The tradition of jumping stones or what is commonly referred to by Nias people as fahombo batu was originally carried out by a young Nias man to show that the young man in question was considered to be mature and physically mature. Furthermore, if the young man is able to jump over a stone that is arranged to reach a height of 2 m with a thickness of 40 cm perfectly then that means that the young man will later become the youth defender of his village Samu’i Mbanua or La’imba Hor, if there is a conflict with the villagers other.
But one thing to note is that the stone jumping tradition is not found in all areas of Nias and is only found in certain villages such as in the Teluk Dalam region. And one more thing, this tradition can only be followed by men, and in no way permits women to try it because stone jumping is an agility arena that later when it succeeds in jumping perfectly the concerned will be slapped as a defender of his village when there is a dispute with another village.
Because of this prestigious stone jumping ability, the young man who had succeeded in conquering this stone for the first time would not only be his pride but also his family. For the family of the young man who was the first to be able to jump over a 2-meter high stone, he would usually slaughter a few cattle as a form of thanksgiving for the success of his son.
High-rock sight that is far above the height of a young man
Because of a pride, every young man does not want to be outdone by others. Since the age of around 7-12 years or according to one’s growth, boys usually play with jumping ropes. They stuck two poles next to each other, made a stone, then jumped up. From the low, and for a long time to be raised. There is also with the help of two friends who hold each end of the rope, and the others jump in turns. They play with a spirit of togetherness and struggle.
Uniquely, it is said that despite all the hard training not all young people finally made it through the collections of the rock, not even a few of them got broken bones because they were stuck while trying to pass the stone. But not infrequently there is also a young man who only runs once in two but is immediately able to pass the stone. According to local beliefs this is influenced by genetic factors. If his father or grandfather is a brave man and a stone jumper, then there must be someone who can jump rock among his sons. If his father was a stone jumper when he was young, then his children would be able to jump even though the training was a little. Some even only try one or two times, then, can jump perfectly without training and warming up.
The ability and agility of jumping stones are also associated with old beliefs. Someone who has just learned to jump in stone, he first asked for blessing and obeyed the spirits of the stone jumper who had died. He must request permission from the spirits of the ancestors who often jumped over the stone. The aim is to avoid accidents or disasters for the jumpers while on air, then drop to the ground. Because there are also many jumpers who fail and get accidents.
So why would the young men who were able to jump stone become knights in their village? That was because when there was a war between the villages, the soldiers who attacked had to have the skills to jump to save themselves, because every village in the Teluk Dalam area on average was surrounded by fences and village fortresses. Therefore, when the tradition of hunting people’s heads or in their designations is carried out by the human head hunter when chased or run away, they must be able to jump the target village fortress or fort that has been built from stone or bamboo or from the tali’anu tree so as not to trapped in enemy territory. That is also why villages are erected on hills or hili mountains so that the enemy does not easily enter and does not quickly escape.
And for the young man who can survive the trap of the enemy who will then return to his village with all his honor and be hailed as a hero.
Reference : http://arsipbudayanusantara.blogspot.com/2013/08/tradisi-lompat-batu-nias.html