Tag Archives: Music

Saman Dance, one of the world cultural heritage from Indonesia

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, from Aceh Source : id:Tari Saman Author : Fajriboy GNU Free Documentation License.
Saman dance, from Aceh
Source : id:Tari Saman
Author : Fajriboy
GNU Free Documentation License.


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


Saman Dance by UNESCO

“Legong Dance”, one of the amazing traditional dances from the island of Bali Indonesia.

Cultural and creative arts in Bali are extremely diverse, one of them is the art of dance and from various dances that exist in Bali,  Legong dance is one of the dances that are worth to be watched. This dance is a Balinese cultural heritage that has undergone many developments.

Legong Dance in Bali culture is included in the type of classical dance, which at the beginning of its development originated from the royal palace in Bali. The dance was once only enjoyed by the noble families in their neighborhood in the palace as a dance entertainment. The dancers who have been asked to dance in front of the king will certainly feel a great pleasure, because not everyone is allowed to enter the palace.


Bali Legong Dance
Source : The work itself
Maker : Yves Picq http://veton.picq.fr
GNU Free Documentation License


The use of “Legong” word in the dance is a combination of the word ‘leg’ and ‘gong’. The word of ‘leg’ means flexibility and dynamically as the depiction of the dance movement that is performed by female dancers and “gong” means gamelan Balinese gamelan [1] as a musical instrument that accompanies this dance.

Explanation about Legong Dance [2]


Balinese dancer
Source : Own work
Author : Yves Picq http://veton.picq.fr
GNU Free Documentation License


Awesome Legong Dance 


Balinese Dancers in Ubud Bali

Balinese Dancers Ubud Bali

References and further Information

  1. Balinese gamelan (Wikipedia)
  2. Legong Dance (Wikipedia)

Dayak People in Borneo Island Indonesia

Dayak word comes from the word “Power”, which means upstream, to mention the people who live in inland. Meaning of the “Dayak” word is still much argued, many opinions about the definition of Dayak, among others, could mean inland, people, people who live in the river and some people claim that this term refers to some of the characteristics of the Dayak people, strong, brave, courageous and tenacious.

Dayak tribes are the original tribes of Borneo, which live in groups in inland, mountain, and etc. Dayak word is actually given by the Malays which came to Borneo, but after the Malays of Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula came, also with arrival of the Bugis, Makassar and Java in the reign of the Majapahit Kingdom, they were increasingly retreated into the forest.


Dayak Chief
Source Tropenmuseum


There are various opinions about the origin of the Dayak people, but until now no truly satisfactory. However, the generally accepted opinion is that the Dayak is one of the largest and oldest native groups that inhabit the island of Borneo. Opinions about the natives is based on the theory of migration to Borneo. Based on that opinion, it is believed that the ancestors of the Dayak came from South China, as stated by Mikhail Coomans (1987,3).

All the Dayak tribes included the group that migrated massively from Asian mainland. They were descendants of immigrants who came from the place which is now called Yunnan in Southern China. From that place, a small group wandered through the peninsula of Indho China and Malaysia to enter the islands in Indonesia, In addition, there may be those who choose another path, through Hainan, Taiwan and Philippines. Displacement was not so difficult, because at the time of glacial (ice age) sea level extremely decreased (low tide), so with little boats, they can crossed the waters which separated the islands.

Migration theory as well answer the question: why the Dayak tribes have different properties, in the language and the characteristics of their culture.

The largest tribe in Indonesia is the Dayak tribes, that occupied the largest island in Indonesia, Borneo (Kalimantan).
Native tribes of Borneo island have a strong cultures and customs and distinctive and quite famous in the world. Dayak tribes scattered settlements on the head waters of the river where the river is the main transportation routes for them to perform a variety of mobility in everyday life such as work to the fields where their tribes are usually far from human habitation or to trade in farm activities.

In 1977-1978, the Asian continent and the island of Borneo which part of the archipelago were still together, allowing the Mongoloid race from asia to wander through the land, and reached by crossing  the mountains of Borneo which is now called the mountains of “Muller-Schwaner”.

They had spread from upstream to downstream and then inhabited the coast of  Borneo Island. Dayak peoples consist of several tribes that each has different characteristics and behavior.

Most of the Dayak tribes converted to Islam and no longer recognizes themselves as the Dayak, but call themselves as the Malays or the Banjar, while the others who rejected the religion of Islam back down the river, into the inland of Central Kalimantan, lived in areas of Wood Tangi, Amuntai, Margasari, Watang Amandit, Labuan and Watang Balangan Lawas. Some were kept pressed into the jungle. Dayak people followers of Islam are mostly located in the South and some in Kotawaringin. One of the famous Sultan of the Sultanate of Banjar Gastric Mangkurat (Kingdom).

