KnE Social Sciences | The 1st Annual International Conference on Language and Literature (AICLL) | pages: 609–622

1. Introduction

One of the identities of culture in South Sulawesi discussed in mantra is ritual ceremony conducted by the traditional community of Makassar ethnic group before planting rice. Mantra is the oldest literary form in South Sulawesi as an aspect of ancient culture which is still maintained up to the present time and is still used by the traditional community. The traditional community of Makassar ethnic group uses mantra according to its purpose. Mantra for planting rice or for cultivation is called Tulembang mantra or farmers' mantra.

South Sulawesi people have various cultures such as local, ethnic, religious, and customary cultures. Each region in South Sulawesi has its own specific culture having local wisdom and inherits it genetically, from one generation to another generation. (Mattulada, 1977: 55). Culture comprising knowledge, belief, art, law, moral, custom, and habit possess by human as a member of a community. That is why it is important to do research on the diversity of cultures as one way of studying social relationship of a community.

The importance of studying culture in traditional literature is based on the relationship between mantra and community. This means that mantra was created from the community. Mantra is not possible without the existence of community as the heirloom. Likewise, this happens to the traditional community who maintains its custom being inseparable from the mantra users. The existence of occult power always encourages community members to realize the power to satisfy their needs. In the life of traditional Makassar ethnic group, mantra is used in the ritual of planting rice (Tulembang mantra). In South Sulawesi mantra is divided into two: first, mantra used by the people who live on the high land is called Tulembang or Turaya, second, mantra used by the people who live on the coastal area is called Tupakbiring (Maknun, 2006: 1-2).

Tulembang mantra uses words representing something close to the life of the community. Sometimes it also uses archaic words and sound change making the meaning unclear. But when it is interpreted in detail, the words used are related to the life of the community of Makassar ethnic group. The interpretation is unique due to the richness of culture of Makassar ethnic group. Based on the social structure, the use of mantra is not placing the shaman or particular community leader as a part of the respected community. The use of mantra is conducted by particular people. They are the people who can read the mantra. The saying of the mantra must be followed by a ritual, for example, incense smoke, sitting crossed leg, hand movement, facial expression, and mumbling.

Tulembang mantra must be preserved to dig up cultural values to enrich the Indonesian culture. The mantra contains the language, literature, culture, and life of Makassar ethnic group religiously and philosophically. Therefore, the inventory and documentation of mantra are performed particularly in South Sulawesi regions and Indonesia in general.

In addition, Tulembang mantra contains natural and supernatural things and custom and cultural aspects. This study shows the importance of documenting the richness of culture through mantra used by Makassar ethnic group. This is interesting to the writer to do research on the structure of farmers' mantra or Tulembang mantra.

2. Literature Review

Jakobson (1970: 87) studied the learning and language function putting emphasis on two basic aspects of language structure represented by rhetoric metaphoric illustration (parallelism) and metonym (continuity). For Jakobson, language has six functions: (1) emotive function, speaker's expression; (2) referential function, message reference; (3) poetic function, message encoder; (4) metalinguistic function, explainer of code used; (5) conative function, direct expression of speaker's will or thought by the addressee; and (6) phatic function, relationship or contact between addressor and addressee.

The writer used one of the functions of Jakobson's functional theory as a pioneer of poetic function which has an explicit theory in literary approach structurally. Jakobson states that poetic function has become an interest of literary critic focuses on language where literature exists. Besides, poem is a literary work linguistically since it is a part of linguistics. In other words, poetic function is directed to efforts and attention to elements.

Riffaterre (1978: 5) states that the understanding of text can be viewed from heuristic and hermeneutic point of view. The former is the use of language to investigate speaker's environment. The latter interprets the meaning holistically. The reader can understand the text more and modify their understanding. Hermeneutic focuses on two different things but mutually interact, that is text understanding and problems of interpretation. Both understanding and interpretation are used in analyzing the mantra text.

