Oral Tradition Of Indigenous Characters In Telling The History Of Mahmud


The context of the problem in this study is that history, which is passed down through generations through word of mouth, will be scarred by modernization. Mahmud Traditional Village, is one of the areas designated by the Bandung Regency government to be the Mahmud site. This, some of its citizens still adhere to the existing traditions and the historical knowledge of the community towards their village, still clinging to their thinking. The purpose of this study was to find out how the Communication Patterns of Characters in Communicating Site History in Mahmud Traditional Village. The method used in this research is a qualitative method with the study of communication ethnography. Data collection techniques used were observation, in-depth interviews and literature. The results of this study indicate the cultural values contained, namely educational values, religious norms, customary rules, more respect for life and ancestral struggles, resilience of community identity and historical knowledge. Besides that there is Communication Behavior Customary leaders in the Mahmud Traditional Village in conveying their history have a relaxed style with Sundanese language or adjust it through daily recitation activities or during major holidays with the topic of discussion on religious matters (fiqh, religious deeds) and history. With original figures of Mahmud descent.

Keywords: Mahmud Traditional Village, Oral Tradition, Traditional Figure


Written tradition and oral tradition are one of the traditions in Indonesia. In this context, a developing culture needs to preserve and maintain its existence, the oral tradition which is the source of distinctive characteristics of Indonesian culture will have more cultural value. The current of modernization that cannot be dammed makes existing cultural values and traditions threatened, written traditions or ancient texts whose existence is rarely found, making oral traditions born of ideas, ideas and exchanging messages between individuals into a wall of cultural integrity. which occurs in an area. Oral traditions that have a variety of models and certain ways used as a benchmark for history, so that the traditions and culture that continues to remain intact from generation to generation.

Understanding of the historical knowledge of the internal community of the Mahmud Adat village, which has been handed down through oral tradition, tends to be prone to displacement of meaning or in terms of story, because various versions of different smber become a matter of the creativity of communication of the characters in their delivery. In the absence of a relic in the form of symbols such as prasarti, ancient manuscripts, etc., makes Mahmud Adat village more vulnerable to change in terms of history, tradition and culture. The creativity of character communication and the meaning made by the community that creates its own version will make an existing problem. Nahak, (2019) said that the current era of globalization is causing changes in society where they prefer a new culture which he thinks is more practical than local culture. Besides, based on data collected from the Research and Development Center in six provinces in 2016, it is known that the number of oral traditions in Indonesia has decreased (Republika, 2018).

The delivery of tradition in the form of oral form is a way for community groups to convey an historical purpose, knowledge, and regulations that have passed down from generation to generation, because the oral tradition is essentially a form of inheritance from a community group. In a certain area, it will surely have different traditions in terms of language and symbolic meanings. Like the history of a developing region, it is inherited from generation to generation, word of mouth, becoming the value and characteristics of certain regions in terms of conveying a message or story to the next generation. All that can be said is oral tradition in the form of frosa folk stories (legends, fables and myths). The concept of language environment metaphorically shows that the environment is understood as a language user community and as one of the language codes, because according to Haugen the ecology of language is determined primarily by those who study it, use it, and send it to others (Haugen, 1972).

The value of local wisdom as the legacy of Indonesia's ancestors who have norms, values that describe the richness of Indonesian culture and fostered civilization is the importance of preserving existing oral traditions. Oral tradition is owned by each region and becomes a feature that exists. In each region, ideas, ideas and exchange of messages from the birth of existing traditions, but the imbalance between the two contexts, makes our culture increasingly worrisome, the function of preserving oral traditions, namely maintaining the integrity of literature and culture, with complete written and oral traditions will be able to meet the needs of an internal and external community in a region that develops knowledge and self-confidence to carry out existing traditions. That cultural values can be revealed through established lines of expression, grammatical system, and lexicon available in the mother tongue (Poerwanto, 2008).

