Rice barns, commonly known as “Leuit” by the Badui people in Lebak, Banten, serve as storage and preservation units for food supplies.
Unlike rice barns used by other tribes, the Badui people’s Leuit embodies the harmonious strength of their community and adheres firmly to their life philosophy.
The saying “lojor teu beunang dipotong, pondok teu meunang disambung” (you can’t cut through the tough, you can’t extend the hut) serves as their guiding principle for interacting with nature and continuously honoring rice as a gift from Dewi Sri for the bountiful harvest they strive for.
The Leuitna Badui team comprises five UGM students: Muhammad Alfian (Agriculture 2021), Aisya Nazifa (Regional and Urban Planning 2020), Rafi Ramdani (Anthropology 2021), Dian Arsyka Adila (Environmental Geography 2021), and Zat Lentera Sunda Hasbillah (Geographic Information Systems 2021).
They are conducting ethnographic research to explore the local wisdom and dynamics of the Badui people’s way of life in Banten under the guidance of Redika Ardi Kusuma.
Aisya Nazifa said that the research is multidisciplinary and addresses food resilience issues on the western horizon of Java Island.
The proliferation of modernization in the form of cultural tourism has transformed the mindset and perspective of indigenous communities, who are beginning to adopt a consumerist lifestyle.
Nevertheless, the cultural values contained in Leuit have not been eroded by the surge of modernization.
“Its ability to store rice for 50 to 100 years represents Leuit as a sustainable food structure,” she emphasizes.
Rafi Ramdani added that, based on the interviews conducted with the Badui Luar and Badui Dalam communities, Huma rice is considered more blessed and filling than paddy rice.
Huma rice’s strong texture resonates with the Leuit structure, making it durable for 50 to 100 years.
Dian Adila said Leuitna Badui can be a local food storage development model.
The practical values of Leuit can fill the gaps left by silos that cannot reach rural areas where the primary livelihood is farming. Therefore, Leuit can be harmonized with silos to ensure food availability in small villages and achieve food stability throughout Indonesia.
Photo: The Leuitna Badui team