Text and photos : Basri Marzuki

FOG still marching in the sky. A cold morning still covered Lore Valley. But Suwardi Tudai, the chief shepherd at an ancestral farm in the village of Winowanga, East Lore, Poso Regency, Central Sulawesi, has moved from his home. He will make sure the buffalo and cows are ready to be released into the vast savanna at the tip of the eye.

So every day, hundreds of buffalos and cows are raised in the 2,500-hectare field. The ranch, which has existed since 1818, has been managed from generation to generation by the family and has been a heritage that has been continued for generations.

More than two centuries later, farms whose management was also interfered with by local adat institutions still survive today. The presence of traditional institutions in the ancestral farms was not without reason, because the distribution of all livestock products was only for traditional activities that perpetuated adat.

“Buffaloes and cows on this farm are also sold, but not to the public, so only for traditional activities such as weddings, salvation, or other traditional activities. The result is that the sales are used again to finance this farm, “admitted SN Ama, the local adat leader.

Although lasting until now, the wisdom of managing ancestral farms is not without problems. The problem of tiller or buffalo and cow seeds becomes the main obstacle. The fertility rate of livestock on the farm is fairly low. How not, the ratio of male cattle to female is only 1:12, whereas ideally 1: 5.

Winowanga Village Government tried to intervene, but the limitations in many ways did not provide a significant solution for the continuation of the ancestral farms.

“We have several times appealed to related agencies, but until now there has been no realization,” said Alpius Rangka, head of Winowanga Village.

And now, the only ancestral farm of historical value that always invites admiration every visitor is “gasping” through his days. Buffaloes and cows and herdsmen and traditional elders are “hobbling” to perpetuate the story of civilization in the area. ***

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KABUT  masih berarak di langit. Pagi yang dingin masih menyelimuti Lembah Lore. Tetapi Suwardi Tudai, ketua penggembala di peternakan leluhur di desa Winowanga, Lore Timur, Kabupaten Poso, Sulawesi Tengah itu sudah beranjak dari rumahnya. Ia akan memastikan kerbau dan sapi-sapi siap dilepas ke padang savana yang luasnya seujung mata memandang.

Begitulah setiap harinya, ratusan kerbau dan sapi diternakkan di padang 2.500 hektare itu. Peternakan yang sudah ada sejak tahun 1818 itu dikelola secara turun temurun oleh keluarga dan menjadi warisan leluhur yang terus dipertahankan dari generasi ke generasi.

Lebih dari dua abad berlalu, peternakan yang pengelolaannya juga dicampuri oleh lembaga adat setempat masih bertahan hingga kini. Kehadiran lembaga adat di peternakan leluhur itu bukan tanpa alasan, karena distribusi seluruh hasil ternak hanya diperuntukkan bagi kegiatan-kegiatan yang bersifat tradisi yang melanggengkan adat.

“Kerbau dan sapi di peternakan ini juga dijual, tapi tidak untuk umum, jadi hanya untuk kegiatan adat seperti pesta pernikahan, selamatan, atau kegiatan adat lainnya. Hasilnya penjualannya digunakan kembali untuk membiayai peternakan ini,” aku SN Ama, ketua adat setempat.

Meski langgeng hingga kini, kearifan mengelola peternakan leluhur itu bukan tanpa masalah. Problem anakan atau bibit kerbau dan sapi menjadi ganjalan utama. Angka fertilitas hewan ternak di peternakan itu terbilang sangat rendah. Bagaimana tidak, rasio ternak pejantan terhadap terhadap betina hanya 1:12, padahal idealnya 1:5.

Pemerintah Desa Winowanga berusaha turun tangan, namun keterbatasan dalam banyak hal tidak memberi solusi siginifikan bagi kerbelanjutan peternakan leluhur itu.

“Sudah beberapa kali kami memohon kepada dinas terkait, namun hingga kini belum ada realisasinya,” ungkap  Alpius Rangka, kepala Desa Winowanga.

Dan kini, satu-satunya peternakan leluhur bernilai historis yang selalu mengundang decak kagum setiap pengunjung itu sedang “megap-megap” menjalani hari-harinya. Kerbau dan sapi-sapi beserta penggembala dan tetua adatnya sedang “tertatih-tatih” melanggengkan cerita peradaban di daerah itu. ***