Amazing Jathilan Dance, Ancient Indonesian Javanese Trance Dance

Saputra | July 17, 2016 | Culture | 0 comment

Outstanding Javanese Jathilan Performance With Their Native Clothes And Woven Horses

One of the most ancients dance history in Indonesia, originally Java. It's a normally native traditional dance with music and body movement. But, there is a factor that you might surprised involved in this dance. The player was possessed by spirit and when berserk, they're going nuts but still follow the rhythm of the music. The different is the spirit possessing is take over the players body.

Along the trance they often doing extreme activity, like eat piece of glass, climb a tree likes monkey, resist to fire also peel coconuts with their teeth. They're become nobody and controlled by spirit, acting like savage but they still listen to the music. I believe the music rhythm is the key of this show, they make the spirit came and possess the dancer. For your information, the spirits love the music rhythm, so as this show began guaranteed there are spirit around.

History told that Jathilan dance has serious meanings, is symbol of resistant action of minor community, as for Javanese native Jathilan could be an antidote of catastrophe ceremony. Jathilan also a ritual dance to call a horses spirit, and hopes that the horses spirit will protect their country and villages also bring luck and success on harvesting.


Like others modern dances with modern clothes, Jathilan also have attractive outfit coupled with hand made bamboo horse is called Kuda Lumping. Group of players wearing traditional clothes and riding woven horse and their hands hold wooden sword as symbol of weapon. As the music start they began to move around in unison until they suddenly possessed by the unknown forces. At this point the arena is chaos, the possessing make the player scattered, their eyes looked dazed and their screaming native words challenging everyone that watching. They have changed, they are now in trance mode.

Now, the music rhythm takes control the situation, played slowly and one by one the dancer begin to listen and dancing slowly. Right now is more calm situation, this is when dancer doing something weird stuff and become a interesting moment.

After a moment one by one the dancer is cured, the spirit is forced to go from their body. With the help of an elder, they spell powerful mantra to cast the spirit away. When the player wake up, it seems they don't remember anything, they just feel that their body is physically injured in some point but most of them feel dizzy.

Jathilan is historical Indonesian heritage, a dance that need physic and mental readiness. Jathilan is Javanese dance style which involving spirit force, not everyone won't participate in Jathilan, only the brave ones I think.
That's all for my first post, I will write another culture from countries around the world. See u soon. Oops..below is video of Jathilan. Enjoy.

Jathilan Dancer Performing With Woven Horse And  Traditional Costumes

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