“Baralek Gadang” – Uniqueness of Wedding Procession in Minangkabau

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One of the treasures of Indonesia, the diversity of culture, Minangkabau culture. The wedding procession in Minangkabau is very unique, people call it “Baralek Gadang”. Actually, for each town in Minangkabau has its own unique for the wedding procession, and it must have the differences. But here, we will explain the general wedding procession in Minangkabau. Check this out below.

1. “Maresek” (Introduction)

“Maresek” or introduction is the first of all wedding procession, where the candidate-bride will visit to the house of the candidate-groom. Usually, they will bring some gifts for the family of the candidate-groom, like cake, fruits, or other traditional sweet foods.

For the first time, a woman of the candidate-bride’s family are going to observe that the men (who will be the candidate-groom) is appropriate or not. The procession may need long way to get the deal of the both sides.

2. “Maminang” and “Batimbang Tando” (Purposing & Engagement)

Family of the candidate-bride visit the family of the candidate-groom to purposing. Having accept the purposing, then continue to the next step, “batimbang tando” (symbol exchange). It is for agreement bond that one of both side can not break. This procession includes their parents or “niniak mamak”.

The entourage of the candidate-bride come to visit the family of the candidate-groom arrange betel and areca nut completely in the “carano” or “kampla” (a pandan leaves bag). Usually, they will bring things those will be exchanged. Those are like “keris” (ceremonial knife), heirloom cloth, or something that has historical value. This procession begins with the spokesman serving the complete betel to be tasted by one of the family of the candidate-groom. After that, the spokesman will tell the formal purposing. And then continuing with “batimbang tando”.

3. “Mahanta” (Permission for The Elder)

The candidate-groom will ask for his elders, whose have married, about his wedding plan. So does the candidate-bride, represented by women who has married bringing the betel. The candidate- groom bring the swell filled by nipah and tobacco (now replaced by cigarette). This ritual is for informing and asking for the approval.

4. “Babako – Babaki”

The candidate-bride’s father family (called “bako”) will help for the cost of wedding ceremony. This procession is going on few days. The involved materiel, such as complete betel, saffron rice sling chicken (“nasi kuniang singgang ayam”), things what the candidate-bride needs like clothes, jewelry, dishes (cooked or uncooked), snacks, and other. Traditionally, the candidate-bride will be took to her father family and they will give some advice. Then tomorrow she will be home again.

5. “Malam Bainai” (Polish Night)

“Bainai” means wearing mashed henna leafs to the candidate-bride’s nails in the night before the wedding day. The philosophy : her father and mother’s last guidance whose rise her with all respects. Because from the wedding day, she will be her husband’s responsible. Before this procession, the candidate-bride will take a bath as symbolic by splashing water of seven flowers.

6. “Manjapuik Marapulai” (Picking The Groom Up)

This is the most important procession in Minangkabau. The candidate-groom will be picked up to the candidate-bride’s house to do marriage agreement, including referral tittle. Usually, the candidate-bride’s family will bring complete betel in “carano”, the groom clothes, saffron rice sling chicken (“nasi kuniang singgang ayam”), dishes, snacks, and fruits.

7. Welcoming in The House of “Anak Daro” (Bride)

Traditional music of Minangkabau, including “talempong” and “gandang tabuik”, and “Galombang Adat” by some dancers with “silat” clothes. And also some girls with “carano” filled complete betel will welcome.

8. Marriage Agreement

This procession begins with reading Al-Quran, “Ijab Qabul” (reading agreement), marriage advice, and pray. This procession is application of “Adat Basandi Syarak, Syarak Basandi Kitabullah”.

9. “Basandiang di Pelaminan” (Sitting Side by Side)

After marriage agreement, the groom and the bride will sit side by side waiting for the guest of all around the village. There are five sub-processions in “basandiang di pelaminan” :

  1. Returning the symbol (symbol in “batimbang tando”)
  2. Announcing the tittle of the groom
  3. Hitting forehead each other (smoothly)
  4. Dredging saffron rice (“nasi kuniang”)
  5. Playing “Coki
  6. Tari Payuang

10. “Manikam Jajak” (Stabbing Trace)

The purpose of this procession is for respecting the parent and “niniak mamak” of the groom like the bride’s parent.

Sources :

  • http://www.duaarts.photography/adat-minangkabau-tata-cara-pernikahan-baralek-gadang/ : Ajie Negara.
  • https://stronggergirl.wordpress.com/2016/07/23/baralek-gadang-traditional-wedding-prosession-of-minangkabau-beauty-of-west-sumatera-indonesia/

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Hometown Bungo Tanjung, Batipuah, Tanah Datar, Minangkabau; Alumni of Physics, Institut Teknologi Bandung; Dancer of Unit Kesenian Minangkabau (UKM ITB); Demand Planner of PT. Paragon Technology and Innovation

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