Tanimbar Kei is the southeasternmost island of the kei archipelago, Southeast Maluku. This island is called tanimbar kei because it is a transition from the tanimbar islands and Kei islands. To reach this island there are no fixed or scheduled boats, so the choice is only 2, namely by joining a community motorboat or renting a speed boat.
This island can be reached from Langgur (the capital of Southeast Maluku) for approximately 5-6 hours using community motorized boats or around 2-3 hours if using a speed boat (including travel time from the city of Langgur to the port of debut). To reach this island, you must be good at calculating time.
Due to miscalculation, the ship is forced to lean on the island of Nuhuta (empty island north of Tanimbar Kei) or float in the middle of the sea because it is trapped in low tide or by locals called meti. tidal activity on the island of Tanimbar Kei itself is included in the type of multiple tides (mix prevailing semidiurnal) which occur in the morning or afternoon and night.
Apart from having to be good at counting tides, the waves in the ocean towards Tanimbar Kei Island are also known to be quite high, especially in the gap between the islands of Nuhuta and Tanimbar Kei Island. the wave heights in these waters are influenced by ocean currents flowing from the arafura sea to the banda sea, where tanimbar kei island is one of the intermediate zones between the two.
Even so, the island of Tanimbar Kei remains an option for around 750 residents to continue to settle and make a living. This island is very rich in natural resources which are still very well maintained. according to the story of the community, the tanimbar kei island was once the second most populous island after the island of dullah (tual city).
one of the Dutch East Indies colonial records in the 1880s mentioned that at that time the island was inhabited by around 1,000 inhabitants. Likewise for researchers and tourists, this island is always interesting to visit. visiting tourists and researchers on this island reaches 50 percent of the total visits recorded in the village guest book.
interestingly the majority of tourist visits on this island are dominated by foreign tourists. In the last 10 years, tourists from 23 countries have visited this island which is dominated by European tourists. This island has also attracted French anthropologist Dr.Cecile Barraud to stay for years to observe the life of the indigenous people of Tanimbar Kei. One of the attractions of Tanimbar Kei Island is the ancestral customs and culture that are still held firmly by the people.
On the island of Kei, only on this island are traditional houses that have been preserved in form and authenticity for hundreds of years. For the tanimbar kei community, adat has become the guideline of the community to carry out various activities and solve various problems and problems.
Adat is also a source of guidance in the management of natural resources including to regulate the extraction of natural resources both on land and at sea. various customary regulations regarding resource management have even been made in writing (recorded) into village regulations and customary regulations. in order to safeguard the livelihoods of natural resources, the community uses the Resource Sasi system. It is a customary system to limit community activities in a particular region or time. Resources are intended to provide opportunities for land, coastal and marine natural resources to provide opportunities for growth and development so that sustainability can be maintained. Determination of sasi time is already scheduled or based on natural signs. on Tanimbar Kei Island there are various sations for natural resources, including:
- Sasi Lola (Throcus niloticus) is open 3 days a year,
- Sasi sea cucumbers are opened after closing sasi lola until when there are strong winds
- Sasi coconut island nuhuta is done for about 4-6 months and opened until the residents finish taking and making copra.
- Sasi objects, trees and certain animals.
Besides sasi, indigenous people also have other wisdom, especially those related to totenism (trust in certain animals). If in other areas there are still many people who catch trade in sea turtles, this is not the case on Tanimbar kei island. Turtle is a sacred animal that is not arbitrarily captured and traded. If there are people who find or catch turtles, then the catch should be owned by custom and must be presented to the traditional elders and eaten together. If there is a trade in buying turtles, the person is subject to customary sanctions and must pay a fine by slaughtering a pig and following a predetermined traditional ritual. This local wisdom is powerful enough to suppress turtle catches excessively on Tanimbar Kei island.
- Tanimbar Kei is 51 kilometers from Langgur, the capital of Southeast Maluku, and can be reached within four hours using a speed boat. There is no commercial shipping to this island, but we can rent a local fishing boat from the Debut District City. (Suh)
- There are no hotels or restaurants on Tanimbar Island, so staying and eating only relies on the locals. But there’s no need to worry, because the locals are very friendly and friendly, usually they will offer lodging and meals to every visitor.