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Kuda Lumping at Glance

Kuda Lumping ( Foto @U-Report )
Horse is an animal that has four legs, strapping body and some people said that horse is like Don Juan at animal world. Horse is the most handsome, gallant and masculine animal. But in Indonesia, especially Central Java there is some horses that only have two legs, small, not masculine and also not handsome. What kind of this horse? Yes.. Kuda lumping. Kuda lumping is not an animal like others animal. This horse – Kuda lumping doesn’t eat some grasses. The person who rides kuda lumping that eating the grass. Not only grass but also some glasses.

Because of their love with kuda lumping, The famous child composer Mr. and Mrs. Kasur compose the song with title “ Kuda Lumping

Observe the lyric below :

Ada suatu permainan
Permainan lucu sekali
Orang naik kuda
Tapi kuda bohong
Namanya kuda lumping

Anehnya permainan ini
Orangnya bisa lupa diri
Dia makan rumput
Juga makan kaca

Itu kuda lumping kuda lumping kuda lumping kesurupan
Itu kuda lumping kuda lumping kuda lumping loncat-loncatan

Awas jangan dekat-dekat
Melihat permainan ini
Karena akibatnya
Bisa berbahaya
Itulah kuda lumping

traditional instrument

According the lyrics above, it is clear that kuda lumping is a game, the horse is not real horse. And the unique one in this game, the player can forget with himself. In Javanese it called as “Ndadi” (trance). At the lyrics also stated that we don’t be closer with kuda lumping. Why? Is it wild animal? Does the horse rampage?

No... So? Every body who closer with kuda lumping can be touched with it will be also tranced.

Kuda Kepang

What Jathilan Is?
Jathilan is a traditional art, more precisely it is called a folk dance like dayakan or topeng ireng. Jathilan is known with the people from Yogyakarta and also on Central Java. Jathilan also known as jaran kepang, kuda kepang or kuda lumping. The word “horse-kuda” because at these traditional art also performing the collaboration between dance and magic. The collaboration of both is played by using property kuda kepang. Kepang is a webbing of bamboo.

The word jathilan is from the Javanese sentence “ Jarane jan thil-thilan tenan “. We can say it in English with the horse is real dance unwell organized. It can be happened when the dancers trance.

There are some characters playing on jathilan performing. They are kuda lumping, Barongan and Celengan. Each charaters have different characters. Horse describe the characters of might, brave, never give up, and always ready in all conditions. The horse that made of webbing bamboo also has meaning. The human life sometimes sad and happy like webbing bamboo sometimes be wattled upper sometimes on the bottom part. Sometimes on left side sometimes on the right side. All of God’s destiny.

Barongan is the creepy characters, big eyes, big nose, large fanged teeth. It shows that he is very dominant. The character of Barongan is impolite, arrogant. Wild boar with the character greedy without know whose belongs the food. The important thing is the boar satisfied and gorged. It describes the greedy is like wild boar.

The last, in philosophy, each traditional instruments using in performing kuda lumping also have different meaning. Kendang has sound ndang... ndang... tak ... ndlab means “yen wis titi wancine ndang-ndango mangkat ngadeb marang pangeran” In English it can be said that if it is the time, please wake quickly up to face your God. Don’t be delayed it.

Barongan Face

The History of Jathilan
There is no historical records stated about jathilan that can be as a certain source. But there is a story from mouth to mouth from generation to generation stated that jathilan is an art the describe the struggle of Raden Patah and Sunan Kalijaga againt the Netherlands Imperialism.  We that Sunan Kalijaga always used art, tradition and culture to closer with community. So the story of the struggle was described in jathilan.

The other version told that jathilan describe about the struggle of Pangeran Diponegoro. It is like folk dance topeng ireng or dayakan.

The last version stated that jathilan is a story of Panji Asmarabangun. He was the prince of Jenggala Manik. The perform of the dancers describe the figure of Panji Asmarabangun for examples the accessories they wear on their wrists, arm, necklace and keris. They also wear a crown called “Kupluk Panji”


The Motion of Jathilan
The first time, the dancers’ motion are slowly, dynamic, and simple. The instruments are also played so simple likes drum, kendang, kenong, gong and slompret. Slompret is a flute with the shrill sound. The songs they sing when accompany the dance has some moral value. The moral value suggest the people to do the good thing and always remember with the God.

After for a moment, the dancers will be trance by the spirit so almost unconscious about what they do. They do some dynamic motions follow the gamelan sounds.

When the dancers trance, the jathilan dancers don’t know what they do. The dance motion begins unpredictable. At this condition the word jathilan “jarane jan thil-thilan tenan” can we see. The dancers trance.

When the dancers trance, the players able to do some impossible things. It cannot be accepted by human mind. They eat some glasses, grass, flower and leaves.

In every Jathilan performing, there are some figure that should be there. We called them with “pawang “. The duty of pawang is to control and responsible to the dancers when they trance.

Hubungi Kami


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