Not only of the archipelago, other nations also came to Borneo. The Chinese nation is estimated to begin coming to Borneo in the Ming Dynasty in 1368-1643. From the manuscript lettered kanji mentioned that the first cities visited was Banjarmasin. But it remained unclear whether the Chinese came in the era Bajarmasin (under the hegemony of Majapahit) or in the Islamic era.

The arrival of the Chinese nation, did not result in Dayak population movement, and had no direct influence, because they only traded, especially with the kingdom of  Banjar in Banjarmasin. They did not directly trade with the Dayak people. Relics of the Chinese nation was saved by some Dayak tribes like malawen dishes, pots (jars) and ceramic equipment.

Customs of Dayak tribes still preserved until this day, and the supernatural world of Dayak tribes is still going strong. This custom is one of the wealth culture owned by the Indonesian people.

Currently, Dayak tribes are divided into 6 major families, namely: Kenyah family, Ot Danum Family ( consist of all the Dayak tribe, in Central Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, West Kalimantan in the south and southeast), Iban Family, Murut family, Klemantan Family (one of the family of Dayak tribes in West Kalimantan, Sarawak East Malaysia, and Punan Family.


Dayak groups (Community)


This video was made by one guy from the Dayak tribe, which describes some Dayak tribes in Borneo



The sixth family were divided again to approximately 405 sub-tribes. Although hundreds  they have the same cultural characteristics which typical. These characteristics are factors among a sub-tribe in Borneo that can be inserted into the Dayak groups. These characteristics are : the long house, the material culture such as pottery, saber, chopsticks beliong (ax Dayak), view of nature, livelihoods (cultivation system) and the art of dance.



Religion of Dayak

Government of Indonesia set every citizen must embrace one of six official religions: Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Hinduism.

Dayak tribes embrace the ancestor religion which was named Kaharingan which has guidelines that guide their lives for the better. Kaharingan religious practices differ from tribes to tribes.

Since the first century Hindu religion began to enter Borneo by discovery heritage Hindu religion in Amuntai, South Kalimantan and in the 4th century Borneo society entered an era of history characterized by the discovery inscriptions heritage from Hindu kingdom of Kutai in East Kalimantan and the discovery of the statues Buddha heritage from  ancient kingdom of Brunei.

This showed influence from Hindu-Buddhist and assimilation with the culture of India which marked the emergence of the first multiethnic communities in Kalimantan. With the spread of Islam since the 7th century peaked in the early 16th century, the kingdoms of the Hindu converted to Islam and marked the extinction of the followers of Hinduism and Buddhism in Kalimantan. Since then began to appear Malay customary law / Banjar which partly influenced by Islamic religious law.


Barito Muslim Dayak communities that are recognized as a tribe on the river Barito Bakumpai past.
Sumber : Tropenmuseum


Supranatural world

The world’s Supranatural for the Dayak tribe has existed since ancient times and was the hallmark of Dayak culture. Because of this supernatural, the foreigners called Dayak as cannibals but in fact Dayak tribes are very peace-loving tribes, as long as they are not harassed and persecuted unjustly. Many kinds of supernatural powers of Dayak, for example “Manajah Antang”.
Manajah Antang, is the Dayak way to look for clues such as looking for the presence of the enemy which is hard to find. From the ancestors by “Antang birds” media, wherever the enemy which on the search would be found.

Red Bowl

Red bowl is the Dayak tribe unity media. Red bowl will be circulated if the the Dayak people feel their sovereignty in grave danger. “Commander” usually announced standby signal or war in the form of red bowl, which circulated from village to village rapidly. From the daily looks a lot of people probably do not know who the commander of the the Dayak tribes. The man probably just an ordinary person, but he has extraordinary supernatural powers.

Red bowl not carelessly distributed. Previously the commander must make a custom event to know when the time is right to start a war. In a custom event, the spirits of the ancestors will be taken possession of the commander, and if he was calling out the spirit of ancestors to ask for help, the the Dayak people who hear it will be also have the power like their commander. Usually people that mentally not stable, can be sick or crazy when they hear the scream.

Red bowl is made from bamboo terrace (some say is made from clay) which is designed in a circular shape. To accompany these bowls are also provided other equipment such as yams red jerangau (Acorus Calamus) which symbolizes the courage (some say could be replaced with yellow rice), red chicken feathers to fly, the torch from bamboo for torchlight (some say could be replaced with struck a match), sago palm leaves (Metroxylon sagus) for shelter and straps from leather kepuak knot as a symbol of unity. Equipment is packed in a bowl and covered with red cloth.