The value of local wisdom as the legacy of Indonesia's ancestors who have norms, values that describe the richness of Indonesian culture and fostered civilization is the importance of preserving existing oral traditions. Oral tradition is owned by each region and becomes a feature that exists. In each region, ideas, ideas and exchange of messages from the birth of existing traditions, but the imbalance between the two contexts, makes our culture increasingly worrisome, the function of preserving oral traditions, namely maintaining the integrity of literature and culture, with complete written and oral traditions will be able to meet the needs of an internal and external community in a region that develops knowledge and self-confidence to carry out existing traditions.

The development of human civilization will not be avoided, the existence of an area that is still maintained and developing with oral traditions that exist without written tradition is the Mahmud Traditional Village which is the center of the spread of Islam in the city of Bandung. The location is in the village of Mekarrahayu, Margaasih District, Bandung Regency. As the name implies, this village is only a small village, but has a large role for the people of Bandung in the past. The whole historical value of this village is the history of the development and spread of the Islamic religion, simplicity is immediately felt upon entering this village. Unlike other locations that are always crowded during the day, because here is more crowded at certain nights. But tourists who come can learn the history of Islam, namely about Eyang Dalem Abdul Manaf who is the main figure in the spread of Islam in Kampung Adat Mahmud.

At present, the Mahmud Traditional Village has been made a Mahmud site by the Bandung Regency government in 2010. With this, the Mahmud Indigenous Village community can maintain the history and traditions in the village as a cultural heritage of Islam. Oral traditions that are still being carried out and discussed make oral traditions in the Mahmud Customary Village survive, the internal factors of the community that are the capacity of thoughts and verbal communication of leaders who can retell an event or legend in the village.

Problem Statement

The flow of verbal communication and the absence of customary law carried out by traditional leaders regarding the values of existing local wisdom, made the community themselves ignore or also violate a particular value of a village. Wholeness in terms of hisotrical aspects that are only maintained when through the communication carried out during each study or when communicating between family members, this becomes an imbalance of tradition or culture and history of the village. Historical value can be lost if verbal communication by the population is not much discussed, both through formal and informal media, and ignoring the traditions that exist is also a concern about the extinction of an existing oral tradition, even though there is no written customary law, but this important because the characteristics and cultural models must be maintained by a group to show its existence in the eyes of the outside community as a group of people who have a distinctive culture.

So seeing the socio-cultural conditions that are vulnerable to being displaced by globalization and differences in the mindset of humans over cultural matters, makes researchers more concerned with the existing conditions, with the development of increasingly advanced technology, the delivery of history to internal and external communities will be more effective with actual risks too high, because there will be an influx of foreign traditions and cultures that are foreign and different from internal society, but that can be overcome by the role of village leaders who can filter culture that can change the identity and belief of a region. According to Adeleke et al. (2017) preservation can be interpreted as a need to extend the life of printed and non-printed material (oral traditions and values included in non-printed material) by taking conservation and conservation measures. to prevent setbacks

This study discusses how oral traditions exist, to describe history and tradition as a whole in the Mahmud Adat village as an Islamic cultural heritage, without ignoring the existing traditions. This study, describing the socio-cultural in the Mahmud Adat village of Islamic Cultural Heritage whose existence is still intact and growing, this research is aimed at, gathering the actual information in detail with the existing events and identifying them.

Research Questions

This research, will focus on the use of oral traditions of traditional leaders, in telling the history of the village of Customary Mahmud. By gathering actual information in detail with the existing events and identifying, about the social culture in the Mahmud Adat village, the Islamic Cultural Heritage, whose existence is still intact and growing.

Purpose of the Study

In this study, researchers examined the cultural values contained in oral traditions, cultural values formed from community traditions are the result of the communication process that takes place in the community. Of course, both through interpersonal and group communication carried out by leaders in the Mahmud Customary Village of the Cultural Heritage of Islam, whose existence is still intact. Educational values in knowing the history and traditions that exist and each tradition aims as a medium of communication between people who interact, in order to be more confident of ancestral traditions.

