading fairway, the agents for often times stopped their armada over natural ports at Ende, Solor, Alor, Makassar beach at Oecussi (Eastern Timor). Solor natural transito port was used as primary area where they waited for hazardous western monsoon so persistently kept on went to Timor island. (Widyatmika, 2004) 16

While some other Islamic power such as Sultanage in Pontianak, also several other in Java had their role supporting Islam’s arrival in East Nusa Tenggara for glance influential. (Azra, 1994; Schutte,1994; Widyatmika, 2007) B.1.2. Islam Coming to the Heart of East Nusa Tenggara Located at the west-southern part of Kupang Gulf, Kupang is the principal city of East Nusa Tenggara history where natural port was located. Its geographical site had attracted both Portuguese and Dutch colonial and let them built central market since 13 CE. Although, Nordhlot characterized the city as an peripheral area ripen without natural sources except firm rocky reef and dessert land, Kupang indeed has played pivotal role on transporting goods marine transnational business from Timor island into western Indonesia, China, Europe and so forth. Yet, the historical trade record continues up to 1958 where Kupang established to be the principal city of East Nusa Tenggara Islam had started to reach Kupang along 17CE and 18CE, precisely on 1657 when Captain Johan Burgers had succeeded on ruling his armada, VOC, to move central colonial government into the city. VOC’s great achievement from Portuguese and its allied, Timor local rulers, indispensably could not overlooked from his coalition with Sutan Syarif Syahar, Ternate’s Kingdom noblesse who led his armada from muslim Solor. Beginning from this successful alliance, Sutan had its privilege to take over part of Kupang city, right before the Concordia Fortress. The place later on is prominent by the name Kampung Solor, the island where this first muslim society came from. It is likely to say that by the first coming of Sutan Syarif, who then well-known as Atulaganama, had been the stepping stone for the development of da’wah Islam in this promising city. (Widyamika, 2004) Having been guaranteed by government and stayed as the first ulama in the city. Atulaganama had started to spread Islam, he then asked other ulama from Java and Sumatra in order to enliven the life of Islam in the city.


Other narrative of Islam’s arrival told that Islam was first come to Kupang by the help of trader from southern part of Nusantara. They were ulama from Philipine that also called Papanger stayed at the coastal area of western part of the fortress, Oeba. (Nordhlot, 1971) Currently, the place is used as the central

Picture ( 4 ) From left, Namosain Mosque, Air Mata Mosque, Kampung Solor Mosque

market for fishery selling activity. Nevertheless, the development of Islam’s spread di kota ini tidak bisa berkembang secara cepat. Persaingan antara VOC dan Portugis ternyata tidak saja berefek pada penguasaan perdagangan, lebih dari itu masing-masing juga menyebarkan agama Kristen dan Katolik. (Widyatmika 2004, 2008).


Picture ( 5 ). Atulaganama’s graveyard at Kampung Solor cemetrial

Besides, the arrival of Islam in Kupang also came from ulama and muslim intellectual. Those are religious figures from various places around Timor who cme to the city in order to –intentionally- bring Islam into local community by the hand of da’wah motivation. To mention part of them are Abdul Kadir bin Jaelani as Sambawi, an ulama from Sumbawa. He is the one who had accompanied Atulaganama, Solorese ulama, in establishing first mosque in Kupang. Other muslim intellectual came from Java consisted of exile people, Javanese group of sufi and small scale of Arab who did their trade in coastal area along the northern part of Java. These groups of mass dwelled in Airmata right before the fortress.6 The latest group of muslim had their beneficial influence for establishing the mosque as the heart of Islamic education gathering place. B.2. Fishery as Arena of Economy

Kupang and East Nusa Tenggara is mainly exporter for eastern tuna fish (tongkol) in Indonesia. Richard Mathew recorded on his A Business Survival Guide to Eastern Indonesia that Kupang exports this special fish to Japan as the
These groups of Arab was known from three major clans; Al Jufri, Al Katiri and Al Gadri. Other groups commerce’s agents scattered in Sumba, also Atapupu (at the border of East Timor area) and Pante Makassar (Oecussi, region of Timor Leste) (The Interview by Adam Asrakal Juni, 2 and Dr. Munadjar Widyatmika May, 15; see also WGC Smith , 2002). While the other group was came from Bangka and one of Diponegoro’s troop who are sent away to this island for war exile. (Widyatmika, 2007)


primary market destination and Philinines for secondary. What's more, Kupang water side contains hundreds of natural and fishery resources. Indeed, national capture fisheries production recorded that East Nusa Tenggara together with two other provinces (Mollucas and East Java) they remained as the top producing province with total production about 25,8 percent from national marine capture production.7 This prosperous area made up alongside of Kupang gulf, located in west-northern part of Timor island scattered into two divided regencies, Kupang regency and Rote Ndao, as well one municipality of Kupang. Kupang gulf had primary a slightly slope classification so that the coastal areas have good potentiality either for dwelling place, sea port, or mangrove conservatory site. Besides, the gulf’s slope contour that made up cleaved tunnel along with the existence of small islands (i.e Semau, Kera, and some un-named islands) are excellent combination for good giant fishery pound. The latest geographical characteristic, also, protectively supports fishery activity against hazardous Tsunami’s threat which had repeatedly strike other island in East Nusa Tenggara. (DKP, 2007)

Graphic ( 2 ). Total of Fishermen by Village and Type of Work in Kupang, 2007

Since 2002 the Governor of East Nusa Tenggara had declared a multi-year program called Gemala (Gerakan Masuk Laut) which gives high priority for sea manufacture. The program proposes on: 1) Developing citizen’s income, 2) Evolving the priority on labor demands as well opportunity for coastal technological creativity 3) Developing food security from natural recourse diversity. 20


Opportunely, Kupang fishery capture production rate in 2007 has indicated fine manufacture from various kinds of fish, such as small pelagis (i.e. Ikan Tembang [Fringscale], Selar [Shrimp scad], and Ikan Kembung [Indo Pacific mackerel]) kind of big pelagis (i.e. Ikan Tongkol [eastern little tuna] and Cakalang [Skipjack tuna]) as well demersial (i.e. Kakap Merah [red snipper] and Kerapu [honeycomb grouper]). Among those kinds, the number of highest expected capture comes from small pelagis unit as it successfully helped by a great deal of armada unit. (DKP, 2007)