According to stories passed down through generations, red bowl first circulated when once war against Japan. Then occur again when the expulsion of Chinese from the Dayak areas in 1967. Dayak expulsion to the Chinese people was not inter-ethnic war, but because a lot of political content, which at that time there was confrontation between Indonesia and Malaysia.


Dayaks in Their War Dress with some weapons too
Source : The Illustrated London News
Author : F. Boyle
Public domain


Several types of weapons used by the Dayak tribes


Dayak machete
Source : www.trocadero.com


machetes used by the Dayak (Bidayuh, Kayan, Kelabit, Kenyah, Iban, Ngaju, Penan and Punan) in Kalimantan
Source : 2.bp.blogspot.com


Mandau (Sword hilt with of bone, and small sheath knife)
Source : Tropenmuseum
Author : Tropenmuseum


Nabur Banjarmasin Machete
sources www.oriental-arms.co.il


Borneo Island, the place where Dayak tribes live

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Interesting activity at the “Karinding attack” workshop

It is interesting to take the time to see the students activity at the Karinding Attack workshop and saw how the kids practice there. At this time because of traditional music Karinding already known and developed, especially among young people, many of them who want to learn traditional music. They are free to choose what the song they want, which of course combined with traditional music like played by “Karinding Attack”.

I watched the kids practice at the “Karinding Attack” workshop



Video that I took when the kids practiced 

 Not only young kids, even adults from within country and overseas, as well as band from domestic and abroad want to collaborate with “Karinding Attack”, and they produce a unique tracks.
 Burgerkill Band Feat Karinding Attack and Fadli Padi (one of the domestic popular band vocalist, in Indonesia).


Location Karinding Attack Workshop (Commonroom, Kyai Gede Utama No 8 Bandung West Java Indonesia


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Cool Man from “Karinding Attack”

Me and Man Jasad

Man Jasad is the main figure in Karinding Attack . On the basis of the flow of metal music, he picked up a musical instrument Karinding which then combined with the flow of metal music, making the instrument Karinding (traditional musical instrument) is known to many people, especially among young people.

With some of his students



Traditional instruments that are used by Karinding Attack

 Single Bamboo Celempung (Zither)


Bamboo zither (Traditional Hit Musical Instruments). Zither is a traditional musical instrument from West Java, which is unknown from where and when the instrument was created.

Zither itself is a musical instrument made from bamboo that utilizes resonant wave is in the segment of bamboo. Currently bamboo zither is still used and maintained in the Village District Narimbang Conggeang Sumedang District.

The bat instrument can be also from wood, the edges are given a cloth or a thin object that produces a loud sound. There are two ways to play, 1) hit/beat, whistle beat the groove are alternately depends on the rhythm and the sound of music player. 2) the processing of the sounds. Left hand to process the sounds by adjust the size of the air which out from the body zither. If you want high sound, hole opened larger, lower sound can be made by closed the hole.


Celempung Renteng (Zither jointly and severally)

Celempung (Zither) in a row until 5-6, at present can be reach up to 12 pieces zither with different characteristics. Diatonisnya the voices can be “do-re-mi-fa-so-la-si-do”. How to play it is, by beat it.


Kohkol (Drum)


Another form of the kohkol 

Kohkol, made of bamboo or wood that is cut, then in the middle the hole is created, so that when beaten could cause a loud noise. Its size varies, but still elliptic, beaten by bat, so it can create a nice sound. Kohkol shaped like this, used for the the performing arts of Sundanese.

Kohkol and celempung shaped nearly the same, but creation, function and the sound different.


Toleat (Flute)

Toleat wind instruments (single Aerophon ritz) and traditional musical instruments from traditions Pamanukan, Subang regency of West Java. Toleat can be combined by other traditional instruments, for the various performances in the land of Sundanese.


Gong Tiup 

Is made from bambo, with beautiful coloring, Looks like horn, how to play it is blow it out, and produces the sound of bass. The sound is deep and vibrating like a degeridoo. About musical options of both instruments we don’t know very much so this description maybe only useful as a raw description of the sound.



Is made from bamboo, we call it low brass sexion, similar to the instrument played by the Aboriginal Australia.


Karinding Toel (Touched Karinding)

is made from bamboo, how to play it is by blow it out and touch it.

