Pesona Budaya Nasional yang Mendunia

Consisting of 224 tribes scattered from Sabang to Marauke, making Indonesia is rich in diverse cultures and unique. Born of a copyrighted initiative which is a mix of human customs and religious rituals in the past, now, some of the culture of Indonesia has received recognition from UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization).

Here are seven national heritage that has gained worldwide recognition. Get to know and love your culture.


Photo: Siska Maria Eviline
In 2009, the United Nations through UNESCO to label intangible representative list of the cultural heritage of humanity to one's cultural heritage.

Batik. Yes, that's the name of the beautiful fabric that is now being happening. Consider to the history, batik became known at the time of the Majapahit Empire, around 1293-1500. In those days, the art of batik made on a palm leaf. Then around 1825-1830, after the Java War or better known as the Java War, batik have evolved considerably in the glory of the kingdom of Mataram.

The followers of the Mataram kingdom began to spread the use and manufacture of batik, up to Solo and Yogyakarta. So that batik was originally limited to outfit the royal family and their followers, then start grassroots and community drives the economy. 

Many of the mothers at the time, began to weave a long white cloth called primis, and paint over it. To get an attractive color, batik makers typically use herbs, such as noni tree, Soga, and tilapia. While soda and salt in the manufacturing process is made of ash and mud.

Initially, batik motif is dominated by animals and plants, which then evolved motive according to the wearer's social strata. For example, goods Parang motif that reflects the power, initially only used by kings. Or motive ukel and cement worn only by royal family at the time of marriage ceremony Javanese tradition.The entry of Dutch culture, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, Indian and Indonesian Malay to create full color motifs and batik more the merrier. It looks at Pekalongan batik motif that blends different cultures into Javanese culture. As Jlamprang batik that reflect the culture of India and Arabia, or batik Encim and Klengenan influenced by Chinese culture. There is another batik Pagi Sore getting cultural influences from the Netherlands, and a growing Hokokai batik in Indonesia during the Japanese occupation.

Motifs and colors in batik, basically has a symbolic value, which describes the feelings and expectations of the wearer. That's why the idea of ​​a classic motif usually, only exists in the imagination of the batik craftsmen. Imagination was then greatly affect the outcome of a batik motif. That's why, no painting batik motifs which have completely the same. At the present time, as development era, eventually bringing batik into a national identity as well as being a popular clothing.

Please read my another article about batik, in here.



Wayang recognized as a UNESCO masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity in 2003. Culture is a stylish marriage between acting, sound art, music, speech arts, literary arts, painting, sculpture, symbol to art. In its development, the puppet is often used as a medium of propaganda, education, entertainment, philosophical understanding, as well as entertainment to the public.

In the period 898-910 BC, the puppet is part of the Javanese animist religion, the worship of the Sang Hyang. At that time, people played the puppet on the funeral thanksgiving for bountiful harvests. At that time shadow puppets show in Java using a screen, a piece of cloth which is a barrier between the audience mastermind behind that curtain. The audience watched the puppet movements through the shadows falling on the screen. At that time, wayang accompanied by gamelan consisting of saron, todung or flute, and kemanak.

The entry of Hindu religion then shifts animism in Java, and create puppet characters and story adapted from the works of Indian literature, such as the story of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Then in the reign of King Airlangga at 976-1012, literature became the story.

In 989-910, the king Dyah Balitung adapting the book Ramayana written by Indian poet Valmiki, into a book of literary texts in Javanese Ramayana Kakawin ancient. Furthermore, the poets compose Java and India's literary retelling philosophy by incorporating Java into it. As such, the work of the professor Kanwa Arjunawiwaha Kakawin, which is a spin-off book of Mahabharata.

With the introduction of Islam in the 15th century, the concept of the art of wayang more developed. As the kingdom of Demak, the wayang performances used oil lamps called blencong.

In its development, Indonesia has some kind of wayang, such as Wayang Purwa which are made of lambskin. This wayang told about story of Ramayana and Mahabharata into Old Javanese language, with such renowned poet and Empu Panuluh, Empu Sedah, and Empu Kanwa. 

Then there marionette puppet or often called Wayang Tengul which made of wood who were given clothes like humans. Unlike a regular wayang performances, wayang tengul does not use kelir or screen.Then there Wayang Krucil or often called kllithik, that made from wood. In each its performance, Krucil told the story of Damar Wulan and Majapahit. Then there were Wayang Beber made of ox's leather, and played in the era of the Majapahit Kingdom. Similar to shadow puppets, Wayang Gedog encountered in 1400, brings the story of the kingdom of Banten, Singasari, Mataram, until the kingdom of Kediri.

Indonesia also has a quite modern puppet called Wayang Suluh that is used as a tools of information to the public. Typically, this puppet told about the struggle when Indonesia repel invaders. The presence of foreign cultures such as Chinese culture can not be separated from the puppet. This is evident from the birth of Wayang Titi which can still be found in the Chinatown or in pagoda.