Graphic (3). Total Production of Marine Capture by trimester in 2007


Source: Statistic of Perikanan Tangkap Kota Kupang 2007

As primary source of substitute, fishery is an essential alternative for Kupang’s inhabitants. The coastal area of Kupang Gulf made up a productive fish industry. The productivity of the area made up other side of commercial potentiality for either transportation or tourism site. Unfortunately, the tropical sea richness was left behind in less utilized condition. In one condition, it can be said that local people (Dawan tribe, the majority of Timor island) had considered sea as the counter world of earth where hazardous energy came from. Therefore, fishery and coastal productive industry is totally new knowledge for city’s people. (Nordhlot, 1971) Since the city opens for modern and development industry, Kupang grows as urbanization area so people decided to designate their occupational future for. The city, as well, demanded more labor human recourse and preferred for industrial area. Fishery, then, would not be conceived as traditional to earn money; it then had been considered as less important livelihood as it needs less education. Thus, almost all of those who come to this business are migrant people, particularly Bugenese, Rotenese, Sabunese and lately Solorese. Lately, regional government started to realize the potential watery resource within its coastal area. The government then established program for traditional fishery encouragement. A number of plans such as productive credit


grant for juragan (deck-man), also support machine allowance, as well donation for papalele. As well, regional department of fishery set up human recourse assistance in order to gain more capture, income and social prosperity as well. Since 1983, the city government had make reference to one of cooperation group (koperasi laut), and when province government promoted for establishing Gemala program fishermen had their huge assistance for even further.



C. Chapter III Da’wah at The Seashore
“Religion lives and become adaptive toward its surrounding. Its pattern, construct models of religious attitudes….which live in different communities, then, cause dissimilar religious characteristic as well.” (Muhajirin Tohir, 2006)

C.1. Mosque, Center Of Da’wah Activity
It is Sunday 08.30 in the morning when sun shines dazzlingly; a group of women come to the Mosque Nurul Mubin at Namosain hamlet. Since it had been built, the mouse locates at the bottom of Namosain village right before the seashore. So, every one may see the large scale of Timor Gulf with the view of Kera the maiden island right at the straight path. But now, since the population has increased time by time, seashore view has been interrupted by recent area of hamlet along the seashore. At some monsoon times, the hanged up casting net and seine even worsen this natural scene. Rarely, the asphalted road separated the Mosque from dynamic of fishing activity at the seashore as well it’s busy bustling traffic sets mosque’s activities aside. However, this situation seems like a natural for inhabitants due to dwelling necessitate at this village. A group of Mama (woman) have been waited there for twenty minutes, but the Ustadz of pengajian (religious services) has not come to the place yet. Since 2005 those women whom are grouped themselves into Majlis Ta’lim muallaf Mujahidin (muallaf Mujahidin religious services) by Pa’ Keneng Initiative come together to learn about reciting Qur’an. At this morning, Ma Ndun (60 years old) who has amputated leg comes with her grand-daughter from Osmok hamlet (a hamlet within Namosain’s hill which located higher than the mosque spot). At that time, bespattered sweat kept her fast breath, showed her weary palish face. Ma Ndun is one of Majlis Ta’lim members. Though Ustadz Hamid, the teacher of


Qur’an recitation, got angry in often time, her spirit always tries to overcome her ignorance. “Ngaji tuh, sulit sudah. sulit menghafal bacaan baru, tu! Be ju lupa terus, nah. Su tua, nah!” It was so hard to –always- remember the totally new knowledge. I was too old! she asserted on the material difficulty of studying – totally new- language; Arabic. Ma Ndun, together with more than 20 muallaf Mama at Namosain gather at every Sunday to study a lot about Islam, their new conviction. Takes turn from reciting daily prays, reciting Qur’an, studying Fiqh and even hearing some Islamic sermon from Ustadz Hamdi. Not often, Ustadz Hamid taught impatiently as the followers of this Majlis Ta’lism were lack of knowledge from reciting Qur’an at all. One and the only hope come from his aspiration on maintaining akidah (belief) he, than, intended to teach those women. Luckily, some of the followers succeeded on this study like Ma Amin, who has completed her recitation for twice since the group was established four years ago. Majlis Ta’lim has transferred spirit toward the jama’ah (member) to deepen their religious knowledge as well the practice one. As Ma Amin the leader of this group acknowledged akidah’s liability of those muallaf, the group of Mama –as well other muallaf at Kupang- got a lot time to revert to the previous conviction. Therefore, the challenging reason for this fraternal solidarity arose to strengthen caring and compassionate feeling among the follower on the one hand and the attempt to deepen their religious lessons at the other one. Rogayah’s story inclined to sign the importance of Majlis Ta’lim. Rogayah (or Nina) was converted to Muslim two years ago since she met Hasbi who then became her husband. As they only knew that Rogayah came to Kupang to get a job, her family and relatives at So’e (the capital city of Timor Tengah Selatan) was so socked hearing on her conviction. On some occasions, she has explained on a touching spiritual dream as the most convincing reason behind her conversion. But, they at So’e lesson nothing to this mystical experience. Since then, Rogayah started to deepen her subjective acknowledgment by studying Qur’an till then she confessed these are not easy at all. Her deck-man husband supported her conviction but hard times of minimum familial income suspend her


moral religious support. Moreover, her early pregnancy has to do with giving priority to familial need rather than wasting time to studying Islam deeply. Finally, it is just six months ago she found her hope when she met Ma Amin at Idul Fitri celebration who then introduced her to this Majlis Ta’lim.