Karinding biasa (Common Karinding)

is made from bamboo, the way play it by blow and hit it.



is made from bamboo, how to play it is only by blow it out and produces the sound of birds.



Serunai ( Serunai on Wikipedia)  is a traditional wind musical instrument from Minang part of West Sumatera Indonesia (About Minang on Wikipedia).


 The Sound of Serunai



Saluang a wind instrument developed in Minangkabau. Made from a selection of pieces of bamboo trees. The shape is similar to the flute, bamboo piece ends is not closed like a flute in general, end and base were several holes perforated and usually there are 4 holes. The instrument can produce sound by blowing on the edge or corner of the upper cavity and requires special training in order to make a sound typical Saluang, the nuances of dark, mysterious and gothic. About Saluang on Wikipedia


The sound of some instruments can be heard in this video


“Karinding Attack” personnel in practicing


Karinding Attack is one of the musical group that uses bamboo musical instrument, musical instruments are used, including the Karinding, celempung indung, celempung anak, celempung renteng, khohkol renteng, toleat, suling Padang, suling and goong tiup. From the how they played, although only with bamboo instruments, can make Karinding Attack widely known, particularly among young people in the city of Bandung, and indonesian people.

Karinding Attack is commonly abbreviated as ‘KARAT’ began in 2008, Mang Engkus and Mang U Tun introduced karinding to the community of Karinding Bandung Syndicate (young people), one part of the Ujung Berung Rebels community (in the other area of Bandung), who immediately fell in love with Karinding , because Karinding have a good product design, and the sound is very nice to hear, sound of Karinding makes peaceful sense, good for playing and exploring, free to make a sound with a variety of strange and unique voice.

Karinding Attack is a group that has a vital role in the preservation of Karinding, not just as a musical instrument players, but they have a workshop to introduce these traditional tools. They teach you how Karinding can be something so precious. Each personnel has own role, making the lyrics, music base, making beat-beat groovy, and the arrangements together. The most interesting is the vocals, the exotic soft sounds, with typical Karinding Attack lyrics which are satirize.


Some Photos of “Karinding Attack” personnel





Trailer Recording for the first album of Karinding Attack in September 2010


“Karinding Attack” Personnel practicing


Modern Karinding

Karinding musical instruments, classified as very old, and not too many modern societies are know of this unique thing.Currently Karinding as a traditional musical instrument is combined with contemporary music, such as guitar, and various other modern musical instruments. As a result, Karinding voice and modern musical instruments which are combined, becomes nice to hear, like a percussion instrument which performed by foreign artists. Sundanese young men came as a “heroes” who made the impression of the ancient Karinding become famous and controversial. They are KARINDING ATTACK, a group of young people who combine the purity of the sound of this instrument with a high distorted.This creative idea has revived public curiosity Sundanese culture that is packed with more fresh and interesting to listen to. This group not only show a sharp lyrics and tunes who full of Sundanese cultural values, but the magical element in this music. Karinding Attack personnel doing the recording songs in a very unique place, like one of the songs made in the mountain forest conservation Kareumbi – Masigit. In addition to the limitations of weather and natural disturbances increase the effect of magic in the songs they created. Natural sounds, also seemed accompany every rhythm.


One of the songs from KARINDING ATTACK

“Karinding Attack” feat Peterpan Band (One of the famous Indonesian Band)


Traditional musical instrument “KARINDING”, what is Karinding?

Karinding is a Sundanese traditional musical instrument. Originally, the Karinding is used as a tool to ward off pests by farmers in the rice field. Karinding generally made from bamboo, in some places made of palm midrib and metal. How to play are placed in the mouth and then pounded or vibrated  the rope ends. Vibration between the Karinding and mouth combined with the air from the mouth produces sounds not common. Karinding standard size is 10 length cm and 2 cm width. Now Karinding can be called a musical instrument because it produces a unique sound.



A brief description of Karinding (Wikipedia)

The Sound of Karinding
Traditional Music Instrument from West Java – Indonesia
Player : Mang Udung


More About Gamelan

A set of gamelan composed from the several musical instruments, including a set of similar instruments called drums, fiddle and zither, xylophone, gongs and bamboo flutes. The main components of the gamelan musical instruments are made from bamboo, metal, and wood. Each instrument has its own functions. The music is soft and reflects the harmony of Javanese life will be touched and calm the soul was heard.

About Gamelan (A description of what is gamelan from wikipedia)

Indonesian Gamelan (different kinds of gamelan from Indonesia)

Gamelan is used in a variety of performances in Java or Bali in different types of music according to each culture, related articles mentioned below include music played by gamelan-orchestras.