Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Road to Bromo, part 4

the horsemen of Tengger

continued from The Road to Bromo
part 1
part 2
part 3

The Caldera of Tengger is a wonder to behold. Sitting 2,000 meters above sea level, it is a cauldron of fine volcanic from which numerous peaks rose, the most famous of which is Bromo.

horseman gazing

Around this basin are pockets of communities which still subscribe to the old Hindu-Javanese religion. These highlands after all became the Hindus’ refuge during the ascendancy of Islamic rule in the 15th century. Today, this indigenous group of Tengger still practice a religion that is a mixture of Javanese animism, Buddhism and Hinduism, with some influence from Islam.

horseman and the flicking tail

The people are a hardy lot, being used to the demands of living and working in such a high elevation. The main livelihood is agriculture (vegetable, fruits) although tourism is fast developing employment sector.

horseman in plaid

The men folk are known for their equestrian skill. While their native horses are small and look more like ponies, the Tengger horsemen are industrious, waking up in the early hours of dawn, to tend farms and pasture. Just before sunrise breaks, they generally would gravitate towards the caldera, offering their horses for as little as $5 dollars for the 3 kilometer ride to the brim of Bromo.

horseman with the stick

While the Tenggers are pretty much known for their tolerance and acceptance of strangers, they still generally keep to themselves. Their sense of pride is so strong that they generally resist attempts to part with their land even when the bids are high.

horseman with the red cap

Their land is Tengger and they like to keep it that way.

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1 comment:

ega said...

Nice Photo....keep your creativity...