Research Methods

The method used in this study is a qualitative method and uses an ethnographic approach. The reason researchers use qualitative methods is because researchers can get a natural picture of the social culture of a community and can obtain definite data by containing the meaning behind what is seen and spoken. In this chapter the researcher will explain a paradigm, the method used and the research approach.

Qualitative methods are used to find and develop theories built through data obtained from the field. In the research, researchers positioned themselves with passive participation, namely not being involved in activities. This is reasonable because in the field only major holidays activities related to the research context, while routine daily activities carried out we can not follow directly, but this is overcome by interactions with the surrounding community by mingling.

This data collection technique, a strategic step in research to get a field data. Researchers need to understand data collection techniques to obtain valid data and meet standards. (Sugiyono, 2017). This study uses a record technique for data collection (Sudaryanto, 2015). The data collection is carried out aims to obtain the information needed to produce research, in qualitative research carried out in natural conditions, there are generally four data collection techniques namely observation, interviews, documentation and triangulation, then in this study used observation, interviews and studies literature in data collection. The data analysis method was carried out using the extralingual equivalent method (Mahsun, 2005) with contextual techniques (Rahardi, 2009, p. 36). Observation is data retrieval by recording or recording conducted by researchers who descend directly into the field to observe and the behavior and activities of individuals at the site. Qualitative researchers can also be involved in diverse roles, ranging from being non-participants or whole participants (Creswell, 2013).


This traditional village of Mahmud, has a high historical value, and also the tradition is still carried out by the people. A tradition, has a variety of specific objectives to the community, the tradition itself can not be separated from legends of antiquity. It also looks at the situation of the existing social environment, traditions that are still carried out in the Customary Village of Mahmud namely the Great Day of the Prophet's Birthday, Rajaban Day, Haul (pilgrimage together) Eyang, before and after being vulnerable within one week, the Islamic New Year of Muharam and arts such as silat mahmud and flying.

These Islamic traditions, provide an identity that is different from other villages. The Islamic tradition, not all groups of Islamic organizations do it. The function of tradition in the Mahmud Adat Village will provide a new knowledge to the generations how they can find out their lineage, how they worship according to Islam, in each of these traditions it has one goal, namely the effective delivery of history and teachings of Islam to the community especially the external community. This, who does not know the history of the Mahmud Traditional Village and other functions as bait media that likes violence to enter the Mahmud silat and teach how the philosophy of Islamic religion in the arts. Of course, so that people can know the history and knowledge of Islam more deeply, and can become an educational value for the community itself. Of course this, as a habit that becomes a cultural community that contains cultural values that can be learned in social life.

Cultural values, namely values in the community that have been agreed upon and embedded in community groups based on habits, beliefs, certain symbols that are different from other community groups, and are used as a reference for behavior and responses to what will happen. In this tradition, in addition to functioning as an educational value for the community, of course it has messages contained in the tradition that is more meaningful to life. Of course, it becomes a life lesson through stories and stories by figures when they preach about the development of Islam and the historical development of traditional villages. In each tradition, the messages conveyed to the public by the characters will have a meaning conveyed in each of their da'wah. The meanings in each of these messages give rise to various meanings, the delivery of history and religious teachings by the figures will be different in the delivery. But in this case the meaning of the message will have the same goal as the other characters. The meaning of the message contained so that the community can still maintain the identity of Mahmud Traditional Village, with the rules, as well as existing traditions. In each delivery of the message the leaders slip historical knowledge so that the people themselves can identify their family offspring.

In this research, the researcher examines cultural values contained in oral traditions, cultural values that are formed from community traditions are the result of communication processes that take place in the community, both through interpersonal and group communication carried out by the characters. Researchers use Speech Code Theory because in this cultural value study there are two elements of Speech Code, namely Perception and Verbal Process, one's own perception is the process of a person in selecting, evaluating, and assembling stimuli from outside the individual, which is influenced by beliefs and the value of the system that regulates attitudes individual. In this case the traditional / religious leaders have a perception that Adar Mahmud's village must be protected by its existence and identity. The way in which the characters communicate is influenced by the existing social environment, namely by communicating with the community through group communication and interpersonal communication. With the hope that messages containing customary rules, religious norms, and historical knowledge are well conveyed.