Furthermore, there are puppets created by Mangkungara Associate IV at the beginning of the 18th century. The story usually taken from the story of the Pandavas after the war Baratayuda. The influence of Christianity is also seen in Wayang Wahyu that created by Brother Themotheos, to broadcast the Christian religion. The story that was shown by the puppet is usually derived from biblical stories.


Source: "Sembang Keris"
Keris is a Indonesia's cultural heritage of the archipelago that more recognition from UNESCO in 2005. Stabbing weapon pointy and sharp on both sides, Keris has a unique shape. Where the base of the blade widens the winding, and decorated with bright metal scratches on its blade.

There is no authentic historical evidence that tells about the existence of Keris. However, Tome Pires, a Portuguese explorer in the 16th centurymentioned the usage of keris by Javanese men. Usually the material used to make Keris is wood, horn, or ivory, which symbolizes the greatness of the leaders.

In the past, Keris serves as a weapon in war, as well as complementary offerings objects. In its development, the role of Keris as a weapon gradually marginalized. And once, a perfect man  views from his Keris which is a symbol of knowledge or skill as a live stock.
The usage procedure of Keris is quite different in each region. As in Javanese and Sundanese, Keris will be placed at the back of the waist in peacetime, and will be moved to the front during the war. While in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Keris will be pinned on the front of the belt during ceremonies.Keris is generally made of two kinds of metals, iron and steel. But today's, Keris made by mixing iron and steel with some alloy such as nickel, titanium, cobalt, silver, tin, chromium, antimony, or copper.
Keris is usually done by forming an iron blade first. As the base material or the blade will be heated to incandescence and then hammered repeatedly to remove impurities compounds, carbon and oxides. Once clean, it will be folded on to U-shaped bar, and a slab of material inserted prestige in it.The folds continued re-heated and hammered over and over again. Technique, strength, and position forge, will greatly affect the prestige that appears later. The final form of the forging is elongated slab, which is cut into two parts, called the kodhokan.A steel plate and placed between two kodhokan like sandwich bread, then tied and forged. Edge then made slightly elongated kodhokan to be cut and used as ganja. The next step is to formed Pesi and bengkek, resulting in forming, whether berluk or straight. The next stage is the making of ornaments called Ricikan, where certain parts smoothed using a miserly according to dhapur to be made. Then, re-plated dagger, as the ultimate stage.


Photo: Wikipedia.
Sangiran is an archaeological site covering an area of ​​56 square kilometers located at the foot of Mount Lawu, Karanganyar, Central Java. Cultural heritage world heritage recognized by UNESCO on December 5, 1996, the manifold is a hominid Homo Erectus lived two million years ago.

The existence of Sangiran originally began in 1893 as an expert in paleontology from the Netherlands named Eugene Dubois, researching the area. However, Dubois's research about  history of Sangiran civilization was brief and did not yield any fossils. Finally he decided to stopped the research.

Then in 1932, Sangiran area mapped by LIC Van Es into a large-scale geological map 1: 20.000. Based on that map, in 1934 a German paleontologist and geologist named Gustav Heinrich Ralph von Koenigswald hunting the fossil. Initially, he observed a dome or mound of earth which is opened by erosion that eventually form a depression or basin. In that depression Koenigswald assisted local residents found more than 60 fossils of  Meganthropus palaeojavanicus.

Not only that, he also managed to find a variety of other ancient fossils, such as vertebrate fossils, animal water fossils, marine plant fossils, animal fossils. That is why, in order to maintain the existence of fossils in Sangiran site, the local government built an archaeological museum located in Kalijambe, Sragen, Central Java.

Museum Sangiran has 13,086 ancient fossils, making it the most complete early human sites and the largest in Asia. Because the fossils reveal ancient human civilization since the Late Pliocene to the end of the Middle Pleistocene. And since March 15, 1977, Sangiran designated as Heritage Areas based on the Decree of the Minister of Education and Culture.


Photo adopted from
Saman dance is an intangible world cultural heritage, which requires urgent protection of UNESCO, which is set on November 24th, 2011. This dance was developed by a scholar from Gayo, Southeast Aceh, named Sheikh Saman, in the 19th century.

Originally, this dance is a folk game called Pok Ane that added by accompaniment poems containing praises to God, which, combined with hand claps of the dancers. Since then, Saman used as a medium of propaganda in Aceh.

Interestingly, Saman shown not use musical accompaniment. This dance and the dancers are counting on two elements of motion, namely applause and pat his chest. Since the formation of uniformity and timeliness is absolute, then summons the dancers are required to have a high concentration and a serious workout. The dance is played by a dozen of men and women with an odd number, will be led by a Sheikh. The leader is in charge of singing the song lyrics warrant, which called ganit.

