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Javanese also known as “Orang Djawa”, “Tijang Djawi”, “Wong Djawa” Pitek, Emily 2018-08-29

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Poll: Religious Group (v6) Published on: 29 August 2018Date Range: 1930 CE - 1960 CERegion: Town and environs of PareRegion tags: Asia, Southeast Asia, IndonesiaTown and environs of Mojokerto, located in East Java,Indonesia. ca. 1955Javanesealso known as “Orang Djawa”, “Tijang Djawi”, “Wong Djawa”Data source: eHRAFSecondary sourceEntered by Emily Pitek, Human Relations Area Files* Data Source entry, prepared based on data sourced from an external project.* Secondary Source entry, prepared from a literature review by a Ph.D. RAEntry tags: Religion, Syncretic ReligionsThe Javanese are Indonesia's largest ethnic group, and live primarily in East and Central Java (Martin,2010). Java has a longtime history of contact with other cultures. Indian and Chinese influence and tradehave been present since the eighth century, and have brought Islamic and Buddhist religious beliefs. TheDutch gained control over Java in the eighteenth century, which lasted until Indonesia gained sovereigntyin 1949 (Martin, 2010). With such a variety of contact, the Javanese religious beliefs are, unsurprisingly,predominantly syncretic. Three main religious traditions are present: the santri (purer Islamic subtradition),the prijaji (mainly stresses Hindu beliefs), and the abangan (integration of animism, Hundu, Buddhist, andIslamic beliefs) (Geertz, 1960:5). This entry focuses on the syncretic beliefs of the abangan Javanese. It isimportant to stress the variation and complexity of spiritual life in Java, as Java is "not easily characterizedunder a single label or easily pictured in terms of a dominant theme. It is particularly true that indescribing the religion of such a complex civilization as the Javanese any simple unitary view is certain tobe inadequate..." (Geertz, 1960:7).Status of Participants:✓ Elite ✓ Religious Specialists ✓ Non-elite (common people, general populace)SourcesPrint sources for understanding this subject:Online sources for understanding this subject:Source 1: Divale, W. 2004. Codebook of Variables for the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample. World Cultures:The Journal of Cross-Cultural and Comparative Research.—Source 1 URL: http://ehrafworldcultures.yale.edu/document?id=oe05-018—Source 1 Description: Geertz, C. (1960). Religion Of Java. Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press.—Source 2 URL: http://ehrafworldcultures.yale.edu/document?id=oe05-000—Source 2 Description: Martin, M. M. (2010). Culture Summary: Javanese. New Haven, Conn.: Human—DOI: URL: https://religiondatabase.org/browse/611This work is licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution 4.0 International license.Please see our Terms of Use here:https://religiondatabase.org/about/creditsPage 1 of 13© 2018 Database of Religious History.The University of British Columbia.For any questions contactproject.manager@religiondatabase.orgGeneral VariablesMembership/Group InteractionsAre other religious groups in cultural contact with target religion:Notes: "Java—which has been civilized longer than England; which over a period of more than fifteenhundred years has seen Indians, Arabs, Chinese, Portuguese, and Dutch come and go; and which hastoday one of the world's densest populations, highest development of the arts, and most intensiveagricultures—is not easily characterized under a single label or easily pictured in terms of a dominanttheme" (Geertz, 1960:7).Does the religion have official political supportAnswer 'yes' also in cases where the religious and political spheres are not distinguished from oneanother, but the religious group's activities are tied up with, and supported by, the functioning of thesociety at large.Notes: The Javanese are a part of Indonesia's political administration. The government has the Ministryof Religion, which is charged with the "administration of all government regulations concerningRelations Area Files.Source 3 URL: http://ehrafworldcultures.yale.edu/document?id=oe05-003—Source 3 Description: Jay, R. R. (1969). Javanese Villagers: Social Relations In Rural Modjokuto.Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.—Yes—Is the cultural contact accommodating/pluralistic:Notes: "...my intention has not been to deny the underlying religious unity of its people or,beyond them, of the Indonesian people generally, but to bring home the reality of thecomplexity, depth, and richness of their spiritual life" (Geertz, 1960:7).Yes—Is there violent conflict (within sample region):Notes: SCCS Variable 1649 (Frequency of Internal Warfare, Resolved Rating) indicates that"internal warfare seems to occur almost constantly and at any time of the year" (Ember andEmber, 1992; Retrieved from Divale, 2004).Yes—Is there violent conflict (with groups outside the sample region):Notes: SCCS Variable 1650 (Frequency of External Warfare, Resolved Rating) indicates that"external warfare seems to occur almost constantly and at any time of the year" (Ember andEmber, 1992; Retrieved from