To learn a poetic language, Jacobson used a concept of polarity and concept of equivalence. The concept of polarity was adopted from Saussure's theory on syntagmatic and paradigmatic relationship. This concept shows binary opposition of metaphor and metonym. Metaphor put emphasis on romanticism, symbolism, and surrealism is paradigmatic; whereas, metonym puts emphasis on realism and cubism is syntagmatic. Both are the basis for the formation of language signs for selection and combination. Based on that, poetic function is defined as function to make use of selection and combination to improve equivalence. Poetic language is related to the problem in verbal structure. Linguistics is a comprehensive knowledge of verbal structure; therefore, poetic language can be assumed as an inseparable part of linguistics. Instruments used in poetic language are not limited to verbal art only. The characteristics of poetic language are not only included in linguistics, but also in theories of sign, that is general semiotics. This statement is for all language variations since it is related to other systems of sign even to all systems (Kridalaksana, 2005: 49; Budianta et al., 2008: 40; Rokhmansyah, 2014: 68).

3. Research Method

The method used was a field method to collect primary data on Tulembang mantra. This mantra is still used by the traditional farmers of ethnic Makassar who live at Bukrung-bukrung village, Pattallassang district, Gowa regency. The village is about 70 km from the capital city of Makassar, South Sulawesi province, Indonesia.

Based on information from the village head and adat (custom) leaders as informants: Ahmad Daeng Naba, deputy head of adat, Bumbung Daeng Gassing, farmer and Baso Daeng Sila, mantra reader. All of them live at Bukrung-bukrung village where the study was conducted.

The study was interpretative qualitative done by interpreting and understanding the code behind the sign of mantra text. The comprehensive conclusion of the interpretation was also provided. This Tulembang mantra is used to describe the aspects of form and variation of linguistic features, particularly structures found in the mantra.

4. Discussion

Linguistic features of Tulembang mantra

The structure of farmer mantra text is unique in the composition of narrative text. The composition of narrative text of Tulembang mantra has magic power. The magic power lies on the strength of opening, main part, and closing. The following is the detail of analysis of Tulembang mantra.

Appasuki Pakjeko mantra (Mantra of installing the plow)

Appasuki Pakjeko mantra is a kind of mantra used by the traditional farmer community of Makassar ethnic group to begin farming. Structurally the text is divided into three parts: opening, main part, and closing. Look at the following:

Kau jekne Nabbi Hillere Nabbinnu Tulungngak nanung ngammaseang Na nupappalak doangngangak ri Allah Taalah (1) O Prophet Khaidir, please give mercy of love, so that Allah blessed my prayers
Pasibuntullangak dallekku Sarea buku magassing Amboyai dallek hallalakku Ritompokna linoa(2) Give me sustenance and good health, lawful luck in this world
Barakka LailahaIllalah subhanawataala” Barakka Anna Muhammadarrasulullah (3) May all be the blessing of Allah

The lyrics above are the opening in Appasuki Pakjeko mantra

The opening consists of three lyrics contain request or ask for permission. The first lyric consists of four words, the second three words, and the third four words. The three lyrics become the opening since it is a set between lyrics. Based on the structure of text, the sentences are the opening as stated by Hartarta (2009), because the text contains greeting as a kind of acknowledgement to be under the protection of Allah.

The component of the first line begins with Kau jekne Nabbi Hillere Nabbimu “Water, Prophet Khaidir is your Prophet”. This lyric contains suggestion showing that that Prophet Khaidir guards the water. The mantra continues with Tulungngak nanunngammaseang “Help me to have pity from you” stating the purpose that is request to Prophet Khaidir to pray to Allah to make the wish fulfilled. The third sentence put emphasis on the opening that is Nanuppappalak doangngangak ri Allah Taalah “In order you pray for me to Allah”.

From the language point of view, it is a greeting. The opening mantra contains purpose, intention and target using repetition of words. The repetition of the word Nabbi “Prophet” forms a rhyme indicating occult power. The opening mantra is ended by using the word ri Allah Taalah or “Allah”. This indicates that the reader of the mantra believes that the request is fulfilled due to the role of Allah.

Structurally, the opening is a suggestion to ask for the help of Allah to make the request fulfilled through selected people (Prophet Khaidir) assumed to be the guard of nature. Linguistically, the opening uses the repetition of words to give power to the mantra. The opening also uses metaphor which can give strength and occult condition such as the use of special name, Prophet Khaidir. The prophet name can give magical effect. The use of the prophet name also means that the person is believed to be able to help the reader of the mantra.

