Ondel-ondel among City Modernities - Betawi is a tribe that inhabits Jakarta, Indonesia. The roots of Betawi culture are acculturation from various ethnic groups, such as Javanese, Sundanese, Ambonese, even Chinese and Arabs.
Therefore, Betawi has a diversity of cultures, a wealth of traditions, and abundant art. One of the arts originating from the roots of Betawi native culture is ondel-ondel.
Ondel-ondel is a doll art that is said to have existed since pre-Islamic times on Java. Always associated with a magical world, ondel-ondel was originally a symbol of village guards from all kinds of dangers, threats, and epidemics.
That is the thing that then answers the question why the ondel-ondel face is made so creepy.
Ondel-ondel is generally made of wood with body parts using dongdang, which is a type of chicken confinement made of bamboo.
The diameter of the ondel-ondel body circle is around 1.5 meters, while the height can reach 4 meters.
The ondel-ondel face is divided into two, namely the faces of red men and women in white. There is no definite record of the reasons for the two colors being chosen to be the color of a pair of ondel-ondel, but many believe that the red and white colors represent the dual colors in the Indonesian national flag; red means having fighting spirit and bravery while white symbolizes purity.
To be impressed, the head of ondel-ondel is given hair using a palm fiber, not forgetting to add a variety of knick-knacks.
Ondel-ondel wears traditional Betawi clothing with striking colors. The front body is given a small cavity as a gap for riders to look out.
This is important so that the ondel-ondel riders do not lose direction and are able to shake according to the beat. Ondel-ondel also has a distinctive shake known as ngibing, which is the movement of turning the body quickly.
Ondel-ondel performances are usually accompanied by tanjidor or village orchestra groups, which consist of several musical instruments, such as drum, gong, kenong, bass, and sukong as the melodic sound. The melody that comes from sukong is usually traditional Betawi songs, such as "Kicir-kicir" and "Jali-jali".
It's just that, as it develops, now ondel-ondel is not only accompanied by traditional music. Many artists also combine it with various popular music.
Amid the onslaught of modernization and the rise of the world of digital entertainment, ondel-ondel craftsmen are increasingly rare. This certainly has an impact on the increasingly difficult finding the ondel-ondel staging in Jakarta.
Even if there are, only at certain times, such as on the birthday of the City of Jakarta and Independence Day on August 17.
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Therefore, more attention is needed to continue to keep up and keep this traditional Betawi traditional art so that it is not extinct eroded by the times.
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