Sacred Wayang Wong Dance of Tejakula Set Four Centuries Ago

Sacred Wayang Wong Dance of Tejakula Set Four Centuries Ago

Wayang Wong sacred dance that only exists at Tejakula village, Tejakula subdistrict, was presented at Maksan Temple of local village on Thursday (Apr. 6). The location is chosen because the masks of wayang wong characters are kept at local temple. They are even believed to have been four centuries old. The players performing the Ramayana

Wayang Wong sacred dance that only exists at Tejakula village, Tejakula subdistrict, was presented at Maksan Temple of local village on Thursday (Apr. 6). The location is chosen because the masks of wayang wong characters are kept at local temple. They are even believed to have been four centuries old.

The players performing the Ramayana storyline start staging the first episode of the Bala Kanda in the Ramayana epic. In this staging, the storyline presented by the players is entitled “Sander Sita.” It tells about the duke Marica disguising as a golden deer to attract the attention of Sita. When seeing the deer, Sita then asked Rama to chase it. Rama went away from Sita and tried to shoot the disguising deer. Marica cleverly cried out for help, and his voice was similar to Rama’s. Again, Sita asked Laksmana to look for Rama as being told to be facing difficulties. When Laksmana followed Rama, Sita was abducted by Ravana. By and large, when featuring the storyline of kanda (book—Ed) starting from the first through the seventh, it will take approximately 4.5 years to 5 years.

Chairman of the Tejakukus Foundation, Gede Komang, amid the staging told that as sacred dance it is mandatory to be performed as devotional services or ngayah at the Maksan Temple of Tejakula. As usual, the performance is done twice every year precisely on Wraspati Dungulan or the day after Galungan. Since it is sacred, the wayang wong must still perform the episodes of Ramayana epic sequentially. “It has become the tasks of the players of wayang wong to perform devotional services at the temple because the masks are stored at this Maksan temple,” said Komang Gede when met Friday afternoon.

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According to him, although it is classified into sacred dance, currently this wayang wong is also staged as entertainment art. For several times, the figures of wayang wong characters are presented in the art collaborations. However, the masks staged in the entertainment are not the sacred ones as those stored at Maksan Temple, but the imitations that are kept by the foundation.

Based on the existing references, wayang wong is known as sacred art. This art first appeared at Tejakula village about four centuries ago. From the location of its emergence at Tejakula, this art then spread to several regions in Bali. Although having been widespread, its taksu (divine vibration) never disappears and is kept sacred until now. Wayang wong even becomes one of the nine dances included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Besides, the wayang wong dance is also recognized as one of the intangible cultural heritage objects in 2015. (BTN/kmb)



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