Home Indonesia Get to know 5 Gamelan heirlooms of Cirebon, a legacy from Wali Sanga

Get to know 5 Gamelan heirlooms of Cirebon, a legacy from Wali Sanga

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The city of Cirebon, West Java, is known as the City of Trustees. Here are five gamelan heirlooms of Cirebon Wali Sanga.

Many of the heirlooms of Wali Sanga are scattered in the Cirebon palaces. In the arts, Wali Sanga left five types of gamelan, namely drone, joint, pelog, selendro, and sekaten.

The five types of gamelan have different functions. Each palace in the city of Cirebon also stores different types of gamelan.

Here are the five gamelan heirlooms of Cirebon Wali Sanga:

1. Denggung

The drone gamelan is a heirloom belonging to the Kacirebonan Palace. The condition of this gamelan cannot be played, because there are several types of musical instruments that begin to rot with age.

Head of the Archaeological Unit of the Kraton Kacirebonan Elang Iyan Ariffudin said the drone gamelan was used as a medium for prayer to ask for rain. This gamelan sounded when the long dry season hit Cirebon during the Sunan Gunung Jati era.

“This humming gamelan originates from Pajajaran. Cirebon is agricultural. During the long dry season, landlords in Cirebon always face the sultan, the goal is that this gamelan is played,” said Iyan when talking to him. Bali Tourism at Keraton Kacirebonan, Tuesday (26/1/2021).

Iyan told about the long drought that had hit Cirebon. The landlords’ and community’s requests to play the gamelan were granted. As a result, it rained.

“Gamelan is a media. Yes, there are rituals and prayers. The nayaga (gamelan musicians) also pray istikharah first. We pray to the Almighty,” said Iyan.

Iyan said that the age of the drone gamelan has reached more than 500 years. “There are several gongs that have holes in them. They have been eroded. Their voices are no longer so sweet,” said Iyan.

2. Sekaten

Iyan said the Sekaten gamelan is stored in two palaces, namely Kanoman and Kasepuhan Cirebon. The Sekaten Gamelan originated from the Majapahit Kingdom, which was later passed on to the Demak Kingdom to Cirebon.

“Gamelan sekaten each palace has a different tradition. In the Kanoman Palace it is sounded during the maulidan event. Meanwhile, in Kasepuhan during Eid and Eid Al-Adha,” said Iyan who also serves as Chairman of the Cirebon City Indonesian Pedalangan Association (PEPADI).

Iyan said the name Sekaten came from syahadatain or sahadat. The Sekaten Gamelan as one of the Islamic spreading media carried out by Wali Sanga. Every year, the gamelan is cleaned using brick ashes and coconut fibers.

Just to note, every washing of the Sekaten gamelan at the Kanoman Palace before the maulid is always busy. In fact, one of the moments of religious tourism that Cirebon residents and surrounding areas have been waiting for. The washing of the gamelan is done directly by the descendants of the king.

3. Renteng

Gamelan jointly or jointly gong is different from the previous two gamelan. Gamelan jointly uses more types of bonang. Iyan said the gamelan is younger than Dron and Sekaten.

“Its function is to spread Islam. In addition to welcoming the Sultan’s guest of honor,” said Iyan.

4 & 5. Pelog and Selendro

Pelog and selendro gamelan are younger than the other three Cirebon heirloom gamelan. Gamelan pelog and selendro are the accompanying gamelan for mask dances and other arts. This gamelan is not much different from other regions.

“Pelog and selendro appeared in the 16-17 century. The same as gamelan in other regions. Its function is to accompany mask dances, dances of the like,” said Iyan.

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