"Rimpang's Stories", Polewali Mandar_, RHIZOMATIC ARCHIPELAGO
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Shaman from Majene

English | Indonesia

Shamans / Sando, or smart people, to date have an important role for the community here [in Mandar], including to look for missing people before/in addition to informing the SAR team.

After getting a story from the residents of Pambusuang, [I learned that] last fasting month there were fishermen who were lost at sea. (It often happens). They call [the incident] kecalangan or people who lost because there are ‘sea creatures’ who do not like/are angry. After asking a shaman for help, a spirit comes with a message of the whereabouts of the body.

This story brings my curiosity to want to meet Papejaga or ‘shaman sea’ (people who are able to find lost people at sea). But unfortunately, I could not meet this shaman. I, on the contrary, met with other shamans. This is one of them.

Image: Ipeh Nur.

It’s like taking the @resharrris #sketsawajahtidakmirip class. With all the power of my inner eye, I tried to remember and sketch the face of the shaman I met that night (on the night of 3 July) – which roughly, the shaman, was not like my sketch. Consider it disguised, because it doesn’t have any photo documentation. He heard a whisper from, what he called, “Prophet Khidir” not to take pictures.

His name is Mr. Nurdin, a shaman from Majene. Usually people come to his house to ask for help finding family members who are ‘missing’. On land, at sea, or river.

Ipeh Nur’s handwritten notes / field notes.
Ipeh Nur’s handwritten notes / field notes.

It is said that his experience a year ago, at half-past one in the evening, there was an old woman crying, asking for help in finding her missing child — which was apparently hidden by a ghost that looked like a kunti behind her house. He said the ghost felt sorry because the child was scolded.

This knowledge he gained about 10 years ago after receiving a vision from a figure he said the Prophet, who came directly to him and gave him ‘knowledge’.

“The first time I got a vision, I could penetrate someone’s heart, ‘that nature’ (pointing at the sea) I can penetrate. It was… but now I want to be limited, “

explained Mr. Nurdin.

Mr. Nurdin has many relations with supernaturals, from the sea as well as land. [The supernaturals] who gave him information/signs. He also once healed a breast tumor patient. He said it was sent by someone (santet), but, Alhamdulillah, healed too!

However, as he always emphasized: it was all because of the power of the Above.


IPEH NUR menetap dan bekerja di Yogyakarta. Dia lulus dari Jurusan Seni Grafis, Institut Seni Indonesia. Kebanyakan karyanya merupakan ilustrasi hitam putih di atas kertas. Ipeh juga berkarya dengan menggunakan teknik dan media lain, macam sablon, etsa, mural, dan patung dari resin. Ipeh mengikuti berbagai pameran kelompok, antara lain 80 nan Ampuh, Bentara Budaya Yogyakarta (2019), Waktu dan Ingatan Tak Pernah Diam, IVAA, Yogyakarta, Pressing Matters, Framer Framed, Amsterdam (2018), Beyond Masculinity, Ark Galerie, Yogyakarta (2017), dan The 1st Jogja Miniprint Biennale, Museum Bank Indonesia Yogyakarta dan Mien Gallery, Yogyakarta (2014). Di tahun 2018, Ipeh mengadakan dua kali pameran tunggal masing-masing berjudul Salimah di REDBASE dan Banda di Kedai Kebun Forum.

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