Bahasa Tua dan Penutur Tua; Sebuah Cerita Dari Maluku Barat Daya


Language is a Culture Keeper. If a language extincts, so does its culture. This is due to the fact that a language stores cultural values in various forms, as vocabulary, rhyming poems, folklore, local community history, myths, legends, oral traditions, and expressions which are loaded with ethical as well as moral values. Indonesia has varieties of local languages that are full of cultural values. Unfortunately, local languages in Indonesia are seriously at risk of being endangered. This case also happens in Southwest Maluku or Maluku Barat Daya (MBD). MBD has many varieties of languages, both as written and oral traditions including N old language or also called Bahasa Tanah. Nowadays, Bahasa Tanah is endangered because it is rarely spoken except in ritual practices, even the number of speakers is getting less and less with a quite old age. The speakers of Bahasa Tanah are from marna (noble group) who are only allowed to pass on knowledge of Bahasa Tanah to their descendant who also have marna blood, yet the inheritance process has stagnated. As the result of this stagnated inheritance process, Bahasa Tanah increasingly eliminated from their daily life and knowledge. Therefore, the strive for inheritance process is needed immediately, because if Bahasa Tanah extincts, it will affect the value systems and the culture itself to extinction. This article was written to give an insight into Bahasa Tanah in Southwest Maluku and to find out what the best effort to counter it extinction.
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