Picture ( 6 ): Rogayah (wearing white headscarf) in Muallaf Majlis Ta’lim Mujahidin, Nurul Mubin Mosque

Namosain and its mosques, then, socially and culturally have to jump up more than a religious exploration. It had and have to do with, firstly, strengthening akidah of its Muslim residents and later integrate its services with the great attempt of village’s compliance on villagers’ welfare both physically and mentally. It can be explained by the real condition of fishermen’s world since male members of the village in general have their two intermingle world of seashore and world of sea. Both would never be separated each other. In addition, those male go to their fishing activity around to twilight up to dawn of the day where they leave the village and pass in the life to the rest of inhabitants. Thus, the idea -in particular- meets a major significance for this coastal type of village as the daily lives of fishermen perhaps go to the farther part of mosque activities. So, could the rest of the villager tackle this social religious duty? The story of da’wah activites at Namosain has just started at 70s decade when the wave of migrants from Solor and Buton attacked Kupang after the East Nusa Tenggara was found by Sukarno’s era. This historical record affects to the late development of da’wah in compare to other two Muslim inhabitances of

Kampung Solor and Airmata.8 Most of those Solor migrant took this urbanization trip in order to get a better life and start to work at Tenau harbor as voyagevendor. “Aba kerja untok mandor di Tenau, tu. Aba kerja kasih lihat anak-anak dong pung kerja boleh bagus. Lain tu, Aba ju kasih masuk barang-barang dong penumpang di kapal. Aba boleh bilang, tahun tu Aba lai pung pelabuhan, na! Be boleh kasih masuk orang-orang yang Aba mau, kalau Aba bisa dapat uang buat mereka hidup. Na, sodara-sodara di kampung, Aba kasih bawa kemari dong kerja sama Aba. Dong ju tinggal di rumah ini, rumah bebak disini. Dulu son ada rumah tembok macam ni. Tapi macam mana, Aba hanya bisa bertahan sepuluh tahun, sa. Habis tu, sejak Tenau tu dipugar Aba sonde bisa lai kerja disana. Sejak tu, Aba ikut Lampara pergi melaut, sudah!” I was work for harbor foreman. My duty is supervising my ship-crew and to assure that all passengers’ goods are all in the deck of ship. At that time, Tenau’s port was mine which mean I was free to take my crew as much as I can take as long as I can guarantee their life need. I took almost all my relatives to work with me and they lived in my home as well. But it was only work for ten years then the port was rebuilt and I lost my job. Soon I was started to go to the sea following my Lampara. Aba Kabe Mukin (71 years old) was one of the Solor-Lamakera leaders who took his part on this urbanization wave. During his wandering, Aba saw not only provided work for his relatives but also enhance them to contribute to spread Islam, following to the previous ancestors who had did so at Kampung Solor. While other part of this migrant group projected to wander to East Timor as promising tradesman there. But those are only part of the first migrant of Namosain, who took working as major motivation on leaving the kampung. While, other group of migrant preferred to take dissimilar reason to go to Kupang such as a group of young students who were started to go to Kupang to continue their study. Those are
Namosain, at that time, was dwelled by Rotenese and Sabunese, who had come since Dutch colonial era. Both are together with Solorese (Kampung Solor) are Dutch coalition had their task on fortificating colonizer from Portuguese’s attack. Though Solorese was just arrived at Namosain since 50s era, Widyatmika’s record on history mentioned two Ternate’s soldiers from Solor had been drifted at this site along before Sutan Syarif entered and got into Kupang. (Widyatmika, 2004) This may conclude that Namosain, since earlier before 20th century was become one of alternative destination for tradesman and Muslim in particular.


fishermen’s son who graduated from PGA (Pendidikan Guru Agama) Ende who then continue to go to university level. The migrant passed through several sites of Kupang, as well Namosain, got together to the eldest Muslim stimulate and enliven dynamic of Muslims life at Kupang.9 The early risen situation of Namosain indicated the situation dynamically. As the inhabitants had grown up at an Islamic kampong, those Solor migrant together with their neighbor of Buton started to enliven da’wah live at Namosain by establishing a mosque where they can gather for Jumat prayer. The name of this mosque is Nurul Mubin as it was based on history behind the establishment and later completed with imam namely Awang Maliasen a Madura descendant10.

Picture ( 7 ). Nurul Mubin After latest restoration (1991 – 2006)

At the same time, Islam arrived at various areas in Indonesia, i.e. Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, and so forth. The exemplary of the record is pesantren graduate from Java, also sent cadres and da’I (religious proselytizers) from di Java, from various organizations such as Muhammadiyah had obvious contribution to the life of da’wah in Kupang. It is predicted that several imam and pious muslims were not came from Madura on the straight away of their religious journey. Except, they took journey and wandered to all along Eastern regions in Indonesia. This was also the previous condition at the time of Islamic kingdoms era, Southern Mollucas (i.e. Ternate). Ternate had good relations on commerce with various sites of southern seaboard of East Java. (GJ. Schutte, 1994) Awang Maliasen was companied by Aba Jamaluddin and Aba Samiun, both are Solor as descendant.



Namosain11, nowadays, reaches highest Muslim population at Kupang municipality. It was shown by five year population data that Namosain’s population is higher than two other villages at Kupang; that it is Airmata and Kampung Solor. Taken from this data, the government and the policy makers, in often times, used the village as one of possible vote gathers for their politic investment. The recent 2009 national election and Kupang 2008 election on regional leader were promptly a means for this indication. In doing so, it could not be a precise thing to say that mosque at Namosain 12 has produces more than mere religious practices. Having counted for considerable role, mosques at Namosain represent not only the existence of Muslim community, but also the dynamical intact between mosque’s communities and the surrounding religion’s allies; Christian as the major religion.

