Definition of Village According to Experts, Characteristics, Functions, and Types

Definition of village – Humans are social beings who cannot live alone. Everyone living in this world definitely needs the help of others. It is this interdependence that makes humans live in groups and in society.

Village community is a group of people or individuals who live in a place and are related to one another. Usually in a village community there will be regular or structured interactions.

The village is always synonymous with its environment where there are still lots of trees, so the air around it is fresh. The village has many designations in society in Indonesia. In the Sunda region, villages are often called kampung.

Meanwhile, in Madura, the village is called kanpong. Then in Aceh it is called gampong and in Padang it is called nagari. The village also means that its inhabitants always uphold the values ​​of togetherness and mutual cooperation. However, do you know what is meant by a village? Here is the explanation!

Definition of Village

The village is a legal community unit with household management based on the rights of origin and customs recognized by the central government and domiciled in the territory of the regional district.

Etymologically the word village comes from Sanskrit, namely deca which means homeland, hometown or birthplace. Geographically, a village or village is defined as “a group of houses or shops in a country area, smaller than and town” .

In addition to different mentions, experts also define villages with various meanings. Here’s the description:

The term village according to Prof. Drs. Widjaja , in his book entitled ” Village/Marga Government”,  states that the village is a legal community unit whose original structure is based on special initial rights. The basic ideas of village governance are diversity, participation, true autonomy, democratization and community empowerment.

The definition of a village according to Rifhi Siddiq , a village is an area with a low density inhabited by residents with homogeneous social interactions, livelihoods in the agricultural sector, and interactions with other areas around it.

While the notion of a village according to Sutardjo Kartohadikusumo , a village is a legal entity where a group of people live who are self-governing.

According to Paul H. Landis , a village is a space where social relations are characterized by high intensity with a population of less than 2500 people.

Village Characteristics

Villages have several characteristics that are different from urban areas, where the characteristics of villages are as follows:

  1. Village community life is considered very close to nature. Thus, jobs are organized to be homogeneous and dependent on agriculture, animal husbandry, and fishing.
  1. The population density is relatively low, the population ratio between regions is low, indicated by the presence of houses in villages with yards that are not close to neighbors.
  1. The next feature of the village is that the village community’s interaction is more intense. In addition, communication is also personal so that we know each other and help each other.
  1. The village community also has a very strong spirit of solidarity. This is because villagers have the same economic, cultural and life goals.
  1. Village community mobility also tends to be low. Indeed, limited employment opportunities and community ties mean that villagers rarely travel or go to faraway places.

Village Functions

Of course, every human or individual will use their feelings, thoughts, and desires to interact with their environment. This is what makes humans need each other. In general, the functions of the village are as follows:

Village As Hinterland

One of the functions of the village is as a hinterland or buffer that supplies basic needs such as rice, corn and cassava. Not only that, this village also provides many other foods such as beans, soybeans, vegetables and fruits of all kinds.

Furthermore, the village in terms of economic potential functions as a granary of raw materials and labor. Regarding work activities, villages are agricultural villages, production villages, fishing villages and industrial villages.

Villages as Preservers of Local Wisdom

The next function of the village is to preserve local wisdom. There are many local cultures that still exist in rural communities. With a village, local culture will always be maintained and will continue to grow.

In addition, the village is also a source of food production. This food producer is obtained because the village area has more raw materials and agricultural land. Meanwhile, management is carried out within the city due to easier transportation and more complete technology.

Village as a Source of Labor

Villagers who live on the basis of mutual cooperation become productive forces and build power on the basis of mutual cooperation and mutual understanding. In addition, the village is also a source of labor for the city. It is undeniable that villagers work in the city as laborers or in the informal sector.

Villages as Development Partners

Apart from being a source of labour, rural communities also play a role as partners in urban development. This partnership will sooner or later be implemented, depending on the relationship or partnership carried out by the community in it.

Village Types

1. Self-help Village

A self-help village is a village whose inhabitants still adhere to or are bound by existing customs and traditions. The level of education is still relatively low, awareness of the importance of education is still relatively low.

Self-help villages depend on the production sector to serve the main needs of the family, there are no production businesses to serve industrial needs or external market needs. So that the potential of the village cannot be utilized optimally.

The characteristics of Self-Help Village are as follows:

  1. The livelihoods of self-help village communities are still homogeneous and agrarian in nature.
  2. The village is still closed to the “influence” of the outside environment.
  3. The technology used by the community is still weak; agricultural or even industrial technology.
  4. The population is small; the population is still very small.
  5. In public and private life, adhere to customs.
  6. The relationship between groups/social interaction is very close.
  7. The family has a social control function.
  8. The existence of facilities and infrastructure is very inadequate.
  9. The village/area is still isolated from other villages/areas.
  10. Fulfilling the needs of daily life “Food needs” are still fulfilled in the village itself.

2. DIY Village

A self-help village is a village that is in the process of being developed with a higher level of progress than a self-help village. In villages that are self-employed, the existence of customs in society has begun or is undergoing a transition or transition, in villages that are independent, outside influences begin to enter, then change the way the village thinks.

