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Nagari Kumango

Updated on September 28, 2015
The house (the yellow colour one) in which I was born before in Supanjang Ilie, Kumango Utara.
The house (the yellow colour one) in which I was born before in Supanjang Ilie, Kumango Utara. | Source
Mesjid Amarullah, the mosque situated in Kumango Utara.
Mesjid Amarullah, the mosque situated in Kumango Utara. | Source


      Kumango is a Nagari ( big village) located in Sungai Tarab sub-district, Tanah Datar Regeancy, Sumatra Barat, Indonesia. This nagari is divided into two villages (sub-nagari or jorong) ; Kumango Utara and Kumango Selatan; Kumango Utara is in the northern part of  Kumango, while Kumango Selatan is in the southern. She is surrounded by several neighbours; Rao-Rao on the west, eastward Sumanik, Sungai Leman in the south east, Situmbuk the north, and South next Pasie Laweh).

     This nagari is located on the waist of MountMerapi – one of volcano mount in Sumatera barat, so fresh air can be breathed every time.  One more, there are two stems of water (river) that passes through my ancestral land, the one which is rather large and contains rapids is Batang Simpai in the  north side, while the middle part of this nagari is passed by a small river: both flowing from West to East. At the time the system of “desa”  was applied in Indonesia; these two “jorong” were called Desa Kumango Utara and Desa Kumango Selatan. The population is more concentrated in Kumango Utara.

     Kumango people who lived in the village live in  a variety of professions, farming, raise, teachers, establish the stalls for daily goods, making the business of production and turnover of kerupuk jangek, sewing, trading (usually from one traditional market to others, like the ones in  Rao-Rao, Sumanik, Salimpaung, Tabek Patah, Sungai Tarab, in  Batusangkar), and others.

     In the past, Kumango Selatan was a farm (plantation) for the people who lived in Kumango Utara. In the morning, they left for their farms in this village; clean up the grass, growing on their land, planting, and late afternoon they returned home to the North. Now, all that began to shift; population growth and more dynamic economy is much better in the south than the north. The reason is one; Kumango Selatan region is traversed by the provincial road that connects the city of Batusangkar with Payakumbuh and Bukittinggi as well as a short cut to Sawahlunto / Sijunjung included the one which lead to the towns out of Sumatera Barat like to Muaro Bungo, Jambi, Palembang, Lahat, Tanjung Karang or Jakarta if you depart from Bukittinggi, including also in this is, the buses that will go to Pekanbaru from and to Batusangkar. To go to lakeSingkarak from Bukittinggi and Payakumbuh also will get through Batusangkar via South Kumango as an appropriate choice of route. That is the reason, why this Southern village, at this time is more promising to establish a business than the northern region. And it is another reason why not only those ones that in fact his ancestors from Kumango people expand into this region, but also the ones from outside Kumango.

     There is a saying, Kumango came from the word "Kunango" (Canangium Odoratum and in Indonesian- it is called Kenanga), because it was said that once the land was growing a lot of these such beautiful flower . Due to a shift in language, the sound of "n" was transferred to the "m" so that it became Kumango. There is another who says it comes from the language of Campa, a Moslem region in Cambodia. I do not know which one is more correct, we leave it to the God. The clear one about Kumango’s people  ancestry history was never recorded, making it difficult to trace. Obtained only story or reference from the elders who are still alive who also got the same story from his predecessors. But, however, the information from the people who are originated from Kumango is certainly stronger than the assumptions made by those who are not so familiar with the ins and outs of Nagari Kumango. Seeing the second opinion, I really eager to go to Campa (the people in Kumango call this Campo), to find out whether there's a vocabulary "Kumango" in their language. If there is, it means the latter opinion is correct.

     There are some clans who live in Nagari Kumango; Piliang Sani, Piliang Laweh, Piliang Balai-balai, Bendang (Bendang ateh, Bendang Tongah, Bendang Ilie, Bendang Bajapuk), Caniago, Supanjang (Supanjang ateh, Supanjang Tongah, Supanjang Ilie), Tanjueng , and Dalimo. (In Minankabau, no matter what clan it is, they are grouped into two; Koto Piliang and Body Caniago).

