The ethnoecology of the Malay sacred myth through narratives of Kampung Tua Nongsa in Batam

Tomi Arianto, Adrias Adrias, Septriani Septriani, Febri Yulika


The condition of the Malays is significantly marginalized due to the migration and the rapid industrial development in Batam, Indonesia. However, the Malay sacred myth is still sustained as a local wisdom for the Malay generations. Therefore, this study aims to analyze the ethnoecology behind the story of the sacred myth of Bumbum, Puak, and Batu Belah as a representation of environmental Malay local wisdom in Kampong Tua Nongsa, Batam. Within the conceptual framework of ethnoecology as a bridge to understanding the relationship between literature in the form of folklore and the culture of society, this qualitative research collected data through observation by being directly involved in the community and in-depth interviews with 21 informants including the key jury of the sacred places, community advice, community leaders, village officials, and the younger generation of Malay people in Kampong Tua Nongsa. Data analysis was carried out by comparing, reconfirming, classifying, and interpreting the data with an ethnoecology approach. The results showed that there were three important ethnoecological representations: (1) the ecological ties between forests and humans in the sacred Bumbum, (2) the reflection of the wise king in the sacred of Puak, and (3) the sea as the central life of nature in the sacred of Batu Belah. Sacred site prohibitions reveal deep connections between human behavior and nature, emphasizing ethical considerations; these stories highlight cultural values, insights for heritage preservation, and solutions for environmental challenges within an ethnoecological framework, stressing the importance of ethics in human-nature interactions.


ethnoecology; Kampong Tua Nongsa Batam; Malay; myths; sacred

Full Text:



Al Anshory, A. M., Nirmala, B. N., & Latifah, N. (2023). A. J. Greimas’ narrative structure in the animated film Turning Red. Advances in Social Science, Education, and Humanities Research, 725, 254-261.

Anderson, C. & Renaud, F. G. (2021). A review of public acceptance of nature-based solutions: The ‘why’, ‘when’, and ‘how’ of success for disaster risk reduction measures. Ambio, 50(8), 1552-1573.

Arianto, B., Sayuti, S. A., & Efendi, A. (2021). A study of ecocriticism on the representations of ecological conditions in Rawa Gambut. Studies in English Language and Education, 8(3), 1267-1284.

Arianto, T., & Suryani, M. S. (2020a). Maintaining the harmony of nature behind the existence of the Batu Belah myth in Kampong Tua Nongsa. Basis: Jurnal Bahasa dan Sastra Inggris, 7(2), 435-446.

Arianto, T., & Suryani, M. S. (2020b). The fair and wise king behind the sacred myth of Puak reflected the leader horizon representation of Kampong Tua Malay Nongsa: Ethnoecological approach. Tonil: Jurnal Kajian Sastra, Teater dan Sinema, 17(2), 63-76.

Arianto, T., & Simanjuntak, D. S. (2020). Representation of ecocriticism in the folklore of Mak Ungkai spirit. Studies in English Language and Education, 7(2), 576-591.

Aritenang, A. F. (2017). Special economic zone at the crossroads: The case of Batam. Jurnal Ilmu Sosial dan Ilmu Politik, 21(2), 132-146.

Baiduri, R. (2020). Teori-teori antropologi (kebudayaan) [Anthropological (cultural) theories]. Yayasan Kita Menulis.

Boyce, C., & Neale, P. (2006). Conducting in-depth interviews: A guide for designing and conducting in-depth interviews for evaluation input. Pathfinder International.

Bracke, A. (2018). “Man is the story-telling animal”: Graham Swift’s Waterland, ecocriticism and narratology. ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, 25(2), 220-237.

Buell, L. (2009). The future of environmental criticism: Environmental crisis and literary imagination. John Wiley & Sons.

Curry, A. (2014). Traitorousness, invisibility, and animism: An ecocritical reading of Nnedi Okorafor’s West African novels for children. International Research in Children’s Literature, 7(1), 37-47.

Endraswara, S. (2018). Antropologi sastra lisan: Perspektif, teori, dan praktik pengkajian [Anthropology of oral literature: Perspectives, theory, and study practice]. Yayasan Pustaka Obor Indonesia.

Faruk. (2012). Metode penelitian sastra, sebuah penjelajahan awal [Literary research methods, an initial exploration]. Pustaka Pelajar.

Fremaux, A. (2019). After the Anthropocene green republicanism in a post-capitalist world. Springer.

Garrard, G. (2004). Ecocriticism. Routledge.

Gioia, D. (2021). A systematic methodology for doing qualitative research. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 57(1), 20-29.

Goldwyn, A. J. (2016). A case study in Byzantine ecocriticism: Zoomorphic and anthropomorphic metaphors in the Medieval Greek Romance. ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, 23(2), 220-239.

Greimas, A. J. (1983). Structural semantics: An attempt at a method. University of Nebraska Press.

