Lengger in islam perspective, Indonesia Culture

Lengger in islam perspective – Arts and culture of banyumasan typical grow and develop with age of traditional javanese. Banyumasan culture is also enriched with the inclusion of Mataram cultural style (Yogyakarta-Solo) and Sunda (Pasundan) and that are now beginning to be inserted contemporary trinkets. It makes banyumas culture becomes variety that are ebeg, lengger calung, angguk, wayang kulit, gedhing banyumasan, begalan, etc.

The one of the banyumas culture is lengger calung. There is Lengger calung art group that grow and thrive in Banyumas region, preisely in the papringan village. The name of the community is Langen Budaya. Langen has meaning contest or having fun, Langen Budaya means contest in the culture. This community estamblished by Mr. Hadi Soemarto sukendar in 1982. He founded this community as a form of love for Indonesian culture, particular in banyumas culture.

As the name implies lengger calung consist of lengger (dancer) and calung (gamelan bamboo). That movement is very dynamic and agile to calung rhythm. Lengger dance has a variety of typical movements, such as geyol, gedheg and lemparsampur. Banyumasan songs use to accompany dances, such as Bendrong Kulon, Renggong Majih, Siji Lima, Kembang Klepang, Ilo Gondang, Sekar Gadum and Malangan. One group lengger calung required approximately 11 members, consisting of gamelan player and lengger dancer. The number of  lengger dancer is 2 to 3 people. Calung equipment based on gambang barung, gambang penerus, dhendem, kenong and gong which are all made of bamboo, while the gendang is some like usual gendang.

Lengger in islam perspective, Indonesia Culture

Lengger performing arts anciently made within overnight. The dancer were men and only accompanied by gamelan calung, so it called Lengger Calung. In the show, there are supernatural powers possessed by the dancers, so the dancers have more power than the other dancer. Dancers poses supernatural power called indang. It is not easy to come, but it’s obtained by running the ritual, like mediating or concentrating on places that are considered sacred or sacred either by art groups or by the local community. The existence indang very visible through the dancers who were dancing. Dancers will be able to dance for hours without getting tired. The dance looks beautiful, erotic and has tremendous appeal for the audience.

Now, lengger is danced by female dancers. In a show is accompanied by vocalist, it is better known as a sinden. Mrs. Darsinah is the one of  lengger dancer. She said to be a lenggerdancer, one must follow the secred rites in places like panembahan. This is done so that the lengger dancers given the ease and can captivate the audience while performing. She also should dress in such as a way to make it look very attractive, for example using sanggul on the head, neck to upper chest usually slightly open, then sampur or scarf usually worn around the shoulders and wearing jarit and stagen. While dancing, the dancers also must follow a typical of  banyumas rhythm that are agile and dynamic. It dominated by hip movement, so it looks very interesting.


Staging lengger calung isn’t done in the month of shawwal and suro in the Javanese calendar, due to that month is used by puppet arts. It’s all done for generations, because a belief, if violated will be the things that are not desirable.

Lengger dances was used to ritual invite the rain, when the harvest or harvest season for the farmers and thanksgiving for manufacture of building. The goal that all of them were given safety. But now, the dance of lengger calung is used to fill wedding party, circumcision and cultural festival. It is done to preserve the art lengger calung banyumasan in the onslaught of foreign culture into Indonesia.

In addition, there are some people who do not like lengger. They assume thet the lengger calung culture contrary to the teachings of Islam, such as requirement that must be done to become a dancer lengger. It is considered idolatrous by some people, and also the dances that are considered nudity consist element pornographic.

Mr. Hajj Syakbani as one of the religious leaders said “if we look from the dress, of course, it is beyond the teachings of Islam”. Islam requires followers to close the genitals. The impression is not islamic usually due to the ciu alcoholic beverages in the middle of the viewers and the sexual displayed attractiveness of the dancers.  For the requirement that must be done to become a lengger dancer, actually now many student that learn to lengger dance without having to follow the lengger ritual, so people can be lengger dancer without doing the ritual. Now there are some lengger performances that give islamic nuances, such as the dancers wearing a head scarf and dress more closed.

Mr. Hadi Soemarto Sukendar as a leader  of  langen budaya group has an opinion, that is the spread of religion can not be separated from the local culture. Scholar of Islam used culture in each region to spread the teachings which were brought by them, but lengger is a culture and it’s not a religion. The question is not whether islamic otherwise improvise with local traditions, as to islamization and all of Banyumas culture itself. It is no longer understood as two value that is separate, not for all, but almost certainly for most of the Banyumas people.

Culture is born, grow and develops in people’s lives. It also can die, if everyone forget their culture. the large country is a country that loves and preserve cultural, because culture is the ancestral heritaye and as a nation identity which must be maintened.

From : Lengger in islam perspective (chyrun.com)

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