Some days ago I posted pictures about someone dancing on the top of roof. Quite surprisingly, there were many of questions about the activity, such as where and what was the occasion and why it is done on the roof and so on. I felt less responsible when posting a photo that just raised many questions. Therefore, I present a post that is expected to answer the reader’s questions.
The events was held on a small village in the mountainside of Merapi. That was my second time there, since last I saw the art performance held by Tlatah Bocah Community on 2011 after the big eruption of Mount Merapi.
Well, this is the story..
Bambang Sukrasana is a dwarf who was ugly and scary but he has tremendous supernatural powers, and high-minded. Sukrasana has a very handsome brother named Bambang Sumantri who only has common ability. Since childhood, Sukrasana and Sumantri lived in harmony and love each other despite their physical differences.
Sukrasana loved his brother so much that he was willing for his life taken by Sumantri. He even fulfilled his brother’s request to move the Sriwedari Park. Before his death, Sukrasana vowed to live together again with Sumantri in Nirvana.
In the bone-chilling cold on the western slopes of Mount Merapi, there was a group of people walking down the road on the edge of rice fields. Rays from the torch lights broke the darkness of the night. They were carrying the statues of Sukrasana, which they would put on their new Padepokan (something like art studio) named Bangun Budaya. Along the way, the leader of the group sang the hymns. Soon after they arrived at the destination, the statues were placed on the left and right of the entrance of building. Then they began the ceremony called Jamasan.
In the hall of the studio, were served rice cone – well known as Tumpeng – and a variety of side dishes. An elder prayed, begged safety and smoothness for all studios activities and its inhabitants. After that, all participants ate the rice cone and all foods. At the same time, the statues Sukrasana were wrapped with mori, a plain white cotton cloth. At night fall, the people did Tirakatan, stayed awake all night long.
The next day, just after 6 am when the sun appeared from behind Mount Merapi, the Jamasan ceremony was continued. The Sukrasana statues were poured with water drawn from seven sources of different locations. After that, the workshop managing was flushed with the same water.
The next agenda, after the ceremony was completed , was a 6-hour dance performed by several members of the studio. They danced not only in the pavilion and courtyards, but also on the road, in the fields and even on the roof, since the essence of the dance is moving to the heart. At noon, the excitement did not stop. People were still treated to various traditional dance such as Jathilan. In the evening, they held the shadow puppets show, played by a young puppeteer, from the studio of Bangun Budaya. Unfortunately, I couldn’t join the whole activities ,due to some urgency and had to go back to Jogja.
The events above were the expression of art, which was held at the opening ceremony of the art studio Bangun Budaya, which is located in village of Sumber, Magelang, Central Java. It reflected the figure of the ugly Sukrasana but have the loyalty beyond measure. A slope away from downtown does not make the people there forget of the love and loyalty to the art. They proved that the arts have always lived on the slopes of Merapi.
*Many thanks to TKEY 🙂