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Festival "Nekafmese Tafena to Halat" PDF Print E-mail

Festival "Nekafmese Tafena to Halat"
Caring Relationship with the Body of Earth
Mollo – Timor Tengah Selatan, NTT ,  16 – 20  June 2014

1. Background
It's been a long time, the Mollo, Amanuban and Amantun - who later declared themselves as a Tiga Batu Tungku (three-stone stove) indigenous peoples, have inspired the struggle of indigenous people in preserving the land in Indonesia. Their philosophy of looking at the land as the human body becomes the easiest way to understand the relationship between human and nature. They understand water as blood, soil as meat, stone mountain as bone and forests as a skin and hair. Destroy nature, tantamount to damaging the human body.

Timorese often mentions the area of TTS as a former three small kingdoms, Amanuban Amanatun and Mollo. In his book "Lord of the Land, the Lord of the Sea", Hans Hagerdal (2012) mentions they do not resemble to the kingdom, because it is non-bureaucratic and not centralized. The term 'kingdom' would be misleading. Timorese believes, Amanuban, Amanatun and Mollo actually brothers. Three brothers, two men and one woman who lived in different areas, but in one body. The brothers were in the coastal and sister was in the mountain. Amanatun is the oldest brother, followed by Amanuban, and the youngest sister, Mollo. That is why the Mollo region is often likened to the female body.

The unification of the three areas above engender an option for rearranging production and consumption in facing various government policies that aren’t pro-people and nature, as well as climate crisis which increasingly create unfriendly nature. Their vow, "We will not sell what we can not make", encourages us that the alternative mode of production and consumption is possible. They called on the community and even the state, so as not to damage the "body" itself, by creating, doing productive and sustainable things. It also means that we do not appeal to sell the land, forests, rivers, and other which inherent in the Almighty's creation, not man-made. The statement that came out on a long journey of struggle in refusing marble mining at 19 points in the Timor Tengah Selatan Regency, since 1996.

The struggle was not stopped until now, because of the threats just changes its form, from the marble mining now change into manganese mining, the establishment of protected forest, also the threat of oil and gas mining. Not to mention the more extreme climate resulting in crop failures in the coastal areas. Landslides also continue to threaten the region, the last major landslide in  Amanatun was grinding two villages, i.e Nenoat and Sahan, victims reached over 250 people and 20 ha of agricultural land buried by landslides.

One of the Tiga Batu Tungku indigenous people’s agenda for always united, watchful at a time grateful for the results of their struggle is by holding an annual Festival. This is the fourth year the Festival is held by Attaemammus Organization (OAT) and its supporters which organized for the Molo, Amanuban and Amanatun people. Last Festival, in July 2012, was still using the name Ningkam Haumeni Festival, or Candle, Honey, and Sandalwood Festival, the epitome of the Timorese welfare.

Nekafmese Festival

Since OAT sought to revive their traditional relation, and carry out an organizational transformation in the traditional structure of Tiga Batu Tungku, they decided to change its name to the Nekafmese Tafena to Halat Festival, abbreviated Nekafmese Festival. 

Nekafmese Festival held in Mollo, Timor Tengah Selatan regency, precisely in the ridge of Mutis, the highest peak on Timor Island. Mollo area is an important part of the Mutis regional hydrologic system, which flows to downstream. This region also includes Mollo and Dili and throughout the Timor island. Mutis is the water source of four major rivers, namely Noebesi, Noe Pune, Noe Sasi and Noe Noni. This is fed and watered all Timorese.

However, natural resources management of Mutis region shifted from traditional-participatory by the indigenous peoples, becoming a top-down and sectoral management policy, that is partial to the government, which continues today. Result in a conflict of interest, which makes people become spectators in the their own village. The community must deal with the deprivation of indigenous forest into industrial tree plantation,as well as mining which cause water crisis landslides.