Grafik ( 4 ). Precentage of Religion Follower by 2007

The village consists of four hamlets area divided by Rukun Warga (a division of village which literally token and origin from Javanese language, mean harmonious citizen). Those are; Rumah Tujuh, Osmok, Namosain and Maleset. While two previous hamlets inhabited by descendants of Butonese and Rotenese, Solorese (both Lamakera and Lohayong) dwelled in two latest hamlets. At Namosain and East Nusa Tenggara in general the distribution of villagers signify both modern typical of village structure (which diminished previous particular tribal division structure called Lewo) also kind of Javanese governmental kind of influence into whole part of Indonesia regions. (Widyatmika, 2007; Nordhlot, 1971) Those are Nurul Mubin as the Islam arrival symbol at Namosain hamlet; Mujahidin mosque a sign of modernity and a musholla (small prayer house) Nurussa’adah the two latest mosque are at Maleset hamlet 29


Beside the above approach on Da’wah, Muslim Namosain has to deal with changing adat consideration. Given that people of kampong leaving for Kupang at the earlier migration trend, several customs and adat ways of life are left by several followers. The consequent of this mass movement, then, people would have had more freedom and chance to choose or follow their cultural bound. While at the same time they also had to do with negotiating even-mingling traditions among various ethnic groups at this main city of East Nusa Tenggara. Namosain’s social setting –with a greatly adjacent to patron client structure- can be seen as the exemplary alteration within da’wah activity. C.2. Ethnic Leader is Religious Leader Saturday before monsoon, Ma Rohani’s house located at the ground beam of Maleset hamlet hastens with noises and voices. Her younger brother - a lecturer of a prominent state university- come from Jogja in order to discuss their purpose on carrying forward the cemetery of their deceased mother. Ma Rohani’s younger brother, Pa Malik, intended to hold no party for this commemoration, but she refused to do. His intention will profit nothing for her except a shameful interaction between her and all relatives both in Kupang and kampung. Early that morning Ma Rohani had got little bit angry on a neighbor’s disdain who said her family was going with a selfish attitude because they respected no more for their ancestry and elders (tetua). “Kemaren saya sudah datang ke beberapa Pak De dan Paman, minta ijin sama mereka untuk tidak meramaikan acara pagi ini. Tapi kakak saya tidak mengerti. Saya bilang ke mereka, saya tidak mau merepotkan saudara yang sudah jauh dari sini jika mereka harus datang ke acara pemugaran itu. Lagipula, saat ini kita sedang sulit, jadi uang bisa kita pakai untuk keperluan lain. Toh Andi, Arka mereka masih butuh uang untuk masa depan mereka. Begitulah, Kaka’ agak sulit menerimanya. Acara adat seperti ini pun disini pasti diperlukan biaya besar untuk adakan pesta. Makanya saya mau bilang maksud saya itu kepada banyak orang disini”. Since yesterday, I have had come to part of our elders; Paman-paman (uncles). In order to ask their


permission for this non-celebration agenda. But it doesn’t mean that we would diminish this ritual! She (Ma Rohani) didn’t understand what I mean. I told them, we don’t want to bother all relatives from kampung to come here in order to come to this –only- small agenda. Moreover, we suffer for insufficiency today, so we can earn and use income for other necessities. Thus, Andy and Arka (his nephews, Ma Rohani’s sons) they need more money for their study and their better future. That is, she hardly ever understands what I think of. I knew this adat will never cost for a small amount, rather I wanted to make all people here understand what means to be effective! For lewo’s member it was not easy to cut off their cultural bonding, also for Namosain’s inhabitants from this tradition. Adat, for them are half of their life purpose which never contradicts their life to be muslim. Namosain’s people are Solorese in majority, they always tight up by familial bound of lewo13. Though its structural structure were tight no more people out of kampung, their cultural calling simply symbolize the previous unity. An exemplary of this cultural symbolization drawn by pesta (party) custom. Basically, pesta used to call every closest member of clan of lewo in order to express their thankfulness for God and blessing from ancestors. The adat took a consequence that religious leader and imams play their pivotal role in leading the pesta and ensuring their pray approved by the ancestors. This genealogical union, in fact, was never been neglected by migrant Solorese in Kupang.14

This cultural inherited for all member of tribe. Lewo consisted of seven clans divided into three oldest clans namely Bela Suku Telo (means three biggest clan) functioned as kings and leader of the tribe. And the rest of four clans divided into four more functional groups such as clan S. Dasi had function for imam (prayer leader). Though this traditional function was no more used strictly by migrants but they would never neglect a sense of respectfulness for this hierarchical inheritance. (Beatty, 1968; Widyatmika 2004, Interview with Pa’ Pahlawan the director of Islam Division at Department of Religion Region East Nusa Tenggara) Nordholt affirmed that political and geographical separation of migrant from structural function of lewo leave nothing for people of clan except their feeling of similarity and brotherhood among the migrants. In fact, lewo or other central traditional house and its structural domain at village in East Nusa Tenggara (such as Ume for Atoni of Timor) functions also for genealogical consideration. Typically, people of clan prefer to live with their closest relatives or choose a residence nearby their family. Therefore, it is common to find a group of similar tribe live in one area in Kupang municipality (Nordholt, 1971; Widyatmika, 2008) 31


Furthermore, ethnic leader descendants have their pivotal role in this fishermen village. Ma Zubaedah, a forty years old mother with two children expressed sense of honor for Aba Ridwan, one of prominent da’I in East Nusa Tenggara who lives in this village. “Aba Ridwan itu tetua kita, dong termasuk anak raja, nah sekarang ju apa lai, hm… pemuka agama, nah! Semua katong disini tu kasih hormat nah ke Aba. Beliau tu kan, pintar yaa ilmunya banyak, nah!. Be ju Mama-mama disini katong sering minta nasehat beliau. Ya, katong sering bertanya, nah ada tentang ibadah ju ada lai soal agama. Katong disini ju ada panggil beliau, untuk pesta, pernikahan ju boleh, dong pung anak, tu Aba yang kasih nikah!. Aba ju mendoakan di pesta tu! Apa katong bilang, kalau Aba bisa datang tu suatu kehormatan untuk katong, nah!” Aba Ridwan is one of village elders. He was a son of king’s descendant who later becomes religious leader. All people here took their respectfulness for Aba since he has good capacity in knowledge. I and all mothers here, for often times, we asked Aba for such advices. We asked a lot about prayers and religion. People here are also asked Aba in order to pray for their pesta, asked Aba to marry their children, also other pesta. What we can say, his present at our pesta is an honor for us! Religious leadership does not always go simultaneously for a religious services matter. It also denoted by life of fishery. Once at monsoon time, Pa Is who had his own two lamparas and work also a deck-man for his third lampara have had his pesta in order to build his brother’s new home. Pa Akbar who had followed into his lampara as a deck-man for several years (who also his nephew as a descent) affirmed Pak Is’ honor. “Pak Is tuh, bagus dia tuh. Biar orang boleh bilang beliau tu masih muda, tapi dong su ada tanggung jawab besar untok keluarga besar, nah! Bagus dalam sikap sama katong, masyarakat sini. Beliau ju rajin bekerja, sonde seperti juragan yang su berhenti kalau dong su ada anak buah ada yang bekerja untuk dong pung lampara, tu! Kalau Pak Is ada bikin pesta, besok tu! bukan Kaka Pak Is kasih bikin, tapi beliau. Saudara dari kampung ju pasti datang kesini untuk kasih sumbang ju bantu acara. Karena katong lihat Pak Is, kasih katong pung sumbangan ju bantuan karena katong lihat beliau!” Pak Is is good man. Though people say he still young, he has fully


