Tenggerese dukun has distinctive function and role than dukun from other community outside Tenggerese, such as Javanese, Madurese and Osing. Outside Tengger, dukun is person considered of having supernatural power to heal patients or to make people sick. Dukun that can heal sick people is called as dhukun cilik. While dukun Tengger is a chosen one as custom leader and as religion leader. Dukun Tengger has authority and duties to lead meditation, religious ceremony, custom ritual, and as an ulema or priest. In Tenggerese community, Tenggerese dukun is called as dhukun gedhe. In executing his call, dukun is assisted by legen, dhandhan and tiyang sepuh.
Until today, though they convert Hindu Dharma, Tenggerese dukun still maintains tradition in worshipping god that resides in Mt Bromo, a sacred ceremony handed down by their ancestors. For western experts, this tradition is called as animism, tradition to worship invisible entities (in Javanese = sing mbau rekso) and people that are superficially influenced by Hinduism in pre modern period (Pegeaud). But this opinion was denied by Nancy J Smith Hefner who stated that the sacred ritual of Tenggerese dukun has strong Hindu impression.
Tenggerese Ritual is not that complex as Javanese one. Tengger Hinduism was built by system that are agreed by the community and arranged officially by dukun or other people know ritual protocols. Dukun inherit ritual equipments and mantra from their predecessors. Incumbent dukun were from direct descendant from previous dukun or nephew of from father or mother side. Dukun is eligible if he has the following qualities:
1.Having extensive knowledge about Tenggerese tradition especially oral traditions
2.The community should agree to promote him as dukun by a discussion forum and
3.Approved and appointed by related government service.
Tenggerese dukun is appointed through test (mulunen) and witnessed by community from villages in Tengger region on Kasada ceremony held in Poten, The Sea of Sand (caldera), on foot of Mt Bromo. Dukun position is higher than modin in Java-Islam, but lower than pedanda in Bali-Hindu (Widyaprakosa). Dukun inauguration in Kasada ceremony is initiated by long process that should be through by dukun candidates. They should learn and memorize archaic and complex text of Tenggerese mantra.
Tenggerese believe that ancestors spirits reside among them and do not leave this world. The spirits can be invited after certain mantera is read and this mantera is only known by dukun. So dukun in the bridge between common people to ancestor spirits and gods. Therefore dukun can bridge people wishes for protection and save from disaster.
Dukun is an active heir of history of the origin and tradition of Tenggerese, and also treat Tenggerese mantra or japa mantra as precious and sacred assets. Tenggerese dukun daily activities are filled with rituals, reading mantra for love, safety, well being, and prosperity to Hong Pukulun, gods, and spirits that guards villages called as dhanyang.
In their activities, dukun read mantra according to the purpose of the rituals. Though Tenggerese dukun admit as part of Javanese society, mantra read by dukun are different than that of Javanese. Mantra read by Tenggerese dukun only have two function: to yield something and to ask for protection, for individual, family, or Tenggerese community. While Javanese dukun mantra usually have 4 functions : to yield something (productive), to protect someone or community (protective), to hurt or kill rival or someone hated (destructive), and to tell fortunes in the future (Koentjaraningrat).
As an oral product, Tenggerese mantra has been handed down for centuries. The openness of Tenggerese dukun to the ones concern about Tenggerese mantra from outside Tenggerese community yielded rewriting of the mantra by people outside the community. The recording through different time and different writer and from different active heirs causing change. But dukun do not make a fuss about the differences.
Nowadays, there is an official school for Tenggerese dukun. There are currently about 40 dukun and they can speak bahasa Indonesia well. Usually in Kasada only 28 dukun attend. They are located in villages of Tengger such as Probolinggo, Lumajang, Pasuruan and Malang Regency. Tenggerese community live on those regencies named after the regency : Malang Tenggerese, Pasuruan Tenggerese, Probolinggo Tenggerese, and Lumajang Tenggerese. They have two big events, Kasada and Karo ritual annualy, that involved all Tenggerese. Dukun also lead the following ritual:
1. Unan Unan Ritual
This ritual is held every 5 years. The purpose of this was to cleanthe village from sporits and purify spirits so they can return to nirvana. Unan unan derives from tuna means loss, means that this ritual could complete missing things within 5 years. In this event, Tenggerese slaughter bull to be sacrificed.