Divale, 2004).Yes—No—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2018 Page 2 of 13religion. Although there are Protestant, Roman Catholic, and 'Other Religions' sections, the Ministry ofReligion is for all intents and purposes a santri [Islamic] affair from top to bottom" (Geertz, 1960:200).The religion of Islam, therefore has political support whereas the syncretic religion does not.Is there a conception of apostasy in the religious group:Notes: Because there is so much variation in the syncretic (abangan) beliefs of the Javanese, it isunlikely that there is a conception of apostasy. (See Geertz, 1960:7 for a description of such variation)Size and StructureNumber of adherents of religious group within sample region (estimated population,numerical):Notes: "...the town has a population of almost 20,000, of whom about 18,000 are Javanese, 1,800Chinese, and the remainder a handful of Arabs, Indians, and other minorities" (Geertz, 1960:1). Becausenot all of the Javanese follow the same religion, and the religion is highly syncretic, it is difficult toestimate the number of adherents. An informed guess would be about 10,000 adherents, but it isimpossible to know with certainty.Number of adherents of religious group within sample region (% of sample regionpopulation, numerical):Notes: The Javanese do not have a uniform religion. Many, but not all, are of the abangan subgroup(which this entry focuses on). Because there is so much variation in this highly syncretic belief system,it is impossible to determine exactly what percentage of the sample region adheres.Are there recognized leaders in the religious group:Notes: The abangan religious subgroup does not have an official, recognized leader. There are,however, religious specialists known as dukan. "There are many varieties of dukun , each one dealingwith specialized kinds of ritual such as agricultural rituals, fertility rituals, etc. Dukun also performdivination and curing" (Martin, 2010). For a more detailed description of dukan, see Geertz, 1960:86-91.ScriptureDoes the religious group have scriptures:Scripture is a generic term used to designate revered texts that are considered particularly authoritativeand sacred relative to other texts. Strictly speaking, it refers to written texts, but there are also “oralscriptures” (e.g. the Vedas of India).Notes: The Javanese religion consists of an integration of Islamic, animistic, and Hinduistic beliefs. TheIslamic faith follows the Koran, and the Hindu faith follows the Vedas of India, but it is unclear howNo—Field doesn't know—Field doesn't know—No—Field doesn't know—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2018 Page 3 of 13these scriptures fit into the syncretic religion of Java. Because the religion is high varied, theimportance of scripture presumably varies from individual to individual.Architecture, GeographyIs monumental religious architecture present:Notes: The abangan Javanese worship mainly at home, or at shrines. Monumental religiousarchitecture is not present.Are there different types of religious monumental architecture:Notes: See questions below for specific types of religious architecture among the Javanese.BeliefsBurial and AfterlifeIs a spirit-body distinction present:Answer “no” only if personhood (or consciousness) is extinguished with death of the physical body.Answering yes does not necessarily imply the existence of Cartesian mind/body dualism, merely thatNo—Yes—Cemeteries:Notes: "There are no communal village rituals ordinarily held at the graveyard. Its value to thevillage community derives from the attachment its families feel to the location of their closekinsmen's graves. Each year at the advent and at the end of the fasting month, when everyfamily renews its spiritual ties with deceased close kin, the graveyard becomes a place ofpilgrimage for all the families of the village" (Jay, 1969:330).Yes—Other type of religious monumental architecture:Notes: "The generic term for a place of worship (of local spirits, not mosques) is pundèn, frompundi, 'to worship, revere.' In Modjokuto the villagers used it particularly to refer to the shrine ofthe spirit of the village's putative first settler, the 'first clearer of the land.' It is also used of aperson's parents and sometimes of grandparents. These are conceived as that person'sspiritual progenitors: before death the parent's body is the child's personal pundèn; after theparent's death his grave becomes the pundèn. In the same way the village pundèn isconceived as the burial place of the akal bakal. In some more recent villages historicallyimportant figures have been buried close by the pundèn, and their spirits have becomeidentified with akal bakal. A pundèn, then, for most villagers is the locus of a spirit who is insome way the worshiper's progenitor; some villagers denied pundèn standing to other kinds ofspirit shrines" (Jay, 1969:323).Yes [specify]: Shrine (pundèn)—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2018 Page 4 of 13some element of personhood (or consciousness) survives the death of the body.Notes: Minimal discussion of Javanese theories of spirit. Insufficient ethnographic