Gurung, G. P., & Koirala, K. P. (2020). Assessing ethno-ecology of women in Nepal: Practices and perspectives. Modern Applied Science, 15(1), 46-52.

Hariyadi, R. (2006). Pengaruh pencemaran limbah industri terhadap kualitas air waduk di Duriangkang Batam [The influence of industrial waste pollution on reservoir water quality in Duriangkang Batam]. Jurnal Teknik Longkungan BPPT, 7(3), 271-276.

Harun, M., Artika, W., &H Wildan. (2023). Dysphemism in the form of hatred and profanity towards forest destroyers in Indonesian poetry. Studies in English Language and Education, 10(3), 1627-1646.

Heise, U. K. (2011). Martian ecologies and the future of nature. Twentieth Century Literature, 57(3/4), 447-471.

Hilmanto, R. (2010). Etnoekologi [Ethnoecology]. Penerbit Universitas Lampung.

Hunn, E. S. (2007). Ethnobiology in four phases. Journal of Ethnobiology, 27(1), 1-10.

Kober, G. (2013). For they do not agree in nature: Spinoza and deep ecology. Ethics and the Environment, 18(1), 43-65.

Kottak, C. P. (1999). The new ecological anthropology. American Anthropologist, 101(1), 23-35.

Mantiri, G. J., & Handayani, T. (2020). Bentuk-bentuk satire ekologis dalam kumpulan puisi Suara Anak Keerom: Tinjauan ekokritik. [Forms of ecological satire in the Keerom children’s voice poetry collection: An ecocritical review]. Jentera: Jurnal Kajian Sastra, 9(1), 1-14.

Mei, T. Z, (2023). The harmonious life between the Cherokee and nature in Forrest Carter’s The Education of Little Tree. [Bachelor’s thesis, Universitas Andalas].

Nazarea, V. (1999). Ethnoecology: Situated knowledge/located lives. The University of Arizona Press.

Stewart, P. J., & Strathern, A. (2003). Landscape, memory and history: Anthropological perspectives. Pluto Press.

Pernando, A. (2018, April 29). Mengembalikan kejayaan industri Batam [Restoring Batam’s industrial glory]. Bisnis.Com.

Pikkarainen, E. (2015). Educational semiotics, Greimas, and theory of action. In M. Peters (Ed.), Encyclopedia of educational philosophy and theory. Springer, Singapore.

Poyatos, F. (Ed.). (1988). Literary anthropology: A new interdisciplinary approach to people, signs and literature. John Benjamins Publisher.

Ratna, N. (2011). Antropologi sastra: Peranan unsur-unsur kebudayaan dalam proses kreatif [Literary anthropology: The role of cultural elements in the creative process]. Pustaka Pelajar.

Ratna, N. (2013). Sastra dan cultural studies: Representasi fiksi dan fakta [Literature and cultural studies: Representation of fiction and fact]. Pustaka Pelajar.

Rodrigues, E., Seixas, C. S., Sauini, T., & Adams, C. (2022). The importance of ethnoecological studies for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity: A critical analysis of six decades of support by FAPESP. Biota Neotropica, 22(spe).

Sarkki, S., Heikkinen, H. I., Herva, V., & Saarinen, J. (2018). Land use policy myths on local use of natural resources and social equity of land use governance: Reindeer herding in Finland. Land Use Policy, 77(1), 322-331.

Steward, J. H. (2005). The concept and method of cultural ecology. In H. L. Moore & T. Sanders (Eds.), Anthropology in theory: Issues in epistemology (pp. 102-108). John Willey & Sons.

Suryana, C. S., & Angga, V. V. (2022). Hubungan antar manusia dalam perspektif aliran kebatinan perjalanan. [The relationships between humans from the perspective of travel mysticism.] Nalar: Jurnal Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan, 1(2), 77-81.

Schultz, P. (2002). Environmental attitudes and behaviors across cultures. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 8(1), 1-12.

Taum, Y. Y. (2011). Studi sastra lisan: Sejarah, teori, metode, dan pendekatan disertai contoh penerapannya [Oral literature study: History, theory, methods and approaches with examples of application]. Lamalera.

Taylor, B. R. (2010). Dark green religion: Nature spirituality and the planetary future. Univ of California Press.

UNESCO. (2021). Reimagining our futures together—a new social contract for education (executive summary). United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Wang, N. (2009). Toward a literary environmental ethics: A reflection on eco-criticism. Neohelicon, 36(2), 289-298.

Zaimar. (2008). Metode penelitian sastra lisan dalam metodologi kajian tradisi lisan [Oral literature research methods in the methodology of studying oral traditions]. Asosiasi Tradisi Lisan.


Article Metrics

Abstract view : 0 times
PDF - 0 times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Print ISSN: 2355-2794, Online ISSN: 2461-0275

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

View Journal Stats