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Naming Acehnese Babies

Abdul Manan


Published: 2022/06/01


The human life cycle is well respected by cultures around the world. Therefore ceremonies, rituals, and traditions are performed to honor it. This starts at the very beginning of life with newly born babies. One of the rituals performed by Acehnese people living in Blangporoh, South Aceh, Indonesia, is naming babies. This ethnographical study collected data related to the naming of babies through field observation, interviews, and documentation. Based on qualitative data analysis, it was found the ritual consisted of a series of activities. The ritual was begun by reciting [I]Barzanji (chants for Prophet Muhammad), then followed by giving gifts, shaving hair, naming the baby. For females, there was also a circumcision ritual. Those activities had a certain meaning for the local people since the early days, as a way to initiate and introduce the baby to the community and religion. The entire series of rituals not only celebrates and acknowledges the child, but also affirms its connection to the community, heritage, and culture. Besides, naming the baby is an important first step for the family to integrate the new baby into a progressively expanding set of kinship, fictive kinship, and other types of social relationships, thereby making it part of these social structures. Key Words: Life ritual, Names, Onomastics, Aceh, Peucicap

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