responsible toward for all his big family. He is good in relationship with people here. He work hard, act dissimilar with other lampara owner who will retire from their fishery work since they have people to go with their boat. Once he has a pesta for his brother’s new home, it is not his older brother who holds the party, but Pak Is. Our relatives from kampung will happily come here to give their donation and help the party. We all see him; we give our donation and physical help because we see him respectfully. Pa Akbar appreciation to his lampara leader and Ma Zubaedah honors both shows sense of honor. Having derived from traditional structural feeling of respect refers to more professional and functional appreciation. In fact, Pa Akbar respects for both older familial relation and Pak Is’ work hardship at lampara. While Aba Ridwan, is respected by Mama for the reason that he completed his honor cultural position with educational competence. Islam arrival in Indonesia found its general character in this Eastern prototype of Nusantara. As stated by Azra in his master piece, by means of Sufism kind of religiosity, Islam succeeded to infiltrate to the core of cultural life of Muslim in this country.(Azra, 1994) Unlike Javanese traditional characteristic, the dynamic interaction between Islam and Eastern ethnical people can be found within their firm lewo relation. (Nordhlot, 1971; Widyatmika, 2007) The spirit of syncretism15 had come to this culture and functionalized within the solidarity among relatives and family of clan as possible means for spirit of silaturahim. Yet, the pattern of this religious ethic has to do with practical live of fishery activity which does not merely go on well straight track. Clan’s solidarity has derived from ethnical cultural interaction with religious ethical spirit. Within this dynamic process, patron-client appeared to be the obvious pattern of Namosain’s ethic. On the practical religious life, this ethnical bound develop other characteristic where people could not easily determine their dependency in regard to religious matter. People of Namosain will and always
This paper affirmed what Beatty signified as Syncretism it is both a dynamic and monotonous process of a cultural factor which constantly happened in the reproduction of culture. The process turned to surrounding issue of accommodation, context, feasibility, ‘Indigenouzation’, and a set of dynamical process between cultures.(Andrew Beatty, 1968)


depend strongly upon their elders. Older family, for these people, not only an actor whom they may put on their reliance, but also at the same time plays a role on the successful key of da’wah. Further, the existence of da’I like Aba Ridwan Pedang figures out this condition whose may function for a very important person on da’wah process. Finally, the alteration and dynamic process of patron-client had happened since the first people interact with urbanization in this municipality. Their year by year mass arrival in actual fact, influence softly to the refraction of this cultural system. The process of cultural reproduction takes place through several factors. The fact that Kupang gave more chance on educational access than it was in the kampung. And in so far, it contributes positively to carry on headship of religious leaders. Pa Pahlawan asserted his first coming to Kupang does influence his spirit to always follow the way da’wah has to be maintained. That is why his occupation as –neither a trader nor a fisherman- but an educator is part of God’s scenario. Having been a leader at madrasah tanawiyah (junior high school) Pa Pahlawan emphasize on strategic position of head master where he may got involve immediately into children’s religious education. Therefore, he was so active to purposely motivate his brothers at Namosain to build an informal religious school, namely madrasah at Nurus Sa’adah Mosque. Next, education will never work for itself in doing dynamical influence for cultural interaction at Namosain. In fact, economical factor affect interaction among inter-island people. As The coastal people have had a money-oriented menjadikan uang sebagai parameter menilai seseorang (Pujo, 2003; Muhadjir, 2006) Selayaknya masyarakat nelayan lain di negeri ini, uang memiliki posisi penting dalam kehdupan masyarakat yang lebih dinamis dari masyarakat petani. Berbeda dengan masyarakat nelayan di Jawa yang menjadikan uang sematamata, Namosain lebih melihat pesta sebagai center of money circulation of Namosain people (see Chapter IV). Modernism di dalam kehidupan masyarakat urban Kupang turut membuat ikatan ethical cultural di dalam kelompok suku di Namosain menjadi melentur. Latest generation, in particular, merasa suku bukan lagi satu-satunya nilai bagi


masyarakat modern semakin meninggalkan kebiasaan di daerah asal. “Memang sulit Nak ya, untuk mengontrol anak-anak muda yang ikut lampara tu. Aba kadang sedih juga, nah! Aba su tua begini, sonde bisa lai ikut dong anak-anak untuk tahu betul apa dong sholat ko sonde di lampara. Aba hanya kasih tau sama anak-anak yang melaut dan masih suka pergi ke masjid. Aba hanya bisa menitipkan ke mereka, Nak, agar mengingatkan teman-teman dong supaya sholat, nah! Bikin baek-baek jadi orang Islam biar mereka pung hidup jadi selamat, khusnul khatimah. Lately, several problems are rising in regard to traditional style of patroncline clashes with modernity. Part of characteristic of modern era represent by the existence of bureaucracy, the condition also happen to da’wah structure and responsible. There are several formal da’I and ulama (religious leader) come along da’wah activity in Kupang designed by Department of Religion. Those leaders who consequently substitute previous traditional ulama, however, have an effect on da’wah activity in Namosain and generally for all Muslim communities. “Dulu, sewaktu para guru agama dan da’I disini masih sedikit, ada Bapa Ibrahim Dasi yang menjabat di Departement Agama. Generasi awal seperti kami, Aba Ridwan Pedang dan juga beberapa teman lain, Bapa Ibrahim Dasi menginginkan kami semua untok menjadi pegawai negeri. Maklum, sa…saat itu kan kota ini hanya ada sedikit para penda’wah Islam. Walaupun agak sulit karena adanya tekanan dari mereka, tetapi usaha kita berjalan perlahan tapi pasti ” Previously, there are only a few Islamic religion’s teachers and da’I in this city. We have Bapa Ibrahim Dasi who held a strategic division in Religion Department in this region. First generation such as me, Aba Ridwan Pedang also several other friends, Bapa Ibrahim Dasi wanted us to be government employee. It was to be understod that there was only a few da’wah delivers in this city at that time. Though it’s a troublesome of having pressure from them (non-muslim government policy maker) we work hard but sure. In fact, the condition has gone along two dilemmatic ways. On the one hand, traditional ulama and da’I got their chance as well full admission from government. On the other hand, those ulama who were unskilled by formal education would have no chance in order to


