IMPERIUMDAILY.COM – Mask does not reveal what is hidden, but draws people into the hidden. Not explaining the secret, but inviting humans into the secret. The mask actually hides the hidden and keeps it a secret.
If we want to be honest, Malang Regency cannot be denied has been one of the springs of culture that lives and inspires. One of them is in the performing arts of masks that have existed since the time of the Old Mataram (mPu Sindok Xth Century).
According to the research of experts, the Topeng Panji art in Malang emerged since the Majapahit period (XIII century), and experienced a fertile life since the Sixteenth Century, marked by the development of these two major art styles or genres: the West Malang genre (Jambuer Village and Kedung Monggo) and East Malang genre (Tumpang and Jabung Village).
All of that indirectly reinforces the opinion that the Malang region had an important role in the past. Historically, Malang and the surrounding areas in East Java are very dynamic and famous cultural centers; since the Old Mataram in the X century, Singosari, Kadiri, and topped by the Majapahit Kingdom in the XIII century.
From Folklore to Spiritual
While Ardus M. Sawega, the curator at the Soedjatmoko Institute in Solo, said that this year seemed to be the “Year of the Panji”, because various issues concerning the Panji were raised and actualized almost simultaneously in a number of regions – Malang (East Java), Jakarta, Yogyakarta , Solo, even Bangkok (Thailand) – in their different expressions and activities. Festivals, seminars, discussions, Topeng Panji exhibitions, book publishing, to the idea of creating a Panji lover center.
This coincidence should raise a question mark: what’s wrong with Panji? How special is Panji? If you remember, (Story) Panji is a cultural discourse that can be considered too “weathered” to talk about. (Story) Panji, since it first appeared at least during the Majapahit Kingdom (XIII century) until now, has been spelled out eight centuries ago. “This is special about Panji,” he tried to explain.
Some of these books’ editor further explained, the result of the old culture were apparently among the timeless. Panji not only leaves artifacts in the form of temples with beautiful and amazing reliefs, or properties related to performing arts such as wayang beber, mask, wayang gedhog, wayang krucil, or even ballet like wayang topeng Panji – some of them are still preserved until now – until folklore like Timun Emas, Ande-ande Lumut, Jaka Bluwa and many more which were originally only as bedtime stories and settles in the memory of children in every age.
Some experts say, viewed from a historical perspective, the Panji Story is a metaphor for political events that actually took place during the reign of Airlangga, namely the splitting of the Kadiri Kingdom into Jenggala and Daha (Kediri), he added.
No doubt if Kadiri, Majapahit or Java, in the “heyday of Panji”, could be called a “glorious cultural lighthouse” in the regional area. It is not impossible from the Panji culture that extends have a strong role that has inspired the development of Javanese (Nusantara) civilization in the past. Not only in the field of arts and culture such as literature, fine arts, performing arts, customs, traditions, ethics; but also other fields such as philosophy, science, astronomy, agriculture, architecture, and so on.
In a separate place, Father Sindunata when asked for his comment said, traces and pearls of Javanese civilization of the past were stored in Panji. “All that remains is the will, commitment and wisdom of the present generations to dig it back. Panji is certainly not limited to folklore that develops imagination in a beautiful and romantic way, ”he explained.
This is evidenced by the discovery behind the temple artifacts, we are brought in by Panji into the understanding or conception of the great spiritualism. “It was a surprising discovery, and brought us to a deeper appreciation of the Panji culture than limited as it has been understood,” he added. Then Sindunata quotes: And the real mask is only a veil for the Spirit of Mukdas / a veil that hides God / God Himself hides His person / hides for no reason we can know.
Whereas Dwi Cahyono, historian of the University of Malang, prefers the philosophy of the Topeng Panji performance. “The speciality of Topeng Panji, as an art that is still popular in some regions, Serat Centhini (Paku Buwono IV, 1814) illustrates its philosophical meaning,” he concluded. (hanan jalil)