Pasibuntullangak dallekku Sarea buku magassing Amboyai dallek hallalakku Ritompokna linoa (2) “Direct me to my sustenance Give me good health In looking for my sustenance On the earth”

The main part of the mantra entitled Appasuki Pakjeko (Installing the Plow”) consists of four lyrics with the structure “1,2;1,2,3;1,2,3;1,2.” The first and second lyrics consist of two and three words respectively and the third and fourth lyrics consist of three and two words respectively. From the point of view of text structure, the first and second lyrics indicate imperative sentence. This is seen from the use of enclitic ku “my”. The syllable “ku” is attached to the word dallekku “my fortune” and dallek hallalakku “my legal fortune” as the first person possessive. This is used to emphasize command which is repeated in the third sentence to add the magical element of the mantra. The third lyric indicates the aim of the reader of the mantra.

Besides the aim, the main part of the mantra contains hope: Prophet Khaidir is hoped to pray for him to be blessed and protected by Allah and provided him prosperity. Elements of mythology are also found in each mantra [2]. This is shown from the use of words such as Pasibuntullangak dallekku “Give me sustenance” and Sarea buku magassing “ Give me good health”.

Barakka LailahaIllallah

Barakka Anna Muhammadarrasulullah (3)

The closing in Appasuki Pakjeko mantra “Installing the plow” only consists of two lyrics: closing of prayer. The mantra was adopted from Muslims' prayer because it is written in Arabic language and not in Makassarese language. The two lyrics still use repetition of words Barakka “blessing” to add the magic power of the mantra. This indicates that all efforts done by the reader of the mantra is fully entrusted to the power of Allah. The words LailahaIllallah means “There is no God but Allah” and the word Muhammadarrasulullah means Prophet Muhammad is the messenger of God.

Farmer is the main figure in Appasuki Pakjeko asked Prophet Khaidir to pray for him. Prophet Khaidir as a fictive figure asked Allah to ease his necessities. Prophet Khaidir also prayed for him good health in doing his activities in the rice field.

Aklesero Ase mantra (Mantra of descending seeds)

This mantra is read by the traditional farmer of ethnic Makassar in cultivating the rice field. The text of the mantra is as follows:

Oh yaccing

Napanaungko Nabbi

Napatimboko malaekak

Malaekak patanna pakrasangang

Awali patannabuluk

Naalleko Nabbi

Natambaiko malaekak

Barakka LailahaIllallah

Barakka Anna Muhammadarrasulullah

My paddy was descended by prophets and grown by angels. The angel has the village. The guardian has the mountain. My paddy was blessed by the prophet and grown by the angel. May Allah bless it. The farmer prays for the paddy hoping that by the help of prophet, angel, and guardian will fertilize and accelerate the seed growth.

Oh yaccing Napanaungko malaekak Napatimboko malaekak (1) “O paddy Descended by the prophet Grown by the angel”

Structurally, the mantra text above consists of three lyrics and two words. The opening mantra begins with greeting: Oh yaccing. Yaccing in Makassarese means paddy. The word paddy is used as a sign to begin the cultivation. The opening also uses the exclamation mark “Oh”. Lexically, it has no meaning but in this mantra there is hope in the form of greeting. Like the previous mantra, the opening mantra of Akselero Ase uses names to create magic situation. There are names yaccing “paddy”, Nabbi “prophet”, and malaekak “angel”. Linguistically, this mantra also uses enclitic “ko” attached to the words napanaungko and napatimboko as a second person means you.

The main part in the mantra Aklesero Ase consists of four lyrics as can be seen below:

Malaekak patanna pakrasangang Awali patannabuluk Naalleko Nabi Natambaiko malaekak (2) “The angel has the village The guardian has the mountain The prophet takes you The angel increases the amount”

The main part of the mantra has a number of different words: three words for the first and second lyrics and two words for the third and fourth lyrics. The number of words is dominated by the repetition of the words Nabbi `prophet” and malaekak “angel”. The repetition of words is meant to create magic situation of the mantra. This is common in oral literature to put emphasis on the sounds. The more the repetition, the stronger the magic situation. If it is related to the connection between sentences, the main part of the mantra is the expression of thought of the mantra reader. The connection of the opening lyric and the main part is cause and effect. The opening is the origin and the main part is the explanation so that the lyric of the main part is a kind of statement.

In additions, the main part of the mantra contains the elements of suggestion, nick name, visualization and symbol. The language style of the mantra is parallelism, the lyric which has a series of similar purpose from the beginning until the end.

