Seni Budaya

 Art and Culture of Malang

1.      Mask of Malang
Mask (topeng) as a product of fine arts is not only used as decoration, but also as the equipment of dance and theatre in some performances. In Malang, to be exact in the Kedung Monggo village, Pakisaji sub-distric and in the Jabung village, Tumpang sub-distric, lots of Topeng are made to use for the performance of an opera or “wayang topeng”.

The mask of Malang (topeng Malang) has special characteristics, such as their thick wood of randu wood (capok tree) or “cangkring”, which is rather dark in colour, with a carving on the forehead which is specially bulging, fashioned with a square chin and high cheek- bones. Some mask needs some ritual to make the carving mask has a magic power.

Decoratively, Malang masks are unique. They are different from any other mask art found in Java. There are five typical colurs used to deco rate the masks. The red colour symbolizes courage, the black colour symbolizes determined ambitions, the yellow colour symbolizes wisdom, the white colour indicates purified character and the green colour indicates peace.

The form of its throne and the expression of the mask especially the construction of “gelung” and “janang” and the eyes are not far different with the thrones of wayang on the relief of Jajagu temple. This is not surprising since the Jabung is located near Jajagu temple.

2.      Malang Mask Dance
Malang is famous for its dances. The topeng performance has a strong dramatic value, its performance pattern is good, while the garment music have special characteristics. The carving mask usually made to be used in an opera or "wayang topeng". What is interesting about the mask dance is that all the dancers representing some characters wear masks.

The characters in Malang theatrical mask dance are 64 and they play the roles of 64 figures in Panji tales. As in wayang kulit, the story is narrated and sung by a dhalang, who recreates the stories passed orally to him from generation to generation. The dancers do not speak themselves with the one exception of the clown, Patrajaya, who wears a half-mask allowing him to speak. While the other dancers move with grace and style, Patrajaya plays the fool: knock kneed, buck teeth, an old cloth tied loosely around his head, he provides the comic relief. New stories are improvised from time to time and old ones built upon to create something new.


3.      Walikan Language

Walikan language is created by Indonesian Patriot called Gerilya Rakyat Kota (GRK). This special language is considered as important language in warfare for ensuring the confidentiality, effectiveness of communication among militants as well as identification for comrades or adversaries.

In the colonial era, there are so many Dutch militants who become spies in Malang area. These spies are able to communicate using local language so that they can get information easily from GRK.

At that time, a patriot called Suyudi Raharno had an idea for making a new language between Malang militants. Then, that language became their identities while maintaning the information security. This language only had one way characteristic in pronunciation and writing. That is reversing from the back of the next read.

Now, that language is known as walikan language. For example : Ayo arek malang kabeh (javanese) becomes Ayo kera ngalam hebak (walikan language).


4.      Grebeg Wiratama Dance

This dance describes the spirit and heroism of soldiers who went to war. In addition, a human nature that sometimes humorous "ngglece" is also reflected in this dance.

5.      Bedayan Malang Dance

Bedayan Malang dance is an expression of the personality and attitude that reflects the  openness  of Malang  people.  This  dance  is  also  expressed  a  simplicity  by  a firmness, especially in welcoming the guests through a certain ritual. Respecting and serving guests are the main points in a social life. It is based by the thought of regarding the guests as kings and queens.


6.      Beskalan Dance

The Beskalan Putri from the district of Malang in East Java is a dance that was originally performed by women. However during its development at the time when other dance/theater forms was born, this dance was performed by men. This dance has spiritual/sacred functions (to bring rain, conduct exorcisms, circumcision ceremonies, etc) as well as entertainment qualities (to open other performances such as traditional theater Lerok and Ludruk).


Sources: budaya-malang.html

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