engage this bureaucratic attempt. The da’wah activity, thus, separated from formal and traditional lines (Dermawan, 2002)

Picture ( 8 ). Aba Ridwan; one of religious service



D. Chapter IV Fishery; the Spirit on livelihood
“Aba tidak menginginkan apa-apa dari mereka, kecuali; jadikan perahumu sebagai sajadah agar engkau sembahyang di atasnya, dan jadikan lautan lepas sebagai kiblat dari tujuan sholatmu….” (Aba Ridwan Pedang)

D.1. Fishing; a Life Pattern

Quite a lot of lampara (Purse Seine) moored at the low tide seashore while few of them are yet pushed out into the sea. Colored flags –in this grilling hot dayfreshen the lampara with along with glossy and luminous paint when it was just painted. Blue, yellow, red are dominant flag color at the top of those lampara, indicate symbols of political party that were not alien for all Indonesian citizen. It was May 2009 reaching for national and presidential election for next July. Lampara’s crew scattered around the low tide seashore. It was a terang bulan (full moon) where every lampara take its ‘time-out’, turn around for checking and cleaning days, so it will have powerful strength for the next season. At the day of full moon several groups of anak buah (boar-crew) work for cleaning and checking all stuff; motor diesel; deck wood, even for it jaring (seine). No one bravely say lazy or weary though sunlight worsen their dark skin. Rather everyone of those anak buah will have the courage to ask their monthly payment soon after they finish off their job. Thus, jokes, yelling, shout and even quarrel are tied within almost all of their hard day and done by gladly income. At the other side, children crowd all round wet sand and coral preyed upon tiny sea living thing such as fishworms, crabs, as well seashells. It is a somewhat

usual for them using seashore for their ‘play ground’ and having their time to get into the swing of fishery activity. They start to have their life familiarize with dynamic coastal days, and yet, since earliest of their stage. Though the life does not always go along their well condition, they smiles and happiness point out to all things they find. Children of Namosain, indeed, need no more time to get

Picture ( 9). Lampara (pure seine); bodi tepa (motor machined boat); and sampan (non-machined small boat)

used into adult activities above the sea. A number of children at 11 or 12 years old, take an instance, start to go on fishing at every end of week. They started their work as crew obeys on their elders, learn on drawing the seine into deck’s boat, mete (use hand-seine for fishing, through all the night) during all the night, also taking care of all food and necessities. Thus all younger crew become acquainted with their future life; fishery. Few of those children are lucky enough, grown up with juragan as their parent and got such facilities from a fairy well family. But none all of them are trained to be a good manager in sea-world except a few. Andi, 9 years old boy, a son of juragan, is one of those lucky boy; “Jadi juragan sonde boleh takut, nah,


harus berani menantang arus ju ombak di laut. Jadi juragan ju harus tau bikin adil sama anak-anak buah, kasih kerja ju latih dong bagus-bagus. Be suka ikut Pa kelaut, jadi bisa kasih mama dirumah ikan atau mama beli sayur. Hm… juragan itu enak, kalau dapat ikan banyak katong dapat uang paling banyak, nah!” Become a juragan, one is not a cowardice, but he should challenge sea current and wave with full of fearless. A juragan, also, should treat their crew dispassionately, train them for good exemplary. In often time, I follow my father to go into the sea, sometimes I was also mete so I am able to give a bunch of fish for my mother or money for our soup. Hm…last, it is a pleasure to be a juragan as we earn much money for a lot of fish we got. He affirmed these words because he was frequently going on fishing after his father at holiday. Luckily, he earns some money for himself over and over again. Whenever lampara made sail, seaworld life stars immediately after Ashar prayer about 3 or 4 pm. Crews and deck-man are coming out from several hamlets at Namosain reach for their primarily life of fishery. Every lampara consisting of 10 – 12 crews busy preparing for their need, fuel, food, and of course hand-seine for mete all the night. When sun turn to half sunk, the tens of lampara start to sail, leave their part of life behind. Several bodi tepa got to follow behind lampara so it may easily pare down for fuel. At harvest time, the wide wild sea would be chattered by lampara’s full of activity. Fishermen, they don’t need to wait up to the night to draw their –for about 200 meters length- seine, round in the circle of great lamp and shape herd of thousands fishes from demersial and pelagis classes.16 Kupang gulf has sufficient potentiality, facilitate those fishermen on having warm water current and so they may pull fishes together easily. As well, smaller islands among the gulf, has protected fishermen and their lampara from storm belt of Timor Sea that may fortify them. So,it would not be shocking days for they used to repeat this hardest work during sailing. Finally, it will be the time when all
Research done by Abdul Kadir AS recorded the number of lampara with 5 – 10 GT reached 32 – 54 unit per 2001. In compare to this research, the latest report done by Department of Fishery for Kupang Municipality give details increasing number of that unit. There are 106 – 144 lampara per 2007. (Abdul Kadir AS, 2004; Annual Report Department of Fishery, 2007)


