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Burung dan “Sasi” (Bagian 2)

According to the elders of Kailolo Village, the protection of the momoa bird (the Mollucan Scrubfowl/ Eulipoa wallacei) with the sasi custom originated from a legend that has been rooted for generations in the community.

Once upon a time, a Kailolo man married a woman from Waai Village, then they had four children who were always bullied by the children from Waai Village. Not comfortable being disturbed constantly, the children decided to leave the village and go to the beach to draw boats in the sand. Apparently, the picture of the boat can turn into a real boat, so they can use it to leave the island.

Before leaving, their mother presented them with a golden ball. After arriving at Kailolo Village they played, but suddenly the golden ball disappeared in the sand. As a tribute to his mother's gift, they let the golden ball remain on the sand dune for their descendants to play.

Berawal dari legenda itulah, hingga kini pantai di Desa Kailolo dianggap sebagai hadiah leluhur mereka sehingga perlu dilindungi dengan baik, burung momoa yang senang hidup dan bertelur di pantai pun berdatangan dari Pulau Pombo, Kasa, Babi, Seram, dan pulau lainnya untuk bertelur.

Because the villagers feel responsible for protecting the beach and the birds, the nesting sites for birds belong to the whole village. To regulate the harvest, a sasi is made. Sasi is carried out to regulate the auction of the right to take momoa eggs for a year, which is regulated and supervised by the village head.

Even now, the area where momoas lay eggs is the land of the Kailolo Village, which cannot be used by just anyone. Sasi in Maluku means a right granted to a small village and is included in local regulations and the Ministry of Finance for Ambon and the surrounding islands (ind stb.1824 no 19 a).

In a study conducted by Tuhumuri in 1996, it was revealed that the nesting ground had been known since the beginning of the last century and the collection was freely carried out by the villagers. However, from 1933-1938, egg collection was regulated by village officials. Furthermore, from 1960 until now, arrangements have been made with an auction system. The benefit of this auction system is that it makes it easier for the village to manage the nesting ground and the certainty of the person in charge.

The sasi implemented in Kailolo Village is not fully able to guarantee the increase or stability of the momoa bird population, because the village head still provides free opportunities for the auction winner to harvest momoa eggs at will, throughout the year. But at least, a little enthusiasm to protect and preserve what is in nature is enough to be a solace from the fact that the Archipelago is increasingly damaged. Coupled with the belief that the nesting grounds along with the eggs will always be guarded because it is the basis of their life, we may hope that the indigenous people of Kailolo Village will take care of momoa for all of us. (Yusup Cahyadin/Hanom Bashari)


This publication is an archive series of Burung Magazine articles which were circulated in the period 2006-2011. Information regarding the status of birds has been updated with the actual conditions.