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  • Writer's pictureMacan Mountain

Tangkuban Parahu (The Overturned Boat)

What to learn from Sundanese cosmology and its readings of the mountain? The images below display Tangkuban Parahu. This active stratovolcano is located near the city of Lembang in West Java. The volcano last erupted on July 26, 2019. Before that, it erupted in 1983. In the Sundanese dictionary by Jonathan Rigg, the English lexicographer quoted a Sundanese expression: "beunang autumnu ka gunung, beunang tatanya ka Guriang". This quote refers to the process of studying the mountain and asking Guriang for permission. Guriang is believed to be a gentleman, a demon and a mountain spirit. This expression, according to Sundanese journalist Hawe Setiawan, shows that for the old Sundanese people, mountains and Guriang are sources of knowledge, wisdom, goodness, and beauty. “The old Sundanese people respected mountains and forests through mythological means, such as folklore and rhymes, ceremonies, and pamali,” he added. After 36 years of silence and a swift decline of natural ecosystems, the volcano erupted again in 2019. As a warning to humanity, the volcano tries to re-ignite respect for nature and its cosmological importance. Sources: Jonathan Rigg, A Dictionary of the Sunda Language of Java, 1862 Hawe Setiawan, Sunda: Interpretation of Junghuhn's Illustrations, 2019 Irfan Teguh, Letusan Tangkuban Parahu dan Mitos Gunung dalam Kosmologi Sunda, 2019


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