Social Structure...
Ruling Families...
Read Guestbook
Sign Guestbook

Please Make a Donation

Home >>History >>Walak And Pakasa'an

Walak And Pakasa'an

By: Jessy Wenas

Walak and Pakasa'an

According to the Tontemboan language dictionary which is quoted by Prof G.A. Wilken in the year 1912 the meaning of Walak is:

  1. Line of descent
  2. Group of inhabitants
  3. Part of the inhabitants
  4. Dwelling place of the line of descendants.
So Walak carries two meanings i.e. a group of inhabitants of one line of descendants and dwelling place of a group of inhabitants of one line of descendants.
Kepala Walak (Walak head) means leader of the community of inhabitants of one line of descendants.
Tu'ur Imbalak means central dwelling area of the first place before a community creates offspring branches.
Mawalak means dividing land according to the number of descendant branches..
Ipawalak means dividing land according to the sum of the first children, not including cousins and great grandchildren..

The research of G.A. Wilken belies the report of Dutch resident Wensel who wrote that the word Walak is derived from the Malay language Balok (beam), because the Kepala Walak (Walak head) of the Minahasa had to prepare a beam of wood for the Dutch East-Indies Government in the 18th century. The word Walak is an original Minahasa word from the area of Tontemboan, Tombuluk, Tonsea and Tondano. We don't know the number of Walak in the Minahasa before the Dutch era in 1679. When the Minahasa closed an agreement with the Dutch VOC there were 20 Walak in the Minahasa. In the beginning of the 19th century the number of Walak in the Minahasa was 27.

The unision of a few Walak who had family ties and same language dialect created a “pakasa'an” so the Walak heads of the Pakasa'an of Tombulu in the 17th century must be descendants of dotu Supit, Lontoh and Paat. The oldest Pakasa'an, according to “A'asaren Tuah Puhuhna”, written by J.G.F. Riedel in 1870, is Toungkimbut in the southern region of the Minahasa up to Mongondouw, Tountewoh in Tombatu up to the northern coast of Likupang on the eastside of the Minahasa and Tombulu in west Minahasa from Sarongsong to the northern coast of the Minahasa.

According to stories of a few Minahasa elder families, there were still two Pakasa'an in old Minahasa stories who went to the region of Gorontalo (today the descendants of archfather Suawa) and Tou-Ure and they permanently lived in the mountain area of Wulur-Mahatus. Tou-Ure means old people. According to the theory of the creation of the community of the age of large stones or “megaliths”, written by Drs. Teguh Asmar in his magazine “Prehistory of North Sulawesi” in the year 1986, the Megalith era was formed 2.500 years B.C. An example of the megalith era is to center adat (custom) ceremonies around large stones like Watu Pinawetengan. The stone age or Neoit age in North Sulawesi started in the first Milennium B.C. or about a thousand years B.C. An example is the creation of Waruga sarcophagi. In those days the Minahasa people, who had a Malesung culture, already knew an organized government in the form of a community of one line of descent, for instance the descendants of archfathers Soputan, Makaliwe, Mandei, Pinontoan, Mamarimbing, their highest leader had the title of Muntu-Untu, who lead the meeting at Batu Pinawetengan in the 7th century

The Pakasa’an Tou-Ure probably did not join the meeting at Pinawetengan to pledge allegiance to one line of descendants of Toar and Lumimu'ut where all Pakasa'an call themselves Mahasa, originating from the word Esa, meaning one, so Tou-Ure was left out of the stories of old Minahasa. It is not yet known in which century pakasa'an Tountewo split into two becoming Pakasa'an Toundanou and Tounsea giving the Minahasa four Pakasa'an, i.e. Toungkimbut changed to become Toumpakewa, Toumbuluk, Tonsea and Toundanou. The condition of Pakasa'an in the Minahasa at the time of the Dutch shows it changed again where Pakasa’an Tontemboan already split into two Pakasa'an regions Toundanouw (see picture) and already gave birth to pakasa'an Tondano, Touwuntu and Toundanou. Pakasa’an Tondano consists of walak Kakas, Romboken and Toulour. Pakasa’an Touwuntu consists of walak Tousuraya and Toulumalak that now is called Pasan as well as Ratahan. Pakasa’an Toundanou consists of walak Tombatu and Tonsawang.