Kampung Adat Mahmud is a village of Islamic culture that still adheres to existing customary rules, an area that has a high historical value, namely the background of the history of the founder who is a descendant of saint Songo namely Sunan Syarif Hidayatullah and the founder of Kampung Adat Mahmud is the eighth descendant namely Eyang Abdul Manaf, and now the Mahmud Traditional Village is a Mahmud Site by the government, really makes it not easy, people who still maintain the village's tradition and identity are one of the factors, but behind it the role of traditional leaders is very influential in the development of traditions and cultures that exist in the area. Then there will be acts of communication between the leaders of the community or between leaders who become a habit or pattern as a strategy and tradition that exists. Behavior is a person's experience consciously giving meaning to an action and it can be concluded that behavior is created on the basis of experience. While the communication behavior itself is an act or communication behavior both verbal and non-verbal that exists in a person's behavior, in this case the communication behavior of a traditional leader provides a certain meaning or purpose through actions, or activities carried out by traditional leaders to the community.

In the spread of history, of course the language used by figures in the community, both in the activities of major holidays and when reciting the status of traditional villages certainly the language used by the community has a language to communicate with their social environment. each conveying oral traditions, the leaders of the Mahmud Indigenous Village use Sundanese lemes, which is evident from interviews with researchers that there are languages that are quite foreign to the researchers themselves, such as "ageung na sakedik", Tirtah ", Poek Obor", in addition to using Sundanese lemes language , the leaders also adjust language with people who do not understand Sundanese language.

In the nature when communicating with the public, of course the characters have their respective styles to convey their message. Like, to people of different nature and character. Likewise the linguistic style that is delivered by the characters is relaxed with jokes in each conveying history, for people who are different in character and character, different language approaches are needed, such as to children, to attract religious discussion, children are given gifts for those who can answer questions asked by village leaders

In this study the researchers used the Dell Hymes model ethnographic communication approach. From the results of research sourced from several informants, the following is an explanation of the speaking model, namely:

1. The setting in this study found that the activities that are often carried out by the people of the Indigenous Village of Mahmud namely in the afternoon and at night are carried out in the existing mosque and around Makom Karomah Mahmud.

2. Participants are speakers, listeners, after the description above, the participants here are the original religious leaders of Mahmud descent who deliver preaching or information about the history of the Mahmud Customary Village.

3. Ends are the objectives of events in general in the form of individual participant interaction objectives. Or better known as the function and outcome of these events. In the Mahmud Traditional Village, history is spoken through word of mouth, therefore missionary communication continues to be carried out both outside the Kampung Indigenous Mahmud, as well as internally Indigenous Mahmud Village.

4. Act sequence is the sequence of communicative actions or the contents of messages. In each activity and tradition Mahmud Indigenous Village has a conversation using a different language, with their internal community using Sundanese language, if they adjust it with the outside community.

5. Keys, refer to the way the speech acts are implemented. The traditional village of Mahmud which has an Islamic background has made the community become religious figures both inside and outside the village.

6. Instrumentalities are the form of messages used. The absence of written forms or symbols of ancient relics forced the characters to make strategies so that the history of existing traditions does not disappear by means of oral traditions, through, generation to generation

7. Norms of interaction are interaction norms. Members of community groups have different times and places in the study activities carried out, of course, separated according to gender, different place and time,

8. Genre, is a type of event referring to categories such as poetry, mythology, proverbs, lectures and commercial messages. The number of religious activities on ordinary days and Islamic public lectures or preaching is often done by the figures to make effective the knowledge of Islam to the community.