Nakafmese Festival will always be unity media, not only reminding the indigenous peoples of Tiga Batu Tungku to unite in order to protect and restore nature. Through the Festival, they reaffirm their traditional relations, relation to the land, through consolidation, solidarity, exchange of knowledges and skills and the celebration of the Nekafmese Festival.

2. Objectives :

1. Indigenous people of Tiga Batu Tungku do a ritual of caring relation with the body of the earth through historian trip of the struggle to save the stone mountain. 
2. A ritual to inaugurate the movement of "ume bubu" barn.
3. Strengthening the movement of "Atuk Muit", or ranch between indigenous peoples on alternative energy of biogas and organic farming. 
4. Strengthening the network of indigenous women weavers of Tiga Batu Tungku through the workshop of weave pattern making which tellable and natural dye workshop, also weaving cooperatives, and handover equipments from "Tenun untuk Kehidupan/Weaving for Life".
5. A Stage of the Coastal Area’s Testimony, Strengthening of the Upstream. It is the stage of speech and movement of the Molo, Amanuban and Amanatun about the current challenges which they face and how their relation and struggle.

3. Activities

a. A Ritual of Nekafmese Tafena to Halat

A ritual journey in the form of historian, which is called Non-pah as the past journey while Mollo’s people struggling to save five stone mountains, which are Fatu Anjaf, Fatu Nausus, Nuamolo, Fatu Ob and Fut Lik.

A journey starts : First, from Bonleu village (village of Bonleu, Fatu Peke, Bijeli, Sebau, Tokfen, Nuamolo, Tokmenas); Second, Fatumnasi (from village of Kuanolel to FautLik, Nitapan and Tokmenas) with a group of village representatives of Fatumnasi, Kuanoel , Nifu Lilana, Lelobiko and Haumeni; third, the pool in Nausus (region of Amanuban, Amanatun, western Mollo, central Mollo, as well Fatukoto, Leloboko and Nausus). All three will come together in a natural pool in Nausus. They then together will travel to Nausus to perform rituals of Fanu and Tafena to Halat.

The trip will be done in one day, which is a distance of about 30 kilometers, before the festival is held. The delegation will rest on several rites and villages to eat and rest. This ritual is a process of struggle reflect, ponder again the steps that are less precise, and think about how to improve the relationship with nature. This ritual will be led by traditional elders.

b. The Movement of Ume Bubu and Atuk Muit

Food sovereignty through organic farming and livestock become one of the deals to be created in an effort to struggle to maintain and save nature. 
Ume Bubu movement. Currently, there are five villages build barns (ume bubu), which are Lelobatan, Bonleu, Tune, Noenoni and Nausus. The barns will initiate the revival movement of ume bubu, or food barns in TTS. This movement will be marked with a speech about the history of Ume bubu and what steps are taken to save food, as well as the inauguration of five rice barns and group deal to build more ume bubu as an effort to confront the climate crisis.

Atuk Muit means raising cattle, raising cattle movement not only as savings, but also create bio-gas and compost material from its manure. The program just started and will be strengthened by material provision from the Gank Motor Imut about alternative energy from biogas. 

Not only raising food sovereignty movement, in this festival will be held discussions for strengthening the capacity of the bio-gas and bokasi fertilizer, processing of healthy agricultural products and food as well as to recognize and how to deal with climate change. To determine the changes experienced by the three regions in at least the last 10 years, the indigenous territories mapping team will present their initial discovery so that citizens know what changes are happening and have the first clue what needs to be restored.

Before the festival, will be launching the book "Mollo, Development and Climate Change" and films about Mollo women.

c. The Movement of Feotnai : Woven as a tool of struggle for economic justice

Woven in Mollo, Amanuban and Amanatun made​by women. This Festival is expected to: 1) the group of weavers is expected to exchange stories and race produce woven fabric with a natural as well as tellable pattern and coloring or that have struggle meaning, 2) Discuss about how to improve the quality of weaving, 3) How to spruce up the organization of the weavers and strengthen their capital and labor system. On this occasion also discussed about how the cooperation progress of Mollo weavers in the program "Tenun Untuk Kehidupan/Weaving for Life" in cooperation with GEF-SGP and Lawe. On this occasion will also be weaving competitions for children to encourage regeneration of the weavers.

d. A Stage of the Coastal Area’s Testimony, Strengthening of the Upstream.