2. Entas entas Ritual
This ritual was held to purify spirit of dead people on the 1000th day after he or she died, so the spirit can enter heaven. This ritual costs much as bulls should be slaughtered. Bull meat is used as meals and as sacrificial offering. The richer the ritual holder, the more luxurious the ritual is.
3. Puja Mubeng Ritual
This ritual is held on the 9th month of Tenggerese calendar or Panglong Kesanga, on the 9th day after full moon. Everu Tenggerese people, young and old, walk around the village with dukun and playing ketipung. This ritual is held to avoid disater. The parade starts on the eastern border of the village and the proceed to other borders and ends at Dukun’s house. Villagers prepared foods for this event voluntarily.
4. Birth Ritual
This ritual has sequences.
When baby was in mother’s womb, the family holds sesayut ceremony. This ceremony is held for the health and well being of the baby. After the baby born, sekul brokohan ceremony is held. Baby’s placenta which is called as batur or friend then kept in a coconut skin and put in sanggar (hall). In the day 7 or 8 when baby born , a ritual of cuplak puser is held, when baby’s belly button is dry. This ritual purpose is to remove all dirt from baby for health sake. When the baby was given a name, family make a small ceremony by making jenang abang and jenang putih (red and white porridge). This ritual was also for baby’s health purpose. After beaby’s age is 40 days, kerik ritual is held. This ritual uses reed leave so later baby could talk well. After baby reachs 44 days age, among among ritual is then held so baby could be free from evil spirits, so baby should be protected by mantra when the baby can turn his/her body.
5. Tugel Kuncung or Tugel Gombak Ritual
This ritual is held when baby is 4 years old. The front hair of the baby is cut for safe sake.
6. Marriage Ritual
Marriage day is dicided by DUkun according to Tenggerese calculation. Dukun day calculation based on saptawara and pancawara of the bride and groom, beside also fortune of clothing (sandang), pangan ( meals) and illness (lara), and dearth (pati). Wedding day should avoid lara and pati. If it is held on lara and pati, ngeparas ritual should be held by proving offering and sacrifice that is blessed by dukun’s mantra. For couple who married in lara and paty day should hold ngeparas ritual annualy. The peak of Marriage ritual is Walagara ritual, or wedding procession led by dukun. IN Walagara ritual, dukun brings a cup of water poured in a prasen and stirred by young coconut leave (janur) or banana leaf and then blessed with mantra. Later the bride put her forefinger in water and rub earthen fireplace, door, and hands of guests, for asking bless.
7. Death Ritual
This is usually held in cooperation action. Neighbors give anything needed for the burial. The spontaneity donation can be money, rice, kaffan, sugar, or thers. After the dead was cleaned or showered, then dukun splash holy water to the body. Before the burial dug, dukun pour blessed water.The dead buried facing Mt Bromo, and evening the dead’s family make a ritual selametan. The dead person then is made an effigy from flower and leaves, called as petra or bespa.
8. Barikan Ritual
Is held after earth quake, disaster, eclipse or other events influencing Tenggerese. If those occur and give bad sign, Tenggerese will make ritual 5 or7 days after they happened. If those occur and give good sign Barikan ritual is held to thank God. Barikan is attended by Tenggerese and led by village leader and dukun. The ritual cost is borne by all villagers.
9. Liliwet Ritual
This ritual’s purpose is for family prosperity and held on every household. This ritual dukun gives mantra every parts of the house such as kitchen, door, tamping, sigiran, and 4 direction of yard. Usuallu before liliwet ritual held, Tenggerese do not start farming.