Saman dance is the dance from Gayo (Gayonese) Aceh, northern Sumatra island. Named Saman dance because it was created by a clerics named Sheikh Saman in XIV century AD from the highlands of Gayo. Saman dance is reflection of education, religion, manners, heroism, teamwork and togetherness.
Saman dance uses two basic element movements, which are the applauses and a pat on the chest. In Saman dance, after sometime the rhythm and movements become faster and makes the Saman Dance more interesting.
Traditional clothing for Saman dance are shirt and trouser, hat-shaped rolls, and a scabbard (sarong) and they are colorful. Clothes have to slightly loose in order to dance freely.
And there is still sarong worn below the belly with variety kinds of belts.
Saman dance is not only popular in Indonesia but also overseas and it is often played in foreign countries.
On November 24, 2011 UNESCO officially recognized Aceh’s traditional Saman Dance as an intangible element of world cultural heritage, which needs UNESCO’s urgent protection
The ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) named on Saman Dance as the best ASEAN cultural preservation effort at the 25th ASEANTA Awards for Excellence 2012 (Wikipedia).
Saman Dance – Gayonese Traditional Dance – Sumatra, Indonesia
The art of dance became one the richness cultur that is owned by Indonesia. Each region has a dance with its own uniqueness.
Mask Dance from Cirebon in West Java is a dance that is full of meaningful symbols which are expected to be understood by its audience. Symbols can be a value of leadership, love, or wisdom.
Mask dance was developed a lot in Cirebon in West Java. It became famous because of the expression of movements. The dancers covered their face with a mask when dancing, that is why it is called by the name Mask dance. This dance is usually performed by one or several beautiful dancers, the singers, and some men who play musical instruments.
Symbols and meaning of a Mask Dance performance are delivered through the mask colors, sum of masks, the number of gamelan players and naturally through the dance itself.
Mask Dance Movement which is played by the dancers in each performance is different, depending on the theme that will be displayed.
After some swirling movement the dancers cover the face with a cloth that contains the mask, then put the mask on the face as a symbol that the show has begun.
A similar process is performed when the dancers change the mask with a red mask. Uniquely, along with the change of the mask, the music accompanying will become loud. The loudest music is played when a red mask is worn by the dancers. These movements are a form of opening dance in the mask dance performances.
Cirebon Mask Dance
The one of mask dance maestro was Mimi Rasinah, an active dancer and teacher of studio art at The Mask Dance Mimi Rasinahlocated in the village Pekandangan, Indramayu . Since 2006 Mimi Rasinah was suffering from paralysis, but still excited to performe, dancing and teaching mask dance until the end of her life. Mimi Rasinah died in August 2010 at the age of 80 years.
Terunyan is a village located in the district of Kintamani, Bangli Regency, Batur Lake, Bali, Indonesia. In this area there are traditional funerall that are quite unique. Residents who had been died were burried in the great stone which has 7 pieces cavity.
The body is only fenced by a sufficiently woven bamboo. Uniquely after days though not embalmed, the bodies are not spreading a foul smell.
Custom village of Terunyan is set procedure to bury their communities. In this village there are three graves (sema) that are intended for three different kinds of deaths.
When one Trunyan resident died in natural way, the body will be covered with a white cloth, consecrated, and then laid without buried under a big tree called Taru Menyan (incent), at the location that is called Sema Wayah . However, if the cause of death is not natural, such as accident, suicide, or murdered, the body will be placed in a location called Sema Bantas. Meanwhile, to bury babies and young children, or people who’ve grown but not married, will be placed at Sema Muda .
Explanation why the bodies were placed with neat in the grave odorless, even naturally buried and still occur decomposition of the corpses, it is caused by the Taru Menyan tree (Taru Incense Tree), which can release fragrance and is able to neutralize foul smell of corpses. Taru means fragrant incense. The Taru incense tree only grows in this area then known as a Tarumenyan and more famous by the name Terunyan that is believed to be the origin of the village name. (Wikipedia)
In cemetery Trunyan, there are boards “Welcome to cemetery Trunyan Village”. Thereafter through the board then you will come across a small gate and the stately trees namely Trunyan trees.
The dead bodies there are just laid and covered in white cloth, and the bodies of which are visible only the legs and heads, fenced with woven bamboo that is plugged in the form of cone. The Wonders of nature in there is the dead bodies not cause a foul smell and also safe from insects such as flies, worms, and other activities as we met in the flesh rotting.
Trunyan Village, also known as a Fragrant Wood Village, means Village of Fragrant Tree (Nyan Tree). So Terunyan tree means the fragrant tree. Local people believe that the Trunyan tree can suck up odor corpses in the cemetery.
Not everyone can be buried in the cemetery of Trunyan. The Trunyan cemetary is devoted only to people who are considered death in an normal condition (clean) and had already married, but although the death is normal, but not yet married then it should not be buried in the cemetery of Trunyan, so also the death due to accident and sickness then it also not allowed.
There were only 11 graves used for 11 bodies, if there will be a new body to be buried, then the old body will be replaced with a new body, and the old body will be moved to another place but still in the cemetery area.
Belongings of the dead also saved around their buried place.