Tuja'i: A Ritual Communication Medium in the Gorontalo Community
This qualitative research aims to describe one of the oral literary forms still used in Gorontalo's traditional events, known as "Tuja'i." This oral literature is recited during official receptions in Gorontalo. While other traditions continue to evolve, Tuja'i also adapts to changes in society. Therefore, preserving Tuja'i is crucial as it serves as the foundation for studying oral literature. The Tuja'i ceremony is not merely a complementary element to Gorontalo's traditional ceremonies; instead, it conveys moral messages that pass on ancestral wisdom to the current leaders in Gorontalo. The research incorporates the theories of orality by Albert Bates Lord and Ruth Finnegan, with an ethnographic approach applied to explore data on leadership and cultural aspects within the Gorontalo community. The research findings highlight the characteristics of ritual communication in Tuja'i, including: (1) ritual as action, (2) performance, (3) awareness and willingness, (4) irrational aspects, (5) ritual as distinct from recreation, (6) collective teamwork, (7) expression of social relations, (8) subjective and indicative meanings, (9) effectiveness of symbols, (10) expressive or social behavior, (11) customary behavior, (12) recurring regularity of behavior, (13) uninformed communication, (14) sacredness, and (15) media and messages. In conclusion, Tuja'i holds significant cultural value and remains an integral part of Gorontalo's oral literature. Its ritual communication aspects convey profound meanings, cultural traditions, and moral messages, making it a cherished and essential element in the customs of the Gorontalo community.