‘Baju Basiba’ – The Clothes of The Leader of Minangkabau


‘Being in The Costum’ is what you have to follow once you step your foot in Minangkabau land. People in there, have so many rules and guidance you have to obey. The rules was there from thousands years ago and still exsist untill this day.

The one who teach these policy is called ‘Mamak’. Among mamak, there is one man who’ll be the leader, is called Penghulu. “Penghulu” is a leader of the community in Minangkabau. The one is respected by people. As a leader, “Penghulu” has some greatness clothes. Those are not just clothes, but that clothes mean symbols, personality, and some hid meanings in there.

The completes clothes of greatness for “Penghulu” are below :

1. “Deta” : “Deta Saluak” and “Deta Bakaruik”

This “deta” symbolizes the folded mind and able to keep the secrets. The straightly setting-up symbolizes justice and truth. The loose-fitting position symbolizes his wide mind and still stable.

2. Clothes without Pocket and Long-Sleeve

This clothes with long-sleeve lower than elbow symbolize that “Penghulu” does not take the vantage for himself. The loose-sleeve and lower that elbow symbolizes his nature that light-hand to help other.

3. Loose and Spacious Pant (“Sarawa”)

This pant symbolizes his ability to make the discreetness step with light, relax, and not complicate movement. He steps over based on “alua jo patuik, patuik jo mungkin”, no barrier.

4. “Sisampiang” or Side Clothes (“Saruang”)

“Sisampiang” is clothes that coil around from the waist to the upper knees, symbolizes his caution and alertness keeping himself from guilty or mistakes. “Cawek” or belt symbolizes persistence of the bond or the guide for uniting his child-nephew, people, that far as well as that near.

5. “Salempang”

“Salempang” or scarf hanging on the shoulder symbolizes his ability shouldering the responsibility to leads his nephew. This responsibility will be good or bad nor in the hard condition, he will not avoid it. So, being a leader, he is liable for what or who his responsible is.

6. “Karih” or The Ceremonial Knife

“Karih” or the ceremonial knife that is inserted beside the waist. The head is not imprinted. The handle directs to the left-side symbolize that the “Penghulu” has a weapon but not for killing. “Penghulu” has power but not for colonizing, not torment the other, but for protecting them.

7. “Tungkek” or The Stick

“Tungkek” or the stick, made of the strong and straight wood, symbolize that “Penghulu” able to shoulder himself without other help. That also indicates that “Penghulu” will shoulder the custom, “pusako”, and his child-nephew.

The customary expression below will tell about the whole “Penghulu” clothes.

Falsafah pakaian rang panghulu

Di dalam luhak tanah minang

Jikok ambalu maratak hulu

Puntiang tangga mati tabuang

Kalau kulik manganduang aia

Lapuak nan sampai kapanguba

binaso tareh nan di dalam

Jikok panghulu bapaham caia

Jadi sampik alan nan leba

Lahia bathin dunia tanggalam

Sources :

  • https://www.kabaranah.com/2014/11/makna-pakaian-penghulu-minangkabau.html : “Makna Pakaian Penghulu Minangkabau”




About Author

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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