challenging work becoming trouble-free, all sadness flows completely by the coming of happiness.17 Fishing activities would not end up to that night. Right after yielding a mountains of above sea kind of fishes, bodi tepa crew will come and taking care of those fishes, brings them to the central market Oeba. Juragan will always have reaches them with such agreement, which normally based on their familial and clan closeness.18 Their closeness and familial bound indeed influence their work relation and pattern. “Yaa, sebenarnya ada saa anak-anak bodi tepa yang main bohong sama kita. Dia kasih dapa’ uang 400 ribu untok 1 ember oker, tapi dong hanya kasih tau kita laku 300 tiap oker. Na, karmana kalo kita dapat 10 oker, su dapat berapa dia? Ada lagi lainnya, kalau lagi musim ikan banyak, katong bisa lempar jala sampai 2 ato 3 kali. Kalau begitu, katong sonde bisa lai kasih takar itu ikan per oker. Jadi masih malam, tu..mereka su ambil dari lempar pertama sonde diukur per oker lai, sementara kita sibuk kasih lempar jala lai. Katong percaya sa..mereka kasih ukur perokernya. Anak-anak tu, bisa bilang 10 oker padahal kita itung kasar sa, katong bisa dapat 15 oker, nah!. Ya, kita percaya sa…mereka. Kapan hari kalau ada waktu katong ju kasih tegur mereka, tapi kalau bodi tepa yang sudah ikut lama, dong pasti tau karmana katong mau. Toh, mereka sonde bisa pergi dari katong, karena kan mereka tinggal disini, dong ju masih jadi adik lah, istilah kita.” In fact, we found severally crews lying to us. He got 400 thousands rupiahs for one oker19 bucket, but she reported at 300 thousands rupiahs. What if we got 10 oker bucket, how much we earn and loss our money? And yet another motive is done. Usually, we have drawn our seine
17 According to several fishermen, a hazardous monsoon storm comes regularly at western monsoon then they would rarely go on fishing. The rainstorm can be difficult for them to manage the flow and fish direction. In addition, the wave of rain will make everything worse so that some people, in this hard monsoon, will work way round to the western part of Teluk Kupang, around Tablolong gulf. The latest water area protects lampara and fish group against hazardous wave of rainstrom. Smaller islands around Kupang gulf are Semau Island and Kera Island, both are indeed benefit them. At the other hand, those pelagis and demersial fish hunter will have their harvest season at eastern monsoon around August and February. Also see Report done by Department of Fishery for potential Kupang Gulf (DKP, 2007)

Lately, some juragan also work with some other clan people as the increasing demand of fishery influence for the higher labor supply. See (Abdul Kadir AS, 2004) 19 Word denote for a kind of bucket, normally used by all fishermen (crew, juragan, papalele) as measuring container. An oker bucket equivalent with 5 kilograms 40


twice or three times a night, if it so, we would never have enough time to measure our yield crop, immediately after drawing seine into lampara, they will take it immediately from us and we totally believe their amount on measuring the fish. We could have a rough measurement about 15 oker, in contrast, they may say on 10 oker. However, I just try to believe them. At some other time, I will honestly talk and tell them. But this was not for bodi tepa that has stayed along time work with me and will always stay nearby me; they understand what I really mean. They would never go far from hear (Namosain) and they are our younger (family) in fact. Pa Is (37 years old) a juragan with more than two lampara pays his attention toward the difficulties of taking relationship within both clannish work system and that of professional. Primarily, juragan not only leads his crews above the sea but also he may usually pay attention outside their primary world. This responsibility would not be easy for it takes his time and concentration. Pa Kadir Mukin, was a crew-man while he was at kampung, asserted: “Kalau dulu, juragan itu punya kemampuan spiritual yang kuat. Juragan tidak hanya bisa mengarahkan lampara, tapi mereka juga -istilah orang sini- menaklukan jalannya ikan. Katong bilang sini, nafas ikan. Ya, bisa kita bilang merekalah yang menguasai laut. Tetapi memang prasyaratnya tidak mudah karena mereka juga punya ibadah khusus juga melatih diri. Kalau katong bilang mereka itu mehe, punya keahlian yang kita orang biasa atau anak buah tidak mampu. Tapi sekarang keahlian itu sudah semakin tergeser, karena juragan sudah menjadi profesi bukan lagi sebagai anugerah dari Allah. Sekarang kan kehormatan juragan dilihat dari kekayaan mereka. Ya….tidak bisa dielakkan, karena memang saat ini nelayan menjadi bidang kerja ekonomis. Kalau katong lihat ada juragan yang memang baik moral dan etikanya, itu pasti karena penguatan dari dirinya sendiri, bukan karena lingkungan nelayan. Yach, kita harusnya prihatin. In the past, juragan mostly blessed and owed their powerful spirituality. They not only had capability on directing their ship voyage, but also –what people say- able to take control of fish wave. We called here, fish breathing. We can say, they were the sovereign of seas. But we knew they require uneasy qualification. They had obliged on such


praying and spiritual training. They were mehe; had such qualification which everybody, their crew as well couldn’t achieve on it. But, rightnow, it doesn’t work anymore, juragan’s capability and dignity arise from their wealth. It’s hardly ever that fishery become rational economical work. Once we find good juragan both morally and ethically, it must emerge from themselves and non are appear, immediately, from the surrounding. Outside the sea, nearby seashore number of papalele20 always wait for crews and the rest of fishes stock at the end of this work cycle. Some of them are equipped with colored sampan (small non-motored dugout) while the rest are ready with oker bucket and some other tools. They never leave seashore for long distance as they are less skilled on fishing activity. Papalele quit a new job rises

Picture ( 10 ). Busy bustling, papalele at a non-auction sale.

