The Sasak people, residing on the Indonesian island of Lombok, have a rich cultural tapestry deeply intertwined with animistic beliefs. Animism, the belief that all things possess a spiritual essence or soul, forms the foundation of the Sasak people’s worldview.
Within Sasak animism, spirits hold great significance in daily life. Ancestral spirits, nature spirits, and guardian spirits are among the diverse range of spirits revered by the Sasak people. These spirits are believed to wield influence over events, safeguard individuals and communities, and bestow either prosperity or misfortune. Rituals, prayers, and offerings are conducted to establish communication with and appease these spiritual entities.
The Sasak people maintain a profound connection with nature through their animistic beliefs. They perceive mountains, rivers, and trees as imbued with sacredness, deserving utmost respect. Sacred sites, referred to as “pedati,” are believed to be inhabited by potent spirits and are treated with reverence.
Traditional healers, known as “dukun,” play an integral role in Sasak animism. Possessing spiritual wisdom and expertise, these healers communicate with spirits and provide guidance and remedies for physical, emotional, and spiritual ailments. Utilizing rituals, herbal remedies, and spiritual practices, dukuns address the multifaceted well-being of individuals.
While the Sasak people have embraced Islam as the predominant religion, their animistic beliefs have endured. The intermingling of Islamic practices with animistic traditions has given rise to a distinctive syncretic belief system. This fusion exemplifies the resilience and adaptability of the Sasak people, preserving their cultural and spiritual heritage in a dynamic and evolving world.