In this study, researchers used Speech Code Theory, which is a theory that focuses on examining a stranger in adjusting the atmosphere through language style when together or in a foreign environment. Every culture will have a speech code that is foreign to outsiders. Every culture such as symbols, meanings, places and rules of behavior in an area will definitely have different codes in each of its elements. These characteristics can be distinguished through accent, intonation, and particle affixes that researchers find in the field, accent itself means the pronunciation of words owned by someone or a place that can classify the origin of the area. As in the Indigenous Village of Mahmud, it has a Sundanese accent mixed with Arabic, this is natural because in this area all the inhabitants are Muslim and thick with religious activities, and this area is located in West Java with the Sundanese tribe

In the intonation of speaking traditional and religious leaders, when researchers found in the field during the interview there is the word "Mahmud" which has a higher and longer emphasis when speaking. Intonation itself means giving emphasis to certain words. then in terms of language particles found by researchers, in each interview there will be special words namely Sunda lemes mixed with Arabic such as "supados ulah pareum tirkah mahmud, hiji pan mahmud tea experts qunut. Tahlil expert, marhaba expert, in mahmud expert in hospitality ". This speech code is influenced by psychological, sociological and cultural differences in speech. In this study, researchers found that sociological factors influenced the existing speech code, various communities visited the area, and the majority of Islamic religions required customary leaders to communicate either in bringing religious or historical material, Sundanese and Arabic languages influenced each other and became one customs, besides the social nuances of Islam and Sundanese, the background of the place which is the spread and holy land of Islam in West Java makes the state of the region into an Islamic region that is formed and the community adapts to it.


The cultural values contained in the oral tradition in the Mahmud Adat Village have a positive impact on the internal and external community. The community's habit of conducting daily prayers and at public holidays makes the community's knowledge of their Islamic religion and village history experience quite strong knowledge. , by knowing the genealogy, origins, and religious knowledge, making people's belief in the traditions and history of ancestors will be maintained because they believe in cultural heritage. And that becomes the value of education for people with a variety of occupational professions, especially those that will descend into the world of trade, mastery of Islamic religious material and history must be balanced so that the community can continue to maintain the existing culture, as well as the contents of the message to be conveyed by the figures namely regarding the rules customary rules, religious norms for the community more interpret the identity of the community that must be maintained.

The communication behavior of the traditional leaders tells the history of Mahmud Traditional Village. history that is still thick in the community can not be separated from the role of the government and the internal leaders of the Customary Mahmud Village, traditional leaders who teach Islamic religious knowledge in every teaching activity carried out every day to parents, and their descendants also teach also in the external community of the Customary Mahmud Village , it was done to further spread the Islamic religion and history of the Mahmud Adat village, with certain figures not selected but must be of original Mahmud descent and to have good quality of communication, because narrative history through oral was at least susceptible to differing meanings among the people, therefore brought innate Da'wah must be able to adjust to the situation of the existing community.

Communication is done by way of preaching to the internal and external communities that have been carried out since the establishment of the Customary Village of Mahmud through the mosque or in the field. The number of religious leaders and scholars who born from the area. Make the situation follow existing developments. Appropriate religious leaders will establish a boarding school in an area, to develop the knowledge of the community. Through the internal study activities of the Indigenous Village of Mahmud or the Islamic holiday that is held, with intense activities carried out, the knowledge and identity of the community will be maintained against tradition and culture. Communication is not only in the community environment, but communication is also carried out in family communication, actual communication will be more effective because of the emotional closeness and historical openness given by parents to their children. By using language that is adapted according to the existing community. History will be conveyed well through a relaxed style that is also filled with puzzles and jokes when preaching.


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Suhartini, T., Hidayat, D., & Gunawan, D. R. (2021). Oral Tradition Of Indigenous Characters In Telling The History Of Mahmud. In C. S. Mustaffa, M. K. Ahmad, N. Yusof, M. B. M. H. @. Othman, & N. Tugiman (Eds.), Breaking the Barriers, Inspiring Tomorrow, vol 110. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 95-103). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.06.02.13