Swakarya Village is also characterized by the diversity of community work, people’s livelihoods are starting to develop not only in the main area but also in the secondary area.

Furthermore, the development of village facilities and infrastructure has also begun to be felt, where the existence of these facilities and infrastructure supports the productivity of village communities in terms of work and social life. Swakarya Village is also commonly understood as a transitional village or transition from an independent village to an independent village.

The characteristics of the Swakarya Village are as follows:

  1. The level of public education began to increase, awareness of the importance of education began to increase.
  2. The population exceeds the Swadaya village and residents start arriving from outside the village (immigrants).
  3. Customs and customs are still alive but not strictly binding.
  4. The existence of technology began to be utilized in life or daily activities.
  5. The level of the economy began to grow gradually for the better.
  6. It is felt that facilities and infrastructure such as roads can be a link to other regions and open economic pathways.
  7. Self-help villages are no longer as isolated as self-help villages, although access to the heart of the economy is not entirely smooth.
  8. Community production activities no longer only serve basic needs but also towards secondary needs.

3. Self-sufficient Village

Self-sufficient Village is often considered as a developing village or developed village label. In terms of meaning, a self-sufficient village is a village that is more advanced than an independent village and is no longer bound by custom.

In this self-sufficient village, the community has the ability to utilize and develop natural resources or local village potential, related to local/regional development activities.

The community has a high level of education and awareness in an effort to develop and improve or increase the potential of their village to become a growing village, a developed and independent village.

The characteristics of the Self-sufficient Village are:

  1. The self-sufficient village has a relatively large population, so settlements are starting to get denser.
  2. Society is no longer bound by customs, it is flexible.
  3. In terms of location, self-sufficient villages are usually located in the regency capital.
  4. Having adequate public works, complete equipment and infrastructure.
  5. Communities participate actively and effectively.
  6. Public awareness and interest in the construction and development of high-tech villages.
  7. Diverse society; level of education and background (there are many immigrant communities).
  8. Community economic activities develop in various ways, both primary production and secondary production, not only goods but also services.

Village Autonomy

According to Candra Kusuma Putra in his article in the journal ” Management of Village Fund Allocations in Empowering Village Communities in Empowering Village Communities” states that a village is a group of people who live together or an area, has a set of regulations located in the territory of an elected tribal chief and an autonomous group.

Thus, in the system of government of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, autonomy is recognized and leaders through the government can be empowered to delegate authority to the government or local government to carry out some government work properly.

In the meaning and law regarding the village is its own community, namely a self-governing community. With the awareness that the village has the right to regulate and manage community interests in accordance with local conditions and socio-cultural conditions, the status of an autonomous village is indeed very strategic, so it ‘needs attention’.

Because strong village autonomy will greatly affect the achievement of regional autonomy. Thus, in the system of government of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, autonomy is recognized and the leader through the government can be authorized to give authority to the government or regional government to organize a certain number of administrations.

The ideological basis of regulation concerns diversity, participation, true independence, democratization and community empowerment. Government based on Government Regulation Number 72 of 2005 is the government and its advisory bodies that carry out government work in regulating and managing the interests of the local community based on origins and customs that are recognized and respected in the system of government of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.

This is a government activity, more clearly this thinking is based on the performance of the government (abbreviated as administrator), or what is always called “the Government”. The chairperson is the policy enforcer while the Advisory Board and the Oversight Body are the Policy Makers (Regulations).

Village Authority and Purpose

By law, villages have the same authority as stipulated in Government Regulation Number 6 of 2014 concerning Villages, namely:

  1. Carry out existing government work based on village origin rights.
  1. Carry out government work in the district/city area whose activities are delegated to the village, especially government work that can directly improve community services.
  1. Joint management by the government, provincial government and district/city government.
  1. Another government job assigned to villages is law enforcement.

Villages also have rights and obligations regulated in Law Number 6 of 2014 concerning Villages, namely Villages have the right to:

  • Organize and manage the benefit of the community based on the rights of origin, customs, and socio-cultural values ​​of the village community.
  • Establish and manage village institutions.
  • Get a source of income

The village is obliged:

  • Maintain and maintain the cohesiveness, unity and harmony of the village community in the context of national harmony and the integrity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.
  • Improving the standard of living of village communities compared to the Development of Democratic Life.
  • Providing and improving services to village communities

While the purpose of forming a village is to increase the ability to organize government effectively and efficiently and improve services to the community in accordance with the level of development and progress of development.

In the process of generating development to the base level, several conditions must be met to form a village, namely:

  1. Population factor, at least 2500 people or 500 heads of families.
  2. The general factor is affordability in community services and development.
  3. The location factor has a traffic network and communication between hamlets.
  4. Infrastructure factors, availability of transportation, marketing, social facilities, production and village governance.
  5. Socio-cultural factors, there is harmony in religious life and social life in the relationship between customs and traditions.
  6. Factors of community life, especially where people’s livelihoods are located.


Thus a review of the meaning of the village, its characteristics, functions, and types.