Walak and Pakasa'an
The region of walak Toulour is somewhat different because besides covering the land it also divides the Tondano lake between sub-walak Tounour, being Touliang, and Toulimambot. Walak Bantik that is spread in Malalayang, Kema and Ratahan, while having Pakasa'an in Mongondouw - even though ethnic Bantik and also descendant of Toar and Lumimu'ut, does not have Pakasa'an. According to ethnic Bantik legend, in the past they arrived too late at the meeting at batu Pinawetengan. There are three dotu Muntu-Untu names in Minahasa legend namely Muntu-Untu of the 7th century from Toungkimbut (Tontemboan). Muntu-Untu of the 12th century from Tonsea - according to Tonsea stories. and Muntu-Untu of the 15th century, so till the Spanish era there have been three big meetings at batu Pinawetengan to make commitments to remain united.

Ratahan, Pasan, Ponosakan

The main data in this article is taken from a book that was published in 1871. In the beginning of the 16th century the Ratahan region was filled with trade with Ternate and Tidore, her harbour by the name of Mandolang is now called Belang. This harbour was busier at the time than the Manado harbour. The creation of Ratahan and Pasan is recounted as follows, at the time the king of Mongondouw, who was called Mokodompis, lived in Tompakewa, then Lengsangalu from the country of Pontak moved his tribe to the region of “Pikot” in southern Mandolang-Bentenan (Belang). Lengsangalu had two sons namely Raliu who later founded the country Pelolongan that subsequently became Ratahan, and Potangkuman married to the girl Towuntu who then founded the country Pasan. The country Toulumawak was led by its female country leader who was married to someone from Kema Tonsea by the name of Londok who did not return to Kema because of being blocked by an armada of boats of the Tolour people. As the Ratahan people were befriended with the Portuguese, that region was attacked by “Kerang” (Southern Philippines) sea pirates and pirates of Tobelo.

The Kepala Walak at the time who was named Soputan received help in the form of 800 soldiers from Tombulu, led by Makaware and his son who was called Watulumanap. After the war the Tombulu troops went back to their Pakasa'an but Watulunanap married with a girl from Ratahan and became the kepala Walak replacing Soputan who had already become blind. Between Minahasa and Ternate there are two small islands called Mayu and Tafure. The two islands became the transit harbour of Minahasa sailors. At the time there was competition between the Portuguese and the Spanyards where the Spanish took those two islands. Pandey from Tombulu who had become king of that island escaped with an armada of his boats, back to the MInahasa, but because of the westwind season was stranded in Gorontalo. Pandey's son named Potangkacontinued the journey and arrived in Ratahan. In Ratahan he was promoted to war chief because he was proficient in the use of Portugues cannons and firearms to counter attackers from Mongondouw in that region. In the year 1563 a man from Ternate was known by the name of “Watasina” because of the attacks of the Kora-kora armada from Ternate to chase away the Spanyards from that region (the book “De Katholieken en hare Missie” written by A.J. Van Aernsbergen). In the year 1570 the Portuguese and the Spanish conspired to kill the king of Ternate causing a lot of commotion in Ternate. Afterwards many Islam traders from Ternate and Tidore escaped to Ratahan. The attacks of sea pirates increased in Ratahan via Bentengan, sea pirates used slaves to row their boats. The captured slaves of the sea pirates escaped to Ratahan when at night the pirate armada was destroyed by Ratahan-Pasan soldiers.

The temporary conclusion that we may take from this collection of stories is:

  1. Inhabitants of this region are Touwuntu in the lowlands up to the Toulumawak edge of the waterside in the hills, they are descendants of arch father Soputan in the 7th century.
  2. The name of this arch father Soputan appears again as kepala walak (walak head) of that region in the 16th century with the kepala walak brothers Raliu and Potangkuman
  3. .
  4. The inhabitants of this region in the 16th century originate from the original inhabitants and those who came from Tombolu, Tompakewa (Tontemboan), Tonsea, Ternate and the prisoners of sea pirates, perhaps from Sangihe.

Big wars that hit this region destroyed Pakasa’an Touwuntu that split into small walaks that differed in language and customs namely Ratahan, Pasan, Ponosakan. The Kawanua community in Jakarta suggests to join this region back into one Pakasa'an with the name Toratan (Tou Ratahan-Pasan-Ponosakan). Because the countries of the people of Ratahan, Pasan, Ponosakan are cross mixed, their closeness is like grains of rice, soybeans and grinded corn that are mixed to become one. The inhabitants of this region indeed have inter-married since the government of dotu Maringka at the end of the 18th century.


© 2004 by Roderick. All rights reserved.write comments to: