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Gorontalo Mystical Rituals: Hidden Tourism Potential To Be Revealed

1112 words - 4 pages

It is merely known that Gorontalo is full of its diversity of culture. The variety of culture comes from the diversity of its tribes and local wisdom. Most of Gorontalese still has deep conviction of this culture value, and they still apply the culture in their daily life. One of the evidence is the existence of mystical culture in Gorontalo. In Gorontalo, mystical culture is implemented in traditions, beliefs and dances. Those things are important assets that needs to be preserved and maintained by the next generations of Gorontalo natives.
Most of Gorontalo natives are religious people. They also already have logical, rational, and scientific mind structure. Somehow, according to many Gorontalo natives, it is not strange to believe in supernatural and metaphysical thing. Many of Gorontalo people still believe in myths to do and not do something. They still believe in evil spirit to be the cause of weird diseases, they still visit the local monk to be healed or to ask for a blessed water, and some of them still preserve the mystical culture. People can see the implementation through the dances, traditions, and rituals in Gorontalo culture. The mystical traditions and dances were heritaged from their ancestors. Many Gorontalo natives are still doing and maintaining this legacy.
Some of the mystical culture are the dance of Modayango and the ritual of Yilanggu. The dance of Modayango is a dance ritual purposed to summon a spirit to help alive humans. The Book of Modayango, Dance with the Spirit (2012, p.5) defines Modayango as “ritual to call the spirit to be a mediator to do something for human”. By doing this ritual, they believe that their needs will be granted by the spirit they summon. Another mystical tradition is the ritual of Yilanggu. This ritual is a ritual to cure someone from disease caused by dead person or evil spirit. The process of Yilanggu itself is done by pulling someone’s hair, and when the head sounds, that means the spirit causes the disease of the person. Then, the monk recites some spells to heal the person. Those rituals are out of rational context of thinking, because by thinking logically, it is impossible to summon the spirit to possess someone’s body and grant hope or to diagnose a disease without any medical background and to sentence that the disease is caused by a spirit. However, many Gorontalo natives still have strong belief on success of those ritual.
Despite of the fact that some Gorontalo natives are still doing and keep maintaining these mystical rituals, there is much opposition towards the process of preserving the mystical culture. The ritual of Modayango is now forbidden to hold, because there are some radical paradigms which believe that the dance of Modayango breaks religious values, and try to forbid the ritual and send people who is still doing the ritual to the jail. This happened to one of the Modayango ritual leader, Bali Djama. As cited in The Book of Modayango (2012, p.19-21), Bali Djama is...

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