The closing of the mantra Akselero Ase is similar to the closing of Appasuki Pakjeko mantra which consists of two lyrics expressing the prayer. The mantra uses Arabic language. These lyrics are used to strengthen the magic power of the mantra “Barakka LailahaIllallah

Barakka Anna Muhammadarrasullah”

Akbine Mantra (Mantra of Selecting Seeds)

This mantra is the third used by traditional farmers of ethnic Makassar. This mantra is used when planting rice. The aim is to ask blessing and safety in cultivation. This mantra consists of fourteen lyrics divided into three parts: opening, main part, and closing.

This mantra begins with the lyric Bismillahirrahmanirrahim “In the name of Allah the most gracious, the most merciful”. This means that whatever is going to be done must be surrendered to God Almighty. The lyric mentions the name of Allah, the creator. This word is absorbed by the traditional farmer of ethnic Makassar as a request or hope. The main part of the mantra Akbine is as follows:

Tallasak kulamung Tallasak kulamungang Tallasak nilamungi Sikontu ummakna nabbita Anak cucunna Adam I raya- I lau I timboro- I wara Battu ngasengmako mae Angkatekneangi Angkarannuangi Sabak Allah Taalah siagang nabbi Muhammad (2) I plant live seeds I sow live seeds I plant live seeds in the soil All prophet Muhammad people The grandsons of Prophet Adam In the South—in the North In the East—- in the West Please come to this rice field To make happy To please Because Allah with Prophet Muhammad

The main part of the mantra Akbine consists of eleven lyrics. There is sound repetition in three lyrics in the text structure. The repetition of thought indicates the emphasis of aim and objective of the mantra. The repetition of thought in lyric three of the main part stresses that the first and second lyrics indicate that seeds will grow when are planting in soil.

If we look at the relation between the first lyric until the third, the forth until the eighth, it seems there is no continuity in expressing the thought. But if we look carefully between the groups of lyrics, there is a correlation of meaning. The first lyric until the third one of the main part is a core statement and the forth lyric until the eighth is an explanation. The lyrics express a wish or hope. This is indicated by mentioning names such as Prophet Muhammad, Prophet Adam, East, West, South, North, and Allah. The mentioning of names are hoped to bring safety and blessed for the plant grown.

From the language style, this mantra is symphocope. According to Nurhayati (2013) it is a kind of repetition which combines anaphora and epistophora such as Tallasak kulamung ”I plant live seeds”, Tallasak kulamungang “I sow live seeds”, Tallasak nilamungi “I plant live seeds in the soil”.

The closing in this mantra is similar to the first and second mantras consisting of two lyrics only which express prayer using Arabic language. These lyrics are used to increase the magic power of the mantra. This can be seen in the following texts:

Barakka LailahaIllallah

Barakka Anna Muhammadarrasulullah (3)

Annanang Ase mantra (Mantra of planting rice)

This mantra is performed at the process of planting rice. It consists of eleven lyrics and also consists of the opening, main part, and closing. This is shown in the following text:

Oh yaccing kutanangko rijekne

Kupatimboko ributta (1)

“I plant my rice in water and grow in soil”

Bintoeng palliserannu

Bulang papa kaciknongangnu

Nairik-irikko anging

Anging battu riMakka

Nakarenai anging battu riMadina

Ritallung bulanga kisicinik (3)

My ears of rice are like stars in the sky, clear as full moon, and shine like the sun. The wind breeze plays with you that comes from Mecca and bless from Madinah hoping that we meet in three months to come.

Barakka Lailahaillallah

Barakka Anna Muhammadarrasulullah (3)

The opening lyric in the Annanang Ase mantra consists of two lines containing the words “you” and “rice”. The words denote greeting and expression of thought to show the power of mantra. The lyric is metonym using figurative language of name or character of people related to it.

