[Diskusi MLI] The Sundanese and Their Relation to Ethnoastronomy by Suhardja D. Wiramihardja
Rabu, 23 September 2015, pk. 14.00 – 17.00 WIB
Gedung Perpustakaan Pusat ITB, Jl. Ganeca No. 10
The presentation will introduce results of a study in exploring astronomy-related culture of the indigenous Sundanese people. Research methods include the study through a literature reviews as well as interviews conducted with local story tellers, visits and explorations of historical sites.
In ancient times before the invention of time keeping (such as the watch), Sundanese people used natural indicators to understand traditional time to determine or to name the time of the day. This was based on natural phenomena through what they feel, see, or hear, and in tandem with the effects of the Sun’s position.
This presentation also discusses Pranatamangsa (a season-keeping system) which was also recognized by the ancient Sundanese ethnic group and applied mainly by farmers to the agricultural cycle. Agricultural people such as Sundanese ethnic groups were concerned with calendrical observations, crucial in gauging the time of planting and harvesting to insure the success of crops. The appearance and disappearance of certain stars were correlated with the seasons of the year, and reminded observers when to plough, sow, hunt, fish, and celebrate annual events.
The latter part of this presentation discusses the eclipses of both the Sun and Moon, a phenomenon that would not have been ignored by traditional groups. Celestial lore tales about these best and easiest-documented sky objects which were familiar to an older Sundanese generation will be presented.