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Ngibi Art Performance: Preserving Tradition, Knitting Togetherness among Soligi Villagers

05 July 2023

Ngibi art performance is once again held in Soligi Village, one of the villages within the operational circle of Harita Nickel in Obi Island. This annual event serves as a platform to preserve traditions and at the same time knit togetherness among residents.

As in previous years, this year's Ngibi art performance takes place during the celebration of Eid al-Adha, precisely on Friday night (June 30, 2023), a day after the predominantly Muslim community of Soligi Village commemorates the Feast of Sacrifice.

This year's event can be considered more festive. This is because, in addition to showcasing the Ngibi dance, there were also competitions held for the Cungka dance and Pencak Silat martial arts. The participants were local children, from those in elementary school to high school.

Not only the competition participants, but also the residents who wanted to showcase their skills in dance and martial arts were allowed to perform in the center of the arena, which was surrounded by hundreds of people of various ages.

Pagelaran seni tari ngibi

John Sri Cay Simbolon, the Community Relations Superintendent of Harita Nickel, stated that the company's support for the Ngibi art exhibition in Soligi Village is part of the Community Development and Empowerment Program (PPM) in the social-cultural aspect.

He said that art as an expression of culture and community wisdom needs to be preserved. Through the Ngibi art performance, he hopes to be a reminder for the younger generation to preserve the traditions that have been inherited by their ancestors.

"When Soligi's children leave their village to pursue their dreams, whether continuing their education or working in a company, wherever they are, they must uphold the traditional values that have been inherited by their ancestors," John explained.

Furthermore, he said that Soligi Village children are the future hope for development in their region in the future. In addition to introducing tradition, Harita Nickel also supports access to quality education for children on Obi Island.  

"This Ngibi art performance is also one of our means to stay in touch with residents in a family atmosphere," he said.

The Origin of Ngibi Traditional Dance

Pagelaran kesenian soligi 351 1

Ngibi is not just mere entertainment; it holds a profound meaning for the people of Soligi Village.

Hardin, the Vice Chairman of the Village Consultative Body (BPD) of Soligi Village, explained the origins of Ngibi, which has been a long-standing tradition in their community. According to him, the Ngibi dance is a tradition of the Buton people in Southeast Sulawesi. The majority of the ancestors of the Soligi residents come from Buton. Besides Soligi, the Buton tribe also inhabits other villages on Obi Island.

In addition to the Ngibi dance, the performance that night also featured the Cungka dance accompanied by traditional musical instruments such as large and small gongs, as well as drums. According to the traditional literature of the Buton people, the Cungka dance, performed by female dancers, symbolizes the journey of human life from the womb.

The Cungka dance is then followed by the Ngibi dance, performed in pairs, as an expression of joy for the journey of human life from water to the infusion of the soul into a lump of flesh. In the Ngibi dance, male dancers are not allowed to touch the female dancers as a form of respect for the significant role that women play in life.

Originally, the Ngibi dance was performed after bountiful harvests as an expression of gratitude. However, over time, this art form has also been showcased in various other events, such as wedding ceremonies and community gatherings.

To preserve this tradition, in recent years, Harita Nickel and the local village administration have organized Ngibi art exhibitions involving the entire community of Soligi Village. For the past two years, the event has been held after Eid al-Adha, while the previous year it was held after Eid al-Fitr.

"We are very grateful to Harita for supporting the people of Soligi in preserving their ancestral traditions," explained Hardin, a sentiment that was also affirmed by Wahyudin Hamami, the Secretary of Soligi Village, who was present at the evening performance.

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