not until some Timorese start to join this work and merge into their neighbor ethnic group into fishery business. They take –sufficiently- profit from mete yield or the remnant fishes of crews. It is likely, that present of papalele be a sign of work fuse among ethnic community in Kupang along with the highest rate of economical need. D.2. The Spirit on Work hardship Crews’ happiness at the harvest time will continue with longer hard times of sorrow. The rest of Namosain’s life is berhemat (thrifty) and berhutang (run into
Seashore vendor dominated by men; work on buying from lampara’s crews the remnant of fishes and sell it. There are two models of papalele number of them permanently stay at the edge of busy road, while some other choose to bring their fishes walking around hamlets. 42

debt). The pain continues as they were unskilled with well food management technology. It is rarely hard for Namosain’s fishermen as they gone with over fishing at the harvest time while they were fresh out of fish at western monsoon on the other hand. Perhaps, it should be easier for fishermen to be grateful for God as they have more capacity to survive above the sea. In contrast to their brother-farmer who suffer for the danger of famine (lapar-biasa), fishermen will never –as it usually stated by fishermen- lost their sea corp. Dalam keadaan seperti ini, masyarakat Namosain berusaha untuk mendapatkan substitute bagi kebutuhan mereka. Keterlibatan para perempuan Namosain dalam mencari penghidupan memang tidak bisa di negasikan. Dalam keadaan musim angin barat justru, para Mama yang banyak terlibat dalam perdagangan lintas daerah lintas Negara diakui membantu banyak para suami mereka. Ma Zubaedah ia one of those Mama with a bodi tepa crew husband, she has been spent half of her life to sell vegetables at central market, Oeba. She went to the market at three o’clock of dawn time and will have back to their home at twelve o’clock . “Katong ni pergi ke pasar jual sayur sejak sebelum menikah. Ya.. untok hasil boleh katong bilang cukup, sa..untuk keperluan sehari-hari. Katong ju kasih sedikit simpanan untok sekolah anak, ada juga persiapan kalau ada sodara bikin pesta. Tapi kalau Pa sedang Barat, sonde ada ikan banyak, katong bikin uang itu untuk bayar sisa kredit motor mesin Pa pung bodi.” “We (I) go to central market to sell vegetables and farm produce early before get married. Ya…the income we earn is sufficient for our daily need. The rest, we (I) save our money for school necessitate and prepare for unpredictable pesta. But when my husband suffers for western monsoon, and yield less fishes, we (I) use money to render his account for machine credit of his bodi (tepa).


It Ma


so for


Picture ( 11 ). Activities at Central Market Oeba

Zubaedah’s family have reserve substitute for her bodi tepa’s husband. But other women just not did so. Ma Hamida Dasi, a house wife of a crew husband, has nothing to do with her causal work. Mama bekerja bikin jagung titi begini kan sonde bisa di andalkan. Tapi Mama pung anak laki-laki yang pertama tuh, su bisa bekerja, ikut juragan Saleh bisa bantu keluarga. Tapi bukan untuk keperluan hidup, si Andi bantu Mama kasih bayar kontrakan rumah katong! Selain itu, Mama coba jual pisang dan sirih di pasar Oebobo.” Mama working for cooking traditional pop-corn (roasted and fried corn) it is not a job that we may rely on. But my oldest boy, he got a job and follow Juragan Saleh into lampara. He earns money for himself, and used to help us for our life necessities otherwise he will pay for our hired home. And what’s more, I try to have banana and sirih21 for sale as papalele. Terakhir, ketika Pa Is dan Pak Saleh dua kakak
Betel vine, consisting of betel leaf, areca nut, and lime (often with other ingredients, e.g. gambier, tobacco, etc.) used by Dawan people of Timor Island for several necessities, such as ritual and dish service as well.


adik yang menjadi juragan dari suaminya membuat pesta bagi pendirian rumah baru mereka. Ia senang bisa membantu, walau ia juga sedikit meringankan tugasnya untuk masak di rumah. Given that life above the sea will never go smoothly forever, pesta, in this condition going over into pattern of life ‘defend mechanism’. It help fishermen to circulate their income from the group of higher laborer income into that of lower, the potential famine group in particular. Their feeling of solidarity, manifest into the holding pesta. One of Mama who once held a pesta at research time stated “Kalau pesta nih, sonde bisa lai katong bilang sia-sia. Karmana kalo katong bisa dapatkan kekeluargaan, nih rasanya lebih dari hanya sekedar berkumpul, sa. Makanya kenapa sodara-sodara dari jauh, tu mereka berdatangan kemari, karena dong lihat hubungan adik-kaka nih sonde bisa dibayar dengan uang, nah. Musti dibikin baek-baek. Besok-besok kalau dong ada bikin pesta, katong ju ikut bantu dong! Nah, kalau ada orang lain bilang itu pesta bikin uang habis sa, itu sebenarnya dong sonde tau apa katong rasa. Be rasa yang kasih habis uang itu sonde semua dari kita. Tapi kembali ke dong orang masing-masing. Kami ni, sonde bikin ada, kalau katong bilang. Jadi,Lu ada uang kasih sudah, kalau Lu sonde ada, mana bisa lai ambil uang dari yang sonde ada. Begitu beta pikir.” The pesta, we could not relate it to a fruitlessly tradition. Because the feeling of clannish, we will have more than just a sense of togetherness. For that reason, our relatives will come even from the farthest area, they know how we experience on the relation of younger-older, which is in fact unpayable. We need to trait pleasingly. Some other time, when they hold pesta, we will glad to come and help them. When other says pesta is nothing then wasting money, I can say that they don’t know what actually it is! I think if it is happened that’s depend on our self. We think of something! If you have enough income just spend it (for pesta) but if you don’t, just leave it. That’s what we think of.


Picture ( 12 ) Mama busy at pesta, and the attendants

Rather spending pesta to simply celebrate feeling of togetherness, the party at the same time functions for expressing their previous tradition at kampung. It is a process of imitating their identity within a changing condition, Kupang municipality. (Abdullah, 2006) Namosain’s fishermen use pesta as one of process where they reproduce their culture. Their expression, contribute to the way da’wah is characterized by (chapter III). By attending the pesta, feeling of familial bound together with expression of honor toward tradition entail their solidarity. This implementation on the teaching of silaturahim symbolize by the gathering of closest family. The clan relationship is symbolized by their attending to the pesta. In relation to fishing activities, pesta demonstrate fishermen’s purpose of life. They went to their activities day after day for every month and earn their substitute. But sea will never be the end of their journey, except fishermen terminate their work purposely on the need of sodara (family) regular gathering. Money, energy, and emotion, in fact, become means for their highest journey; that it is clan cultural solidarity. *********


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