     Koto Piliang people in Kumango are indeed a majority in number, while Bodi Caniago people are not as many as them, that the ancestors of three Body Caniago clans who occupied Kumango (they were Caniago, Bendang and Supanjang) made a consensus of mergers to form a new clan  called Tigo Niniek. With the advent of this clan, the tribal status of Supanjang, Bendang, and Caniago turned into paruik (minor tribe / clan). The unique one of this clan is , people from paruik Supanjang with Caniago are forbidden to get married, but to the people of Bendang are allowed.

     Viewed from the population, there are no many people living in Kumango. The main thing that caused this to happen is the trend in Kumango’s parents to send their children to wander when they're growing up, no matter whether it's to continue their education or to be entrusted to their relatives that have been successful in the seacoast or other regions , city or even countries with their business ( eg trade). Consequently, many of them married to those ones who come from outside Kumango; having children, grandchildren, great grand children and so on; not least those who do not know anything more about their ancestral lands.

     There are some words that are very close to the existence of Kumango people ; silat, grocery items, kerupuk jangek, and quite the talk of the dishes people like Pical Kumango , gulai (curry) banak Kumango, Kacang Gulo (sugar coated peanut) Kumango, and Randang baluik (eel rendang ) Kumango.

1. Silat Kumango .
People who studied martial arts, when introduced to Kumango people, will assume that he is skillful or has ability in Silat Kumango, though not always true. Silat Kumango is including the oldest martial arts in Minangkabau. At first, this Silek only taught to those who have blood relations with people Kumango or the natives of Kumango. The Maters of this martial arts were very firm to hold this principle, that only the people who came  from Kumango or the natives of Kumango who mastered this ancient Silek. Indeed at that time, there had been  quite a lot people from Kumango who had taught it to those ones  who come from outside Kumango, but they were only taught or trained the flowers of the self defence  (used for jokes or would not be fatal to the opponent). Indeed, Silek Kumango is a mortal empty handed self defence, that only the choosen ones who might learnt it at those time.
     There are two versions that I got  about the origins Silek Kumango; from Shaolin Kungfu  (China) and from Campa (Cambodia).
       The ones who said Silek Kumango came from Shaolin because almost all movements of Shaolin Kungfu have similarities to Silek Kumango’s steps (Silek Kumango calls the movement in the martial arts with "step" or langkah). Meanwhile, the opinion who said that  Silek Kumango came from Campo, Cambodia, duo to that  many steps applied are associated to Campo tiger.
No matter where Silek Kumango  originated from, the clear one is, this kind of martial arts had been heirlooms stored neatly only among Kumango  people for hundreds of years, until Syech Abdurrahman Al-Khalidi changed all that. Since he returned from overseas (Malaysia) to Kumango (around the beginning of the18th century), his mother land and founded as well as established Surau Subarang in Kumango, he taught Silek Kumango combined with the philosophy of Islam (tariqat) which he had learnt and internalized  during his wander out of Kumango. He introduced a new Silek Kumango to the people in Kumango as well as to all ones who want to master it (included for the ones who came from out of Kumango) at that time which every step can not be separated from Allah.

     Some say, that the one taught by this Angku Surau Subarang (Kumango people call him “Angku Surau Subarang”) was the combination of ancient Silek Kumango with the self defence of Ali bin Abi Thalib (the cousin of Rasulullah Muhammad Salallaahu ‘Alaihi Wasallam); the other say that Angku Surau Subarang had created his own steps to enrich the orginal Silek Kumango steps. No matter which one is true, this Silek grew so rapidly that since that time the martial arts had spread to all over the world and affected many other self defences which appeared  after that time.
     If someone wants to learn Silek Kumango, he must submit a number of conditions to his Master. The most common is a shroud, blade knives, salt, and seven red peppers. It is not known with certainty, whether the submission of initial conditions to the Tuo Silek is the requirements that had been established since time immemorial, or started since the spread of tariqat along with that driven by Angku Surau Subarang (people in Kumango call religious person or or the ones who know more about Islam or who developed, founded or established surau with “Angku”, just say Angku Godang; Son of Syech Abdurrahman, Angku Tamin, Angku Bidin (Zainal Abidin.AR), Angku Salieh (Buya Saleh Ja’far), Angku surau Bonjo, Angku Kesah, etc.).
     In the ancient Silek Kumango, after the submission of the requirements of the pupil to the master (Kumango people call the one who teach Silek as Tuo Silek or Guru or Guru Tuo);
• he will be taught all the basic steps of the Silek in a few months;
• after the pupil  master all the material being taught, the next stage, the master would cover up the student spiritual power and teach some knowledge that a companion for his physical Silek that he has mastered. Not all students who can enter this stage, only those ones who considered by the master who were able to bear the spiritual or methaphysic or mental  power were allowed to continue, while those who could not afford, quit after completing the first stage;
• after this period, the pupil would be trained further by the Guru through dreams, believe it or not. Here, apart from his own guru who will teach, he was also going to contact “the  spirits" Tuo Silek who had already passed away in their dream who would train and try these students. This phase usually took a long time, and the next day they would discuss the insight or knowledge acquired by the student on the night before and then practiced it;
• Once everything had been deemed complete by the Guru, came the period pamutusan kaji  - completed the lesson, the teacher did spiritual looking for half a day – at when the sun was right or straight over the head and the eagle screamed. At this time he would attack the pupils all-out ; if the students were able to survive – we would pass the test, otherwise- he should practice harder in order to graduate.
        If time was not found, there would be  a second alternative; Friday night on the full moon, the Master would "summon" The Campo Tiger ; and "the tiger spirit" would test and determine the student graduation. Unfortunately, it currently only remain story.
     At present, Silek Kumango which expanded to the entire world is the one taught by Angku Surau Subarang, while the ancient Silek Kumango not so known anymore who the Guru Tuo of it, even if there is still the master of this kind old Silek alive, he may may have been heavily influenced by the doctrines spread by Syech Abdurrahman; else, they will persist in the principle ancestors; will never teach it to the people who come from outside Kumango. 

2. Kumango goods.
In ancient times, Nagari Kumango had successful wealthy merchants. At first, they are concentrating more on sales of articles or grocery items , and they spread all over Indonesia; just say it was around Batusangkar, Bukittinggi, Padang, Medan, Barus, Sibolga, Pekanbaru, Jakarta, Lubuklinggau, Irian, Maluku, Ternate , and many more ... are examples of areas that have been held by these entrepreneurs.
       The monuments or the historical proofs until now still can be got in the city of Padang, Pasa Gadang in the city of Padang, was once mostly owned by merchants from Kumango, until now there is still a surau (a place to do sholat) called surau Kumango; in Medan, there is still a street called Jalan Kumango; in Bukittinggi, precisely in Pasar Atas at the old shop block, there is also Jalan Kumango.
       The places used to be the one that they used to crochet prosperity by selling grocery items. In each place at that time, no matter the retailed sellers or the whole ones for grocery items held by the people from Kumango that those such goods were very identical with Kumango, that they were (are) called Kumango Goods.
     Kumango People who had become a wealthy businessman, in general started their business steps alone, they did their own survey to find a place to trade or be a merchant in a new region or town, looking for a place of business alone, facing all kinds of dangers (problems)  and challenges alone, not accompanied by others.  The actions of these merchants were also  the channels to popularize Silek Kumango. Once everything was smooth, so there were no longer obstacles, then they would back home to Kumango to pick up his relatives to come with him in his new business or trading, whether to establish a business or to be members of their established business, or became pavement sellers, or street hawkers (retailers).
     At this time, these such traders are no longer dominated by the ones from  Kumango. Even, many Kumango people who are not selling grocery items anymore, many of them  have changed the product or goods to sell like textiles or running business on boutiques ( including my relatives who trade in  Lahat, South Sumatra), but the image as prosperous merchants on grocery items will not disappear from the eyes of those who know the history.

