Heka Leka & Malessy

The Meaning of "HEKA LEKA" and "MALESSY"


Siwa Lima or Alifuru on the island of Seram is an eternal law governs the universe and the journey that a human should take. “Heka” means: Division, War, while the word “Leka” means: Birth, Rebirth, New Birth.

The law of “Heka Leka” explains and confirms that within the universe, within the scope of people's life, and within a man himself, there is surely a natural process that a society will inevitably experience. The fact is a man must “Heka” (sacrifice), which culminates at the sublimation point, where “Leka” (new birth) happens. However, it can be defined in several definition according to its context.

“Heka Leka” within the scope of society : Based on historical sources, both literature and passed down stories of the ancestors, the past lives are full of fights and wars between Seram social groups, namely Pata Siwa and Pata Lima. The war is known as The War of Pata Siwa and Pata Lima. In history, it is visualized clearly that there is a war happening, followed by the process of killing and being killed, which ending with being reborn.

“Heka Leka” within Nature : Like the staple crop of Maluku, Sago. The trunk is cut (split-divided) in several parts for the planting process in order to obtain new plants. This is called “Heka”. During the harvest, it is time for cleansing and retrieving the contents. This is called “Leka”.

“Heka Leka” within human being : As is the case with human life on Seram Island, where a child is born and grows into a teenager with a vitality (lust, passion) to face a challenge, sentiment (sense of soul) and intellect (mental power) to fight, this process is called “Heka”. The initiation process is called Kakehan. Kakehan is a ritual for men on Seram Island in which a young man, in process of becoming an adult male, should pass various agreed rules, such as being exiled or living alone in the forest for a specified period, with no food provided. He himself should find food for his life and in the process may face wild beasts or other human beings in the forest, he must kill them and bring the body of the animal or head of the man back to the village in order to show it to the community when he returns. If the community, especially the leader sees the evidence, the man would be legally confirmed as Kakehan. This inauguration process is called “Leka”.

The spirit of “Heka Leka” in the historical philosophy is inspiration : The fact that space, time, media and values become the frame of history. “Heka Leka” can actually be transformed into a new space, media and value. In this modern era, education becomes a room that is very likely to be developed into the foundation of everything. As of today, the social process the society experiences in space and time are similar to what happened in the past. People still experience the process of division and war (conflict). Awareness of a conflict as an evolution process is natural. Departing from that concept and the Mollucans background, a post-conflict revolution is needed in order to be born again.

Education will be the medium in bringing the spirit of “Heka Leka” to life as a new birth for the people of Maluku. Children, as the next generation, will continue the history of Moluccans life in the future. Therefore they have to be competent in becoming the heirs of the spirits of rebirth. Education becomes a vessel for rebirth that carries the spirit of “Heka Leka” in its ideals, values, attitudes and even the future of Maluku.


In the dance tradition used by Maluku dancers, there are “Malessy” or warriors. “Malessy” in Maluku history is not sufficiently exposed. “Malessy” historically refers to warriors readying to fight in the battlefield. In Indonesian dictionary, soldiers are related with the military. However, “Malessy”, as intended in the native Maluku language, is an army led by a chieftain.

This interpretation inspires the present meaning where, in embodying the value of education, we see “Malessy” as educators. Inspiring education isn’t simply in the students’ part, but a reliable educator should also be prepared. Hence, preparing a reliable educator is akin to preparing “Malessy” or warriors who are ready to serve.

"Malessy" or soldier in the context of "Heka Leka" is all people who voluntarily and actively involved in various activities of "Heka Leka". As a “Malessy”, they are actually preparing to be future leaders who will serve the larger community. These are young men and women who learn to understand reality and needs in Maluku and learn to think critically, creatively and innovatively to do something from their potential to solve problems in Maluku. Through all these activities, they learn to be powerful Maluku leaders who understand the reality in Maluku and understand the right approaches to encourage people to do something for the improvement of Maluku. Leaders who learn from the basic, grow together with the community and have a heart and passion to develop Maluku for a better future.