Baduy people or Lebak people call the Kanekes, is a group of indigenous sub-ethnic Sundanese residing in South Banten the region of Lebak Regency, Banten Province. The Baduy is a community which has existed for at least 500 years. They live in the jungles of Mandalasingkah and are very strict in upholding their customs and traditions. The Baduy consists of two groups: the First is the Inner Baduy (Baduy Jero / Baduy Dalam) and the second is the Outer Baduy (Baduy Penamping / Baduy Luar).
Baduy settlements occupy the rough terrain of Southern Banten, covering an area of 5,101 hectares where 30 villages are found. The Baduy are ruled by three Pu’un (customary leaders). Their total population’s number about 4.200 people, consisting of 2.000 males and 2.200 females according to a 1981 count. By 2015, the population has increased to almost 8,000 people.
The Outer Baduy (Baduy Luar) are always dressed in black. They live in isolated settlements which form a barrier guarding the inner Baduy. Their houses are built in groups on the slopes of the hills.
The Inner Baduy (Baduy Dalam) are always dressed in white. According to them, the color of clothing reflects their attitude. Black gives an impression of toughness, whereas white represents honesty. The language used by Baduy people is Sundanese with a dialect of Banten.
They live by the motto “Ngaing Teu Wasa” (I have no power). However, outsiders regard the Baduy as people who control magical powers. The word “Baduy” comes from the word “Badu” or “Badawi” which means sandy ocean. The word is presumably derived from the Arabic language.
According to the Baduy people themselves, the name Baduy is derived from the word Baduyut, which is the name of a kind of banyan tree with broad leaves.
The Baduy house
The most important Baduy villages are Cikeusik, Cibeo, and Cikertawan. These are where the tree “Pu’un” live. The other 27 settlements are: Karahkal, Kaduyungkung, Babakan Keduketug, Sorokakad, Babakan Tucahluhur, Babakan Kaduko, Batara Kadukohak, Cisaben, Benceret, Kaduketug, Cihulu, Kaduketer, Cibongkok, Cikakal, Gajeboh, Nagreg, Cikadu, Cicakal Garang, Cipi’it, Cisangu, Babakan Cisangu, Batubeulah, Cangkudu, Pame’an, Ciguha, and Cikopeng.
Two systems administer the affairs of life of The Baduy. First, the relationship with the officials and laws of The Republic of Indonesia is taken care of by Administrative Head. The affairs relating to the Baduy’s own autonomous community are the responsibility of the Customs Head.
Baduy Tribal Area has been designated as a cultural heritage by Lebak local government in 1990. The area that flows from Ciboleger Village to Rangkasbitung has become the residence of Baduy tribe who became the original tribe of Banten Province.
Baduy people, especially The Inner Baduy (Baduy Dalam) have a taboo belief to be photographed. Therefore it is very difficult to get photos of Baduy Dalam people and their environment.
The people of Baduy adhere to the religion called Sunda Wiwitan. They acknowledge the existence of God and the Prophet and believe that anything else is regulated by an invisible Almighty God.