Stone Jumping, Nias

August 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

Yet, when we are not in war,
what kind of ‘war’ are we in now?
What kinds of ‘soldier’ are we?
How do we test our determination?

This is the story of Fahombo.

Fahombo or Hombo stone or stone jump is a traditional stone vault with a height of order more than 2 (two) meters that must be done by a man with a compulsory using traditional clothes of Nias. It is said that this tradition was created as a forum to test the physical and mental male teenagers in Nias late adulthood: a test of maturity. Stones that have to jump over the monument-like building a pyramid with the top flat surface. With Height + / – 2 meters, width of + / – 90 centimeters, and long of + / – 60 centimeters. The jumper was not merely have to cross the rock pile, but he also must have a technique on landing, because if he landed with the wrong position can cause muscle injury or broken bones. Fahombo tradition is also considered as a requirement for those who are ready to get married, because for those who do not successfully jump over the stone is considered not appropriate for a girl’s hand in marriage. This tradition has enshrined in the form of images on rupiah denominations in the early 1990s.

In ancient times, this tradition is used as a test for youth who want to becoming a soldier. Determining whether a man deserves to be a soldier, not only determined by the ability of the standard, or merely a physical form of martial arts and black magic. To proof determination, they also must be able to jump a tall stone structure 2.3 m, without touching the surface at all. For men, become a soldier or a member of the defense forces is a privilege, with a better income from ordinary society and provide new opportunities for the future when making their fortunes and achieve a noble position.

FahomboThis selection event held specifically and lasted so festive. People flocked from far away to see the young men showed each other jumping skill stones and tried to be the best. For the girls, this event is the arena of worship and praise the ideal men. For the men who pass the test quickly became an idol for girls. Men who already have a candidate can be proposed to the companion of choice. And for those who still do not have a partner, they have a great opportunity to get a wife. This is why fahombo finally shifted as if to imply anyone who managed to jump over the stone arrangement qualifies as a mature and decent marriage.

Jumping stone ability and agility are also associated with mystic beliefs. A person who is just learning jumping rocks, he asked permission first to the spirits of the stone jumper who had died and to the spirits of ancestors who frequently jumped over the stone. The purpose is to avoid an accident or disaster for the jumper when he was on the air, then dropped to the ground. Because many jumper also failed and had an accident.

If a son of one family was successfully perform the fahombo tradition, will be one of pride for parents and other relatives and even the whole village community in general. They will hold a simple celebration with slaughtering chickens or other animals. There was even entertained the nobility of his village youth who successfully complete this tradition for the first time. Because these young men who would become her village defense if there is a conflict with other villagers.



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