Learning from the Komiu Foundation: Recognizing Natural Signs of Bird Behavior


Disasterchannel.co,- Friend, you must be familiar with the story of the people at the foot of the mountain, about one of the signs that the mountain will erupt, starting with the descent of animals from the top of the mountain. Many societies make the unnatural behavior of animals a sign of impending distress. Not only in the mountains, even in coastal areas and other areas there are stories about people using animals as a sign of impending danger.

Reflecting on the 2004 tsunami tragedy in Aceh, in an article published by BBC Indonesia. Before the tsunami hit the coast in Aceh Province, residents noticed unusual animal behavior. This anomaly can be seen from elephants running to higher ground, birds in the lowlands leaving their nests, and residents’ pet dogs who don’t want to leave their homes.

The Kaili people, who are scattered along the Palu Valley in Central Sulawesi, have long recognized signs of an important event coming through observations of animal behavior. Certain animal behaviors are known to have meaning that there will be important events shortly after animal behavior is caught by the Kaili people. Even the local knowledge of the Kaili people is very specific to certain events and types of animals.

The Kaili tribe originally inhabited the highlands in the hills around the Palu Valley. They have a close relationship with nature, apart from naming places after plants and important events in the past. The Kaili people also have a close relationship with living things, especially animals, namely birds as a marker of an important event that will soon occur.

Observations and research conducted by KOMIU (Kompas Cares for Forest Foundation) have at least proven the association of the Kaili people with birds as a marker of an important event. Specifically, the Kaili people recognize the types of birds with specific events that will occur. KOMIU research conducted in Toribo Hamlet, Amal Village, Sindue District, Donggala Regency on the Kaili Kori Tribe community. At least the data collected, there are 5 types of birds with different event markers. Starting from birds that remind time (Pergam Tutu/Lovi), call rain (Crow Sulawesi/Volo-volo), giver of sad news (Cekakak Sungao/Pepate/Tengke/Seko), markers of the prosperity of agricultural products (Woodpecker Sulawesi/Balitutu), to markers there are residents who are pregnant out of wedlock (Tuwur Asia/Owuo/Koreu).

The high level of local knowledge possessed by the Kaili people in Central Sulawesi is a very important source of wealth of information. The big question that hangs in the minds of modern humans today is whether this information can still be used as a mitigation effort in dealing with disasters in modern times? Reflecting on the abundance of information about local knowledge which has also been supported by further research. This information gave rise to positive hypotheses regarding increased mitigation efforts in the community. However, preserving information by passing it on to younger generations is no less important. Especially for the purposes of disaster mitigation which is very important for the existence of civilization that lasts until now and into the future. Preserving values, traditions and culture in written form is another form of disaster mitigation that can strengthen the resilience of today’s modern society.

Author: Iqbal Ramadhan

Editor: Lien Sururoh


Lasimpo, G,. Policy Brief Mitigasi Bencana Berbasis Pengalaman Suku Kaili Di Lembah Palu. KOMIU Kelompok Muda Peduli Hutan




Photo: komiu.id