Minggu, 15 Januari 2023

History of the Origin of the Betawi Tribe and Its Culture

History of the Origin and Culture of the Betawi Tribe. Betawi ethnicity is an ethnic group in Indonesia whose residents generally live in Jakarta. During the Dutch colonial era in 1930, a category of Betawi people that had never existed before actually appeared as a new category in the census data for that year. The number of Betawi people was 778,953 people and made up the majority of the population of Batavia at that time.

History of the origin of the Betawi tribe

There are three opinions that explain the history of the Betawi tribe, namely:

1. First opinion

The first opinion says that the Betawi people come from inter-ethnic marriages and nations in the past that were brought by the Dutch to Batavia. So that the Betawi ethnicity is called a newcomer in Jakarta. This ethnic group was born from a combination of various groups such as the Sundanese, Malays, Javanese, Arabs, Balinese, Bugis, Makassarese, Ambonese and Chinese.

2. Second opinion

The second opinion, according to historian Sagiman MD, the Betawi ethnic group has inhabited Jakarta and its surroundings since the New Stone Age or the Neolithic era. He is of the opinion that the native Betawi are residents of Nusa Java as are the Sundanese, Javanese and Madurese.
This opinion was also confirmed by Uka Tjandarasasmita who issued his monograph "Greater Jakarta and its Surroundings From Prehistoric Times to the Kingdom of Pajajaran (1977)". In his monograph, it is revealed that the Indigenous People of Jakarta existed around 3500 – 3000 BC.

3. Third opinion

Lance Castles, who had conducted research on the population of Jakarta, whose research journal was published in 1967 by Cornell University, said that biologically, those who claim to be Betawi are descendants of mixed blood, ethnic groups and nations brought by the Dutch to Batavia. This ethnic group was born from a combination of various ethnic groups in Indonesia (Sundanese, Malay, Javanese, Balinese, Bugis, Makassarese and Ambonese) as well as from outside such as Arabs, Indians, Chinese and Europeans.

The research conducted by Lance Castles focuses on four historical sketches, namely:

Daghregister, namely a diary in 1673 made by the Dutch who lived in the fortress city of Batavia.
Thomas Stanford Raffles' notes in the History of Java in 1815.
Population records in the Encyclopaedia van Nederlandsch Indie in 1893
The population census was made by the Dutch East Indies government in 1930.
Betawi etymology

According to experts and historians, the origin of the word Betawi refers to the following opinions:

1. Pitawi (Polynesian Malay language) which means prohibition. These words refer to the respected building complex in Batu Jaya. Historian Ridwan Saidi relates that the Building Complex in Batu Jaya, Karawang is a closed Holy City, while Karawang is an open City.

2. Betawi (Brunei Malay) where the word "Betawi" is used to refer to earrings. This name refers to excavations in Babelan, Bekasi Regency, where many earrings were found from the 11th century AD.

3. Betawi bolster flora (cassia glauca), the Papilionaceae family, which is a type of shrub whose wood is round like bolsters and is easy to sharpen and sturdy. In the past, this type of Betawi tree trunk was widely used to make handles for keris weapons or knife handles.

There is a possibility that the name Betawi comes from a type of tree plant, there is a possibility that it is true. According to historian Ridwan Saidi, the reason is that several names of flora have been used in naming places or areas in Jakarta, such as Gambir, Krekot, Bintaro, Grogol and many more. "Like Makassar District, this name has nothing to do with Makassar people, but is taken from a type of grass"

So the word "Betawi" does not come from the word "Batavia" (the old name of the city of Jakarta during the Dutch East Indies period), because the name Batavia refers more to the area of ​​origin of the Dutch ancestors.

Art and culture

modern lenong art

The original art and culture of the Jakarta or Betawi people can be seen from archaeological findings, such as ear studs found in excavations in Babelan, Bekasi Regency, which date from the 11th century AD. Apart from that, Betawi culture also occurs from a cultural mixture process between native tribes and various ethnic immigrants or what is commonly known as Mestizo.

style="text-align: justify;">Since ancient times, the area of ​​the former kingdom of Salakanagara or later known as "Kalapa" (now Jakarta) was an area that attracted immigrants from within and outside the archipelago. The cultural mix also came during the reign of King Pajajaran , King Surawisesa where King Surawisesa entered into an agreement with Portugal and from the results of a cultural mix between the natives and Portugal this was born Keroncong Tugu.

The Betawi tribe as natives of Jakarta are somewhat marginalized by immigrants. They left Jakarta and moved to areas in West Java and Banten provinces. Betawi culture was also pushed aside by other cultures, both from Indonesia and western culture. To preserve Betawi culture, a cultural heritage site was established at Situ Babakan.


Betawi is a creole language (Siregar, 2005) which is based on Market Malay plus elements of Sundanese, Balinese, languages ​​from South China (mainly Hokkien), Arabic, and languages ​​from Europe, especially Dutch and Portuguese.

This language was originally used by the lower middle class in the early days of Jakarta's development. The community of slaves as well as traders used it the most. Because it develops naturally, there is no clear standard structure of this language that distinguishes it from Malay, although there are some identifying linguistic elements that can be used, for example from the decay of the prefix me-, the use of the ending -in (influenced by Balinese), and sound shifts. /a/ opens at the end of a word to /e/ or /ɛ/ in some local dialects.


The following is the art of Betawi community music:

1. The art of Gambang Kromong originates from Chinese music
2. Tambourines are rooted in Arabic musical traditions
3. The Samrah Orchestra comes from Malay
4. Keroncong Tugu with a Portuguese-Arabic background
5. Tanjidor, who has a Dutch background
6. Lenong Art
7. Gambang Kromong
8. Tambourine Tanjidor
9. Keroncong
10. Traditional song "Kicir-kicir".


Dance in Jakarta is a combination of the cultural elements of the people in it. As :

1. Betawi Mask Dance
2. Yapong influenced by Sundanese Jaipong dance
3. Cokek, silat dance and others.


1. Long
2. Tonile


Folklore that developed in Jakarta are:

1. The Seven
2. The real hero or the jampang
3. Nyai Dashima
4. Mirah from Marunda
5. Murtado Tiger Kemayoran
6. Boss Boeing

Traditional weapon

Jakarta's traditional weapons are bendo or machete.

Traditional house

The Betawi traditional house is a kebaya house


Most of the Betawi people adhere to Islam, but there are also Protestant and Catholic Christians, but only very few.
Betawi Typical Food


The typical food of the Betawi people is cork pucung, laksa Betawi. babanci vegetables, godog vegetables, betawi soup, sampyok chicken, betawi pickles, and uduk rice.


Typical cakes of the Betawi people are cucur cake, rangi cake, talam cake, kelen cake, rocking flower cake, egg crust, sengkulun, putu mayang, andepite, ape cake, sweet cente cake, pepe cake, dongkal cake, geplak cake, dodol betawi, and crocodile bread.


Typical Betawi drinks, for example, are selendang mayang ice, shake ice, and pletok beer.

Reference source :
http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suku_Betawi accessed on 16 April 2015

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