The main part of the mantra contains seven lyrics starting with Bintoeng palliserannu, Bulang papa kaciknongnu, Alloa pangnyappuruknu, Nairik-irikko anging, Anging battu riMakka, Nakarenai anging battu riMadina, and Ritallung bulanga kisicinik. The farmer at the first line hopes that the rice grains are like stars in the sky. The second line indicates the moonlight shines the rice seeds to make them clear. The third line indicates the sunshine helps dry the rice stem to make the absorption process goes well. Lines four and five indicate the wind blows from the Holy Land of Mecca and Madinah to speed up the growth of the rice seeds. Line six is continued with Ritallang bulanga kisicinik is a hope that the following three month the rice can be harvested. In other words, lines one to six of the main part contain suggestions. The closing of the mantra is similar to the previous Tulembang mantras using Arabic language containing prayers, Barakka LailahaIllallah, Barakka Anna Muhammadarrasulullah

Appa Sulapa Nikutaknang mantra (Mantra of questioning four directions)

This is the most effective mantra performed by the mantra reader. It consists of eighteen lyrics and is the longest of all Farmer mantras or Tulembang mantras. The opening consists of two sentences as follows:

Oh yaccingku niaasengjako ilalang

Tenamo tumaboyannu (1)

“O my rice, are you all there inside?”

“Is there anyone looking for you?”

The two sentences above is the opening since it is in question form indicating the problem to be expressed by the mantra reader. It contains hope. The repetition is meant to increase the magic element of the mantra considering that this mantra is the most effective one in cultivation. The main part of the mantra reads as follows:

Iraya kalauko mae Ilauka anraikko mae Timborokka warakkomae Warakkanga timborokko mae Irateya naungko mae Irawaya naikko mae Kusalayya kusabbu Kariolomako battu Nakupanaimako anne yaccing Ridulang-dulang pallunu Ripallakka bulaengnu Lao-lao pole Tanairikmako anging Tanararangko allo(2) “Those in the east please come to the west Those in the west please come to the east Those in the south please come to the north Those in the north please come to the south Those above please come down Those below please come up The mistakes that I don’t mention For you come earlier I will get you down paddy On the trays where you will be cooked On your golden berth Go and go again You are not companied by wind You are not shined by the sun either”

Barakka Lailahaillallah

Barakka Anna Muhammadarrasulullah

The main part of the mantra above consists of fourteen lyrics containing suggestions, hope, and wish and readiness to accept what's happening. The main part also contains sound repetitions in which the words mae “here” and mako “you” are repeated six times. This makes a rhythmic sound.

Like other Tulembang mantras mentioned previously, the Appa Sulapa mantra is closed with two sentences of the Muslim confession of faith meaning that blessing and prosperity are from Allah the Almighty. This can be read in the text below:

Barakka LailahaIllallah

Barakka Anna Muhammdarrasullah (3)

Based on the analysis of all structures in Tulembang mantra, it is found that the components build up the mantra are the opening containing the request for Allah protection, the creator of the universe. The mantra uses of important names such as Prophet Khaidir, Allah, Muhammad, yaccing “paddy”, nabi “prophet”, wali “guardian”, malaikak “angel”, arah mata angin “compass direction”, bintang “star”, matahari “sun” and bulan ”moon”. The suggestion components are dominated by mythology such as Narurungang malaikak pakdoangnganna “prayer of angels be with you”, etc. The components of visualization and symbol Nairik-irikko anging “the wind breeze shakes you”, Nakammiko patampulo malaekak “you are guarded by forty angels”.

5. Conclusions

Based on the analysis of the text structure of this Tulembang mantra, it can be concluded that the narrative composition is dominated by the opening greeting, target name, suggestion, visualization and symbol. The language use is dominated by metaphor with the touch of mythology and religion. All the linguistics features have one aim as the form of request and surrender to Allah the Almighty.

The new findings in this study are: firstly, Tulembang mantra has its own structure. The text structures consist of the openings as greetings with lyric basmallah “in the name of Allah” and assalamualaikum “peace be with you” and the main parts are the request and talisman for driving away evil spirits. The closings use praises to Allah and Prophet Muhammad. The structures never change from one generation to another generation. Secondly, the openings of the mantra always begin with honor to Allah and respect to addressee. Besides, it is sometimes followed by an expression of being humble. This indicates that the traditional farmers of ethnic Makassar always respect solidarity. Finally, Tulembang mantra has a lot of sound repetitions. Almost all of mantra under analysis has the same sound repetitions. From the many formulae found, one is unique found in the sentence using shadow name of the mantra reader.


I would like to extent a profound gratitude to the three informants: Ahmad Daeng Naba, Bumbung Daeng Gassing, and Baso Daeng Sila for their help in doing the field research in Pattallassang Gowa, South Sulawesi, Indonesia.



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