Reog was Born as a Satire to the Sluggish Majapahit Controlled by China

IMPERIUMDAILY.COM – MALANG– The art of Reog is so famous in Indonesia. The art that is the hallmark of Ponorogo turns out to be a subtle store of history of rebellion.

The birth of this art began with the anxiety of Ki Ageng Kutu, a royal servant during the period of Bhre Kertabhumi, the last Majapahit King who came to power in the 15th century. Ki Ageng Kutu was angry to see the strong influence on the side of King Majapahit’s wife who came from China. In addition, he was also angry at his king in a corrupt government. He also saw that the power of the Majapahit Kingdom would end.

Unable to deal with the situation, he then ‘moved’ to leave the king and then established a martial arts college for young people. The material is the science of self-immunity, and the science of perfection. He hoped that these young people would become the seeds of the revival of the Majapahit kingdom.

However, realizing that his army was too small to fight Majapahit, the message of the ‘rebellion’ Ki Ageng Kutu was conveyed through the Reog art performance. This art is an allusion to King Kertabhumi and his kingdom. Reog became Ki Ageng Kutu’s way to build resistance from the local community to Majapahit.

The Reog performance is displayed with a lion head-shaped mask known as Singa Barong, king of the jungle, which is a symbol for King Kertabhumi. Then the peacock feathers are plastered on top of it to resemble a giant fan symbolizing China’s powerful influence over Majapahit.

Then there is Jathilan, played by a group of gemblak dancers who ride horses to symbolize the strength of the Majapahit Kingdom, which contrasts with the strength of warok, who is behind the red clown mask which is the symbol for Ki Ageng Kutu, alone and supports the weight of the Lion mask Barong which reaches more than 50 kg using only his teeth.

Reog Ki Ageng Kutu’s popularity eventually led to Bhre Kertabhumi taking action and attacking his college, the rebellion by warok was quickly overcome, and his college was forbidden to continue the teaching of warok.

But Ki Ageng Kutu’s students continued secretly. Even so, the Reog art itself is still allowed to be staged because it has become a popular show among the public. It’s just that the storyline has a new plot where characters from Ponorogo folklore are added, namely Klono Sewandono, Dewi Songgolangit, and Sri Genthayu.

While the official version of the Reog Ponorogo storyline is now a story about King of Ponorogo who intends to propose to the daughter of Kediri, Dewi Ragil Kuning. But on the way he was intercepted by Raja Singa Barong from Kediri. Raja Singa Barong’s troops consisted of peacocks and lions, while from the Kingdom of Ponorogo, Raja Klono and his Deputy Bujang Ganong,

escorted by warok (men in black in their dances), and this warok had deadly black magic.

The whole dance is a war dance between the Kingdom of Kediri and the Kingdom of Ponorogo, and pitted the black magic between the two, the dancers in a state of “possession” when performing their dance.

Until now the people of Ponorogo only follow what is their ancestral heritage as a very rich cultural heritage. Art Reog is a human creation created by a flow of belief that is hereditary and maintained. The ceremony also uses conditions that are not easy for ordinary people to fulfill without a clear lineage. They follow the parental lineage and customary law that still applies. (aka)

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