Surakarta Local Customs

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    Sacred Solonese Court Dances

    by RoyJava Updated Aug 4, 2005

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    The Bedhaya Court dances of Central Java got world famous because of its refined elegance and calm atmosphere of the dancing. It may be too slow and the movements too tedious, considered as "halus" (refined) and "sacred-bedhaya". In a general sense, Javanese art specialists refer to all "bedhaya" and "shrimpi" dances as "sacred" and "religious" ... a treasure of Javanese culture and the classical Javanese dance traditions. The very first one was the Solonese Bedhaya Ketawang.

    Every Tuesday-Kliwon (Javanese Calender) this Bedhaya Ketawang is performed. I got invited to witness this event by Ibu Dra.G.R.Ay. Koes Moertiyah, daughter of the late Susuhunan Paku Buwana XII. I learned how to use make-up in a very distinguished way, and to manifest cultural tradition and spiritual feelings. I got amazed by the simplicity of such a complexed ceremony, the contradictions just like in human lifes ...

    "tan apanggih yen boya sarana jiwa
    we meet not but in the spirit"
    Bedhaya Ketawang

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    SOLONESE MAKE-UP

    by RoyJava Updated Aug 4, 2005

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    The Ketawang composition possesses such great influence that it serves as a means of exorcism for the country, enhancing its prosperity, order and peace, wealth, populousness, well-being and happiness, etc. It is told, that Her Majesty Queen Kencana Sari (another name for RATU KIDUL), ruler of the spirits, nymphs and ghosts and of all the invisible vreatures, who resides in the Southern Ocean, wishing to manifest Herself (to make Herself visible).

    She was all dressed up in a ceremonial "kampuh", cloth of dark-blue and white colours, Her hair and face with bridal make-up, and She personally wished to teach the Bedhaya Dance for the Ketawang composition ... Also it was ordered to be taken out every Tuesday-Kliwon (Selasa Kliwon).

    A lot of work is dedicated to dress up a Bedhaya dancer and especially the make-up is created in a very special way. An amazing one!!!

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    LORO BLONYO Statue

    by RoyJava Updated Jul 7, 2005

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    The LORO BLONYO (Inseparable Couple, Wedding Couple) is a much beloved Javanese statue often found inside the house of a Javanese family. It's a representation of the Javanese version of the Hindu Rice Goddess Dewi Sri and her husband Raden Sadono.

    The Wedding Couple as gift is health, prosperity and fertility for the newly married in Java. The Javanese believe that having a traditional Loro Blonyo in one's house, it will ensure happiness, fertility, health and well-being to the family of the house.

    See the special Loro Blonyo statue of the Solonese Kraton Hadiningrat, Dalem Ageng (Great House) Probosuyoso, where the middle room Krobongan/Patenan is. See the link of the Yogya wedding, too ...

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