3. Kerupuk Jangek Kumango
If you are a fan of crackers, especially crackers jangek (crackers that made off buffalo skin), you should try kerupuk jangek Kumango. The crackers will taste more delicious  when processed by the ones from Kumango, no opponent. Indeed, the crackers are other words that also make Kumango is well-known amid the market for the  quality of the crackers is beyond the similar products from other areas, making the price of Kerupuk Jangek  Kumango is a bit more expensive on the market.
       The Skills to make this jangek crackers, brought by Angku Surau Subarang when he "came back" from Malaysia, he then taught it to some people who are interested in at that time in  Kumango. At this time, the production of kerupuk jangek Kumango can be found in Kumango herself, Batusangkar, Bukittinggi, Payakumbuh, Pekanbaru and some other regions.

     Apart from the three above, the actual people of Kumango also known as  good cooks, either male or female. Call: Pical Kumango, Randang baluik (rendang eel) Kumango, curry banak (cow brain) Kumango, peanut sugar coated, and others.
Pical Kumango,  the typical of this is: the sauce is cooked in a very delicious peanut sauce, with blocked rice wrapped in banana leaves, and use grated ellow papaya stew. You still can get this food in “pical stall” in  Kumango, while in Payakumbuh, you  can visit Lontong Karuik in Payakumbuh Market.
     Kumango people  who established  the restaurant business or restaurant are not a lot, that   their skill in cooking is not so well known as Silek, trading, or producing crackers jangek. However, if you want to visit the homes of people you know well in Kumango (especially those ones who are living in the village), you may order the food to them before the visit, especially when the atmosphere of two Islamic Feast Days (Iedul Fitri and Iedul Adha) and welcoming  Ramadhan month (the end of Sya’ban month).
     Currently, Kumango people  (or the descendants of the Kumango) have been already existed everywhere. But no one has been able to embrace all elements of the society.  Hopefully someday will be realized.

                                                                                  Payakumbuh, December 1, 2010

The Photos Collection on Nagari Kumango

The way to Nagari Kumango from Nagari Sumanik
The way to Nagari Kumango from Nagari Sumanik | Source
Another view of the way to Nagari Kumango from Nagari Sumanik
Another view of the way to Nagari Kumango from Nagari Sumanik | Source
Masjid Amarullah Kumango - the mosque situated in Northern Kumango
Masjid Amarullah Kumango - the mosque situated in Northern Kumango | Source
The way to Luka Panjang in Nagari Kumango
The way to Luka Panjang in Nagari Kumango | Source
The view of  Masjid Amarullah Kumango through its gate
The view of Masjid Amarullah Kumango through its gate | Source
The office of the Chief of Nagari Kumango in Luka Panjang
The office of the Chief of Nagari Kumango in Luka Panjang | Source
The Gate to Nagari Kumango from Nagari Rao-rao in the Southern Kumango
The Gate to Nagari Kumango from Nagari Rao-rao in the Southern Kumango | Source
A house in Kumango Selatan
A house in Kumango Selatan | Source


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    • peachpurple profile image


      4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      silat is one of the malay arts, martial arts that even malaysia is still practicing too. Thanks for introducing Nagari

    • Abhaque Supanjang profile imageAUTHOR

      Abhaque Supanjang 

      4 years ago from Kumango - Batusangkar - Sumatera Barat - Indonesia

      You're welcome, Sunil...! If I have time later I will keep updating some information about Nagari Kumango to you and all readers of this hub....!

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 

      5 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      Beautiful presentation with fine photos. Thank you for sharing. Please write more on your culture, food, tradition, etc. All the best.

    • profile image

      Jon Spardi 

      7 years ago

      Thank you very much for your notes and investigation. It's very helpfull for young generation from Kumango to know their vilage, including myself.


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