information. SeeGeertz, 1960:75 for available information.Belief in afterlife:Notes: "Three separate notions of life after death, again often held concurrently by the same individual,are present in Modjokuto. The first is the Islamic version of the concept of eternal retribution, ofpunishment and reward in the afterworld for the sins and good deeds in this one...Much more popularwith abangans is the concept of sampurna, which means literally 'perfect' or 'complete' but whichindicates in this context that the individual personality completely disappears after death and nothingis left of the person but dust...The third view, which is extremely widely held by all but santris, whocondemn it as heretical, is the notion of reincarnation—that when a person dies his soul enters shortlythereafter into an embryo on its way to being born" (Geertz, 1960:75).Reincarnation in this world:Notes: "The third view [of the afterlife], which is extremely widely held by all but santris, who condemnit as heretical, is the notion of reincarnation—that when a person dies his soul enters shortly thereafterinto an embryo on its way to being born" (Geertz, 1960:75).I don't know—Yes—Is the spatial location of the afterlife specified or described by the religious group:No—Yes—In a human form:Notes: Geertz, 1960:75.Yes—In animal/plant form:Notes: Geertz, 1960:75.Yes—Reincarnation linked to notion of life-transcending causality (e.g. karma):Notes: "Sometimes people hold to the Hindu notion of advancement and regression in thestages of being according to one's deportment while alive; but most abangans leave this sortof thing to prijajis to reflect upon and use the idea of reincarnation primarily to explainpersonal peculiarities in their children and strange behavior on the part of an odd animal nowand then, such as dogs who fast, as humans often do, on Mondays and Thursdays" (Geertz,1960:75).No—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2018 Page 5 of 13Are there special treatments for adherents' corpses:Are co-sacrifices present in tomb/burial:Notes: Insufficient ethnographic information.Are grave goods present:Notes: No ethnographic evidence for the presence of grave goods.Are formal burials present:Notes: See Geertz, 1960, pages 68-71 for a detailed account of Javanese burials.Supernatural BeingsAre supernatural beings present:Notes: The abangan Javanese spirit beliefs vary person to person, and include several different types ofsupernatural beings. Due to the high variation in such beliefs, it is difficult to answer questions aboutspecific characteristics of these beings. See questions below for available information. "Abangan spiritbeliefs in Modjokuto are not part of a consistent, systematic, and integrated scheme, but are rather aYes—Interment:Yes—Corpse is interred some other way:Notes: "The body is taken off the litter and put into the grave on its side, being handeddown to three men standing in the grave. The body is laid to rest on seven stones withits head pointed to the north. The strings on the shroud are loosened and the faceexposed so that the cheek touches the earth, and then either the modin [religiousleader] or some other santri jumps down into the grave and shouts the Confession ofFaith three times into the dead man's ear. The planks are then laid in place, the dirtpushed into the grave, and the grave markers erected" (Geertz, 1960:71).Yes [specify]: On side—Field doesn't know—No—Yes—In cemetery:Notes: Corpses are buried in graveyards (Geertz, 1960:70).Yes—Yes—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2018 Page 6 of 13set of concrete, specific, rather sharply defined discrete images—unconnected visual metaphors givingform to vague and otherwise incomprehensible experiences" (Geertz, 1960:17).A supreme high god is present:Notes: SCCS Variable 238 (Religion: High gods) indicates that a "high god absent or notreported in substantial descriptions of religious beliefs" (Murdock, 1962-1971; Retrieved fromDivale, 2004).No—Previously human spirits are present:Notes: "...some anjangs are considered to be spirits of actual historic figures now deceased: thefounders of the village to which they are attached, the men who were the first to mbabad (i.e.,clear) the land. Each village usually has one major anjang" (Geertz, 1960:26).Yes—Human spirits have deliberate causal efficacy in the world:Yes—Human spirits can punish:Notes: "Other spirits are believed to demand naughtier entertainment, for thecharacters of the founding spirits are conceived as no more morally elevatedthan the average run of powerful men. In fact, some of the spirits areconsidered djahat, 'evil,' because of the demands they make and theretribution they bring for failure to meet those demands" (Jay, 1969:325).Yes—Non-human supernatural beings are present:Notes: "Abangan spirit beliefs in Modjokuto are not part of a consistent, systematic, andintegrated scheme, but are rather a set of concrete, specific, rather sharply defined discreteimages—unconnected visual metaphors giving form to vague and otherwiseincomprehensible experiences" (Geertz, 1960:17).Yes—These supernatural beings possess/exhibit some other feature:Notes: Geertz, 1960:16,19Notes: Geertz, 1960:16-18Notes: Geertz, 1960:16-17,21Yes [specify]: Lelembuts spirits can make people ill or drive them crazy—Yes [specify]: Memedis spirits are known to upset and scare people, but are usuallyharmless—Yes [specify]: Ujuls are non-human child spirits that generally help humans—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2018 Page 7 of 13Supernatural MonitoringIs supernatural monitoring present:This refers to surveillance by supernatural beings of humans’ behaviour and/or thought particularly as itrelates to social norms or potential norm violations.Notes: The abangan Javanese spirit beliefs vary person to person, and include several different types ofsupernatural beings. Due to the high variation in such beliefs, it is difficult to answer questions aboutspecific characteristics of these beings, including questions about supernatural monitoring. "Abanganspirit beliefs in Modjokuto are not part of a consistent, systematic, and integrated scheme, but arerather a set of concrete, specific, rather sharply defined discrete images—unconnected visualmetaphors giving form to vague and otherwise incomprehensible experiences" (Geertz, 1960:17).Do supernatural beings mete out punishment:Notes: Ethnographic examples of supernatural punishment (see Geertz, 1960:17, 75), but not enoughinformation. Additionally, supernatural beliefs vary from individual to individual.Do supernatural beings bestow rewards:Notes: Insufficient ethnographic information.Messianism/EschatologyAre messianic beliefs present:Notes: No ethnographic evidence for the presence of messianic beliefs.Does the religious group possess a variety of supernatural beings:Notes: The principal ethnographer, Geertz, stresses the variation in names for andidentification of spirits. If there is any organization present, it is by the spirits' functions (e.g.spirits that harm, spirits that possess, spirits that frighten, etc.).Yes—Organized by kinship based on a family model:No—Organized hierarchically:No—Field doesn't know—I don't know—I don't know—No—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2018 Page 8 of 13Is an eschatology present:Notes: No ethnographic evidence for the presence of an eschatology.PracticesMembership Costs and PracticesDoes membership in this religious group require sacrifice of adults:"Adults" here referring to an emic or indigenous category; if that category is different from the popularWestern definition of a human who is 18-years-old or older and who is legally responsible for his/heractions, then please specify that difference in the Comments/Sources: box below.Notes: No ethnographic evidence for the presence of human sacrifice.Does membership in this religious group require sacrifice of children:"Children" here referring to an emic or indigenous category; if that category is different from the popularWestern definition, please specify that different in the Comments/Sources: box below.Notes: No ethnographic evidence for the presence of human sacrifice.Does membership in this religious group require self-sacrifice (suicide):Notes: When an informant was asked about his ideas on suicide, he responded: "'That would be wrongbecause it would be from your own will. It is up to God to decide when you should die, not yourself. It iswrong to commit suicide because you are trying to take into your own hands affairs which areproperly God's'" (Geertz, 1960:74).Does membership in this religious group require sacrifice of time (e.g., attendance atmeetings or services, regular prayer, etc.):Notes: No ethnographic evidence for the requirement of time sacrifice. The abangan practices arevaried, and largely revolve around the slametan ritual.Does membership in this religious group require participation in small-scale rituals (private,household):Notes: The slametan is not entirely mandatory, but is a key feature of Javanese religion. (Geertz,1960:128).Notes: The slametan is not entirely mandatory, but is a key feature of Javanese religion. "For theNo—No—No—No—No—No—Yes—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2018 Page 9 of 13abangan the basic social unit to which nearly all ritual refers is the household—a man, his wife, and hischildren. It is the household which gives the slametan, and it is the heads of other households whocome to attend it and then carry home part of the food to the other members of their families"(Geertz, 1960:128).Does membership in this religious group require participation in large-scale rituals:I.e. involving two or more households; includes large-scale “ceremonies” and “festivals.”Notes: While not mandatory, the slametan ritual is a central feature of Javanese religion. (Geertz,1960:11).Notes: While not mandatory, the slametan ritual is a central feature of Javanese religion. "At the centerof the whole Javanese religious system lies a simple, formal, undramatic, almost furtive, little ritual: theslametan (also sometimes called a kenurèn). The slametan is the Javanese version of what is perhapsthe world's most common religious ritual, the communal feast, and, as almost everywhere, itsymbolizes the mystic and social unity of those participating in it" (Geertz, 1960:11).Society and InstitutionsLevels of Social ComplexityThe society to which the religious group belongs is best characterized as (please chooseone):This question refers to the wider society in which the religious group is located.Notes: The Javanese society (as a whole) has four levels of jurisdictional hierarchy beyond the localcommunity, which is indicative of a large state (Ethnographic Atlas column 33, Murdock, 1967;retrieved from Divale, 2004).EducationDoes the religious group provide formal education to its adherents:Notes: "...there is still a number of old-style religious schools in the area which have recently been semi-modernized" (Geertz, 1960:4).Is formal education available to the group’s adherents through an institution(s) other thanWhat is the average interval of time between performances (in hours):Performances here refers to small-scale rituals.Notes: Insufficient ethnographic information.I don't know—No—Yes—A state—Yes—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2018 Page 10 of 13the religious group:Notes: "In Modjokuto there are a half dozen six-grade government elementary schools, a governmenttechnical school at the junior high level, three private junior high schools, a government school forelementary teachers, and scattered other private schools including Chinese and Catholic elementaryschools" (Geertz, 1960:4).BureaucracyDo the group’s adherents interact with a formal bureaucracy within their group:Notes: There is no bureaucracy within the abangan Javanese.Do the group’s adherents interact with other institutional bureaucracies:Notes: The Javanese interact with a government bureaucracy. It does not appear that the abanganreligious system is bureaucratic in nature. "The bureaucratic character of the central governmentadministration is quite rigid" (Jay, 1969:345).Public WorksIs water management provided to the group’s adherents by an institution(s) other than thereligious group in question:Notes: "Offices concerned with the repair of roadways, the building and maintenance of irrigationsystems, the improvement of agriculture, and the administration of the market further swell the totalof white-collar workers employed or underemployed by the government..." (Geertz, 1960:4).Is transportation infrastructure provided for the group’s adherents by an institution(s) otherthan the religious group in question:Notes: "Offices concerned with the repair of roadways, the building and maintenance of irrigationsystems, the improvement of agriculture, and the administration of the market further swell the totalof white-collar workers employed or underemployed by the government..." (Geertz, 1960:4).TaxationDoes the religious group in question levy taxes or tithes:Notes: There is no formal leadership among the abangan Javanese, so it can be assumed that taxesand tithes are not levied.Yes—No—Yes—Yes—Yes—No—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2018 Page 11 of 13Are taxes levied on the group’s adherents by an institution(s) other than the religious group inquestion:Notes: "The central government levies taxes in money from the villagers on certain major items ofproduction" (Jay, 1969:372).EnforcementDo the group’s adherents interact with an institutionalized police force provided by aninstitution(s) other than the religious group in question:Notes: "...the regional headquarters of the central government police force is in Modjokuto..." (Geertz,1960:4).Do the group’s adherents interact with an institutionalized judicial system provided by an aninstitution(s) other than the religious group in question:Notes: Government judicial system. "The judiciary is represented down to the regency level, with acircuit court judge making rounds to the districts" (Jay, 1969:344).Are the group’s adherents subject to a formal legal code provided by institution(s) other thanthe religious group in question:Notes: Because the government has a formal judicial and police system, it can be assumed that aformal legal code is also present (see Jay, 1969:344).CalendarDoes the religious group in question possess a formal calendar:Notes: The Javanese have adopted the Islamic lunar calendar (Geertz, 1960:77).Is a formal calendar provided for the group’s adherents by an institution(s) other than thereligious group in question:Notes: The Javanese have adopted the Islamic lunar calendar (Geertz, 1960:77).Food ProductionDoes the religious group in question provide food for themselves:Yes—Yes—Yes—Yes—No—Yes—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2018 Page 12 of 13Notes: The Javanese are intensive agriculturalists with a secondary reliance on animal husbandry.Source of information from Ethnographic Atlas (Murdock, 1962-1971), retrieved from Divale, 2004;Variables 203-207, 232.Yes—Please characterize the forms/level of food production [choose all that apply]:Notes: Source of information from Ethnographic Atlas (Murdock, 1962-1971), retrieved fromDivale, 2004; Variables 203-207, 232.Pastoralism—Large-scale agriculture (e.g., monocropping, organized irrigation systems)—Pitek, Database of Religious History, 2018 Page 13 of 13

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