Typically, the dancers will sing five songs while dancing kind. As Rengum, the roar that begins by lifting. Followed by a ring, which is immediately followed by rengum the other dancers. The dance is also accompanied by Redet, which is a short song with a short sound sung by a dancer at the center of the dance.

Syek, is a song that sung by a dancer with a long high-pitched voice. Meanwhile, Saur, a song that is repeated along the entire dancers after sung by a solo dancer. As it grows, saman dance formerly synonymous with religious activities, now, more performed at formal occasions or in the opening of the festival.


Foto : Siska Maria Eviline
Candi peninggalan agama Budha ini, diakui sebagai cagar budaya dunia oleh UNESCO pada 1991. Terletak di Magelang, Jawa Tengah, candi ini didirikan oleh Raja Samaratungga dari Kerajaan Mataram kuno, pada 800 Masehi. Dengan 1.460 relief dan 504 stupa, candi ini berbentuk punden berundak yang terdiri dari 10 tingkat, dengan tinggi mencapai 42 meter.

Pada dasarnya, setiap tingkatan dari candi ini, melambangkan tahapan kehidupan manusia, di mana tingkat tertinggi adalah Budha. Enam tingkat paling dasar dari candi ini berbentuk bujur sangkar, dan sering disebut dengan Kamadhatu. Bagian ini melambangkan manusia yang masih terikat pada hawa nafsu.

Empat tingkat di atasnya berbentuk lingkaran, disebut dengan Rupadhatu di mana patung Budha diletakkan terbuka. Bagian ini melambangkan manusia yang telah bebas dari hawa nafsu, namun masih terjebak dalam rupa dan bentuk manusia. Sedangkan tiga tingkat paling atas di mana Budha diletakkan dalam stupa berlubang-lubang disebut Arupadhatu. Bagian ini melambangkan manusia yang telah terbebas dari nafsu, rupa dan bentuk. Bagian  puncak disebut dengan Arupa, yang melambangkan nirwana di mana Budha bersemayam.

Pada reliefnya, bercerita tentang kisah Ramayana dan beberapa relief yang menggambarkan kondisi masyarakat kala itu dengan sistem pertaniannya yang sudah maju. Lalu ada relief kapal layar yang melambangkan kemajuan sektor pelayaran yang kala itu berpusat di Bergotta atau Semarang.

Di sekitar Borobudur, juga terdapat beberapa candi Buddha dan Hindu, yaitu Candi Mendut dan Candi Pawon. Ketiga candi ini diduga para arkeolog berasal dari periode yang sama, akibat ditemukannya kemiripan langgam arsitektur dan ragam hias. Selain itu, juga ditemukan beberapa peninggalan purbakala lainnya, seperti tembikar, periuk dan kendi. Penemuan ini membuktikan bahwa memang terdapat denyut peradaban di sekitar ketiga candi tersebut.


Foto diadopsi dari website
Alat musik tradisional asal Jawa Barat ini dikukuhkan sebagai salah satu warisan budaya dunia oleh UNESCO pada November 2010. Angklung merupakan alat musik multitonal atau bernada ganda, yang terbuat dari bambu. Untuk mengeluarkan bunyinya, hanya perlu digoyang sehingga badan pipa yang terbuat dari bambu saling berbenturan dan mengeluarkan bunyi. Laras nada yang dikeluarkan oleh alat musik ini kebanyakan salendro dan pelog

Keberadaan angklung tercatat pada masa Kerajaan Sunda, sekitar abad ke12 hingga abad 16. Asal usul terciptanya musik bambu ini, didasarkan pada kehidupan masyarakat Sunda yang menggantungkan hidup pada pertanian. Sehingga mereka menyulap bambu hitam (awi wulung) dan bambu putih(awi temen) yang ada di sekitar untuk menghasilkan bebunyian yang indah. Pada masa itu, angklung digunakan untuk memanjatkan lagu persembahan kepada Dewi Sri pada saat pesta panen.

Bagi masyarakat Baduy, yang merupakan sisa-sisa masyarakat asli Sunda, angklung merupakan bagian dari ritual menanam padi. Penggunaan angklung juga masih bisa kita lihat pada permainan angklung gubrag di Jasinga, Bogor. Permainan tersebut merupakan salah satu peninggalan yang masih dihidupkan sejak lebih dari 400 tahun silam.

Dalam perkembangannya, angklung berkembang dan menyebar ke seantero Jawa, hingga ke Kalimantan dan Sumatera. Untuk menjauhkan angklung dari kepunahan, pada 1966 Udjo Ngalagena seorang seniman asal Jawa Barat, mengembangkan teknik permainan angklung. Komunitas yang kemudian berkembang pesat hingga saat ini memperkenalkan permainan angklung berdasarkan laras-laras pelog, salendro, dan madenda.

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