virginity on sale in Ainiba, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia
Prostitution is the oldest work on the globe and it happen everywhere. The varieties reason why people choosing prostitution as a job and we can not make it into a general reason. Even, the sources of prostitution is on the culture where people life (Koentjoro, 1997). In Indonesia, prostitution is well developed on Majapahit empire era, this come from the kitab Mahabrata (Mahabrata’s book) which tell us about affair and prostitution. One of the oldest prostitution sources in Indonesia is on Ainiba, Nusa Tenggara Timur. Nusa Tenggara Timur is closed to East Timor and covered by Timor Sea, Flores Sea and Sawu Sea.
Ainiba is a small village located in coordinate 9° 3’ 10” north and 124° 48’ 58” east. People there in majority work as farmer or fisher man and they are categorized as a poor community. Long time ago, Ainiba is under Lidak Empire’s authority and when the king looking for his concubine, he went to the village and chooses girl. The girl is called anak nona, that sometimes being use as great prize from the authoritarian who lead a small area under Lidak. As a gift, the King gives the parent’s girl amount of land, house and cattle. When the King chooses one of parent’s girls, automatically this girl give prosperity and pride for her family.
Nowadays, Lidak is unauthorized anymore but the custom becomes a tradition, we call it virginity on sales tradition. Parents is an instigator, and when their daughter rejected to sale, parents frighten her that their family will be curse. Parents tell her daughter that she is a hero, save family member and a good child like cited from the bible. Ainiba’s family consists of more than three members, mostly poor and covered by kinship tradition, which is why virginity on sale is being used to feed the family member.
From the girl side, we can view this behavior as a pride, material appreciation and modeling for her environment. The buyer who sense the virginity is show or point out his name, it call hasainaran. Now, the buyer is from Chinese ethnicity who command the economic and from the local citizen like official functionary or land lord. Girl age is between 8-17 years old, younger and prettier will be valued higher. The interesting side is practice of virginity on sale is take place at their house and guiding by her parents or family. House is build from bebak, palm of fan leaf (Eorassus Flabellifer leaf), with 5m X 6m size only and room only separated by curtain.
(this article is based on my friend's research, Jeny Bailao)