Meaning construction of 'ngalap berkah' ritual in mountain kemukus of central Java in Indonesia: An interpretation from a communication perspective

Rahmi Setiawati, Engkus Kuswarno

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The ritual communication focused in this study is the ritual of pilgrimage, which initially has the purpose of commemorating the merits or sending prayers to the person buried in the Grave of Pangeran Samoedro, Gunung Kemukus. The pilgrims visiting that place wish to ask for blessings. This activity is called 'ngalap berkah'. The interesting point that is focused on in this study is the belief that the pilgrims have to perform sexual intercourse (copulate) for seven consecutive times every Friday Pon, with a person who is not their spouse, who has the same intention (ngalap berkah on Gunung Kemukus). In its development, the pilgrimage turns into sexual activity with prostitutes. The changes in this ritual is the reason and the focus of this study. This study employs communication ethnography method to observe, describe, and analyze communication patterns existing in a society and to identify the repeated communication occurrences; then to make an inventory of the components of communication, and to structure the communication patterns in Pilgrimage Area of Gunung Kemukus. The preliminary findings of the study show that the message of this ritual is ambiguous for the local people. However, in the process of social interaction between the local people and the non-local people, the former attempts to accept the shift in meaning of ngalap berkah ritual. It is because the pilgrimage site has been modified or constructed for tourism commoditization, assumed to increase regional economy of the area, which affects the improvement of socio-economic condition of the people in Pendem Village.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4749-4764
Number of pages16
JournalMan in India
Volume96
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Communication Perspective
  • Ethnography in Communication
  • Ritual Meaning

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