The play is the way of Tiga Batu Tungku indigenous people reflect what is happening in their lives, and how they should address. Similarly to the drama that they will play during the festival. Amanuban and Amanatun people will act the play about the threat of landslides and oil and gas that occurs in Amanuban, while Mollo (villages of Fatumnasi and Bonleu) about the defense of the land and recovering tradition. 

e. Dialogue with the Government titled “Supporting the Traditional Sovereignty and Sustainable Economy of Tiga Batu Tungku Indigenous People”

One of fixed agenda in the Festival is the dialogue between indigenous people and the Government. Some of Timor Tengah Selatan officials planned to be invited to attend the meeting. They are TTS Regent and wife, also some members of the newly elected parliament of TTS regency. Their arrival at the same time will be a space for dialogue between indigenous peoples of the Tiga Batu Tungku about the government policy, and expressed their statement. On this occasion, Secretary General  of AMAN (Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago) expected to deliver on the results of a judicial review of the Forestry Law No. 41 of 1999, which decided that indigenous forest is not state forest and deliver on the Villages Law. This material will answer what government obligations and what opportunities of the indigenous peoples of their struggle. 

f. Tafenak Kuan and Competitions of “Lets Recover the Traditional Relation”

"We have to work, not just sit and wait there is discussion, so we worked together at afternoon". It is a demand of a lot of participants from previous festivals, discussions only can make them bored, even though they said it was important. Therefore, this time the festival will be "voluntary work every morning and afternoon" or known as Tafenak Kuan, which means building a village. Every morning before breakfast and evening around 3 to 5 pm, all participants will work on farms of Nausus. They will be divided into groups to do the planting, field cleaning, waterways cleaning , ponds cleaning, and others.

Not only that, various competitions will be held for a variety of age during the festival. This competition is actually a party, an expression of the community through competing to shows or bring back memories of social life, which begin to fade, or even almost lost. For example about children's toys, weaving competition for children, unique and typical foods, speeches or songs, and drawing.

Social memories will be presented again and recorded through competitions between ages, sexes, and between villages. Storytelling competition specifically for the elderly, the elected and original story will will re-told in performances attended by the children and youth. The hope is that there are spaces to recall the local social memories.

4. Committee
Committee of the activity is OAT, which will prepare the Festival. In the committee, OAT will be assisted by a support team of Kupang (NTT) and Jakarta, which consists of the Perkumpulan PIKUL, Walhi NTT, Jatam, Aman, Samdhana, CSF, GEF-SGP, Lawe and others. Contacts in Kupang: Perkumpulan Pikul, Contacts in Jakarta: Siti Maimunah (JATAM, 0811920462)

5. Participant
Participants are representatives of Tiga Batu Tungku indigenous peoples, supporting NGOs, government representatives and others. Participants estimated to reach about 400 people. The local committee will provide accommodation, while participants will contribute to the consumption and others.

6. Time, Activity, and Place
This activity will be concentrated in villages around Naususu, planned to take place from 16 to 20 June 2014 with the festival process plan as follows:
June 16, 2014, will be performed activities of “NekafMese Tafen to Halat" Ritual. 
June 18, 2013, will be an opening, exhibition of local food products and weaving, Feotnai Movement and Ume Bubu Movement as well as Atuk Muit, Thematic Discussion, competitions and Tafenak Kuan in the afternoon. 
June 19, 2013, Dialogue with Government representatives. 
June 20, 2013, Closing and Traditional Ritual.
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