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Indonesia in Focus

Archive for the Culture of Java Category

The Story of `Gatutkaca Luweng’

March 30th, 2008 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

Following is a synopsis of the Gatutkaca Luweng drama, which the Wayang Wong Bharata performed on Jan. 5, 2008, from 8:30-11:15 p.m. at their home theater:


Traditional Art Form: Yogyakarta, Central Java

November 20th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

mini-creating-wayang.jpgPucung village in Bantul regency, Yogyakarta, is one of the places in the country in which its crafts is made from animal skin. The craftsmen have learned their skills from their parents, so it’s a generational practice despite their meagre amount of income. A mother of two, Sartina, 26, has known the craft of creating shadow puppet skin since she was in fourth grade. After she is finished with her household chore, she paints on pieces of skin to be used for fan souvenirs (kipas). Most of the craftsmen in Pucung village are daily laborers in which businessmen, who purchase the raw material, use their service for the finishing part, such as cutting and painting.


Sangiran Museum: Sragen, Central Java

November 9th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments 1 Comment »

A student group entered Sangiran Museum in Sragen, Central Java, and enthusiastically looked at the various fossils on display, which date back from hundreds of thousands to millions of years ago. All of the fossils are kept in 15 vitrines at the museum, which is also called the Conservation Center of Early Man Site.


The Badui People: Banten, East Java

October 29th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

mini-badui_mt-kendeng.jpgThe remote Kanekes village in Banten, East Java, is filled with steep hills where sugar palm trees, bamboo and wild grass surround a small mountain trail. This is the path leading to the village of the Badui people, an indigenous tribe that lives a strictly traditional life. The area is surrounded by rough mountainous terrain that requires considerable physical effort to trek through. Despite the occasional extreme conditions, the Badui village is still an attractive tourist site as an article in the Jakarta Post explains.


Love Potions: Madura Island, East Java

October 2nd, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments 2 Comments »

The Indonesian island of Madura is famous for two things: bull racing and love potions.The concoctions made and sold on the island off the east coast of Java are touted as a natural way of restoring youth to a woman’s reproductive canal without having to resort to plastic surgery.


Benjang Tradtional Game: Bandung, West Java

October 2nd, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments 1 Comment »

mini-benjang21.jpgBenjang is a traditional game that is believed to have been developed in the Islamic boarding schools of Ujungberung, Cobolerang and Cinunuk districts in Bandung regency. Benjang players usually pray to have fun and for fair play before a game. The instruments used in benjang include the terbang gendang (a conical-shaped drum resting on crossbeams and beaten with the hands), the bedug (a large drum suspended horizontally) and the trumpet. Sundanese songs are also performed. Benjang is a form of sumo-like fighting in which the main aim is to push your opponent out of the arena using your shoulders as you are not allowed to use your hands.


The Panji Legends

September 25th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

The Mahabharata and Ramayana Indian epics are reasonably familiar to literati in the West where they’ve been infrequently performed. The Panji legends, once well-known throughout Southeast Asia, are now foreign outside Java — and to much of the present generation of Indonesians who prefer TV to live theater.


Javanese Gambus Music

September 20th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

javanese-gambus.jpg Gambus is the Indonesian word for a stringed instrument that belongs to the lute family, has six strings and is shaped like half a pear, but it can also be used to denote a style of music that is strongly influenced by Arabic culture. The lyrics of gambus music, which is often played at Muslim celebrations, are also usually in Arabic.


Indonesians in Focus: Marwoto

September 16th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

It was the very last scene of a ketoprak (Javanese folk theater) production at the Yogyakarta Arts Center. The clown figure, played by Marwoto, had been defeated by his opponent. Wounded and bleeding, clearly dying, he staggered a few paces and fell to the ground.


Mlangi in Ramadhan: Yogyakarta, Central Java

September 14th, 2007 | Username By Barrie | Comments No Comments »

bridalprocession-malang.jpg On Monday afternoon, just days ahead of the Islamic fasting month, the call to prayer echoed throughout Mlangi, one of the oldest villages in Sleman, Yogyakarta. Men wearing sarongs and caps hurried to the biggest mosque in the village, Jami’ Mlangi, to attend the prayer gathering.


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