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Traditional and Modern Forms of Pencak Silat in Indonesia: The Suku Mamak in Riau
Monash University, School of Music—Conservatorium, Australia
Available online: 29 Jun 2011
To cite this article: Margaret Kartomi (2011): Traditional and Modern Forms of Pencak Silat in Indonesia: The Suku Mamak in Riau, Musicology Australia, 33:1, 47-68 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08145857.2011.580716
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Musicology Australia Vol. 33, No. 1, July 2011, 47–68
Traditional and Modern Forms of Pencak Silat in Indonesia: The Suku Mamak in Riau
Monash University, School of Music—Conservatorium, Australia
Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012
Pencak silat (‘the art of self defence’) is a contemporary umbrella term used in Indonesia and Malaysia and other parts of Southeast Asia to designate the hundreds of traditional and modern martial art genres that are performed either solo or as a duel, and with or without musical accompaniment. The two components of the term designate the two parts of the one pencak silat genre: pencak, a performance art, and silat, a ﬁghting and self defence art, with the latter sometimes involving the use of weapons such as a sword or dagger. The forms are associated with a range of local legends, religious concepts and philosophies, religions, and systems of customary law (adat), and are components of traditional education. This article explores traditional and modern forms of Pencak silat of the Suku Mamak in Riau, in which the collaborative roles of musicians, musical instruments and other participants are analysed. The article argues that the modern stateappropriated forms have developed in similar fashion throughout the Indonesian archipelago.
This article discusses the performance, cosmology and history of the art of self-defence (pencak silat [I, M]),1 which developed among many Malay groups in Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia since approximately the last millennium.2 After focusing on the ﬁght-dancing and music of one of its many forms, the article discusses the cosmological philosophy behind its movements and techniques, analyses the collaborative processes in its transmission and the production of a performance, this time focusing on the period, and presents three theories of its origin. After describing a pencak silat event in the 1980s, the article returns to a discussion of the collaborative processes in the art’s transmission and the production of a performance after the Indonesian Revolution (1945–1949), when it was appropriated by the state and broke into its three modern forms: a stage art (Pencak Silat Seni, ‘artistic art of self defence’), a form of sport (Pencak Silat Olah Raga, ‘the sport of selfdefence’), and a form of exercise for the masses Silat Perisai Diri, ‘self-shielding art’). As will become apparent, these modern, state-appropriated forms have developed in similar fashion throughout the Indonesian archipelago.3
1 I ¼ Indonesian, M ¼ Malay, Minang. ¼ Minangkabau, Ar. ¼ Arabic. Non-English words without attribution are Indonesian. 2 Traditional pencak silat is also practised in Malay-speaking areas of Malaysia, southern Thailand, and some other parts of Southeast Asia. Maryono estimates that there are more than 800 schools and 260 styles of pencak silat throughout Indonesia, and Wilson counted 20 named styles in West Java; see O’ong Maryono, ‘Pencak Silat in the Indonesian Archipelago’, Rapid Journal 4/2 (Book 12) (1999), 38–9; and Ian Douglas Wilson, ‘The Politics of Inner Power: The Practice of Pencak Silat in West Java (PhD thesis, Murdoch University, 2003), 39. Shamsuddin counted more than 150 variants in Malaysia; see Sheikh Shamsuddin, The Malay Art of Self-defense: Silat Seni Gayong (Berkeley, Calif: North Atlantic Books, 2005). 3 Most of the data in this article were gleaned from guru silat (masters) whom I met in many ethnic groups during my ethnomusicological ﬁeld trips throughout Sumatra and other parts of Indonesia and Malaysia in 1972–2010, especially the Suku Mamak master, Pak Kuning Harum Bunga Tanjung. Others were a pair of Minangkabau tiger-capturing shamans (pawang) and pencak silat masters, Bp Djabur Datuak Radjo Taduang and Bp Halimar Datuak Radjo, whom I met in Solok in 1972, and the west-coast Minangkabau guru/ ISSN 0814-5857 print/ISSN 1949-453X online Ó 2011 Musicological Society of Australia DOI: 10.1080/08145857.2011.580716 http://www.informaworld.com
of course. plus my and Barendregt’s photographs of similar performances by Minangkabau performers in Solok. the late Pak Kuning Harum Bunga Tanjung (alias Pak Kuning). West Sumatra’. Pencak Silat of Minangkabau. I was also informed by Barendregt’s interviews with Mahaguru Darwis Sultan Sulaiman from Solok. see Bart Barendregt. 2011 Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 A great variety of forms of pencak silat developed in different areas of Indonesia in precolonial and post-sixteenth-century colonial Dutch times. southwest of the town of Rengat on the Indragiri River in the province of Riau. Garnering the power of a silat performance was seen as a way of treating the patient. as the beauty of the ﬁght-dancing and music could attract the benign spirits of the ancestors and the natural environment to come down and bless the patient and all those present. Noerdin in Kampuang Salido. the Suku Mamak developed a relatively elaborate performance style. and therefore requires of the researcher descriptive and analytical skills in both ﬁelds. and some of the women were preparing the ensuing feast. ‘De beweging in Silat Minang. which is challenging. Malaysia. ‘Written by the Hand of Allah. The following section describes a performance in the style they developed for the former palace. they learn the techniques of open hand combat between a pair. of protagonists in the second and ﬁnal part. Rijksuniversiteit Leiden. and cosmological connotations with performances in other former Malay palaces in Sumatra. musical attributes.4 Many Indonesians employ the compound term pencak silat to denote a performance that begins with a martial arts display and ends with an exciting ﬁght between a pair. Two pairs of ﬁghter-dancers (pesilat) and three musicians were preparing themselves for the performance while the hosts and elders were organizing the ceremony and making offerings to the spirits.48 Musicology Australia vol. Kecamatan Empat Surai in 1986. 5 This account is based on my ﬁeld notes and photographs of a daytime pencak silat performance in Talang Jerinjing. 4 Probably the scholarly neglect of the art of self-defence is due to the fact that it lies on the cusp of music and dance. The ceremony was to include a lesson for novices and a performance led by a shaman (kumantan) who was also a guru silat. or pairs. a group of semi-nomadic Suku Mamak people were preparing to hold a series of healing ceremonies for a female patient with swollen chin lymph nodes. Painan. Painan Timur. and it also has some unique features deriving from the Suku Mamak’s forest environment. no. 33. so they perform a style of the art of self-defence in which music is optional. a group of 12 novices had gathered on the side of the arena and made their formal greetings to Pak Kuning. called silat. near the present-day town of Rengat on the Indragiri River. in November 1984. who was preparing to give them a lesson in the art of shaman Pak M. Before the event. and Johor. The ritual events took place in a slightly sandy arena outside a Suku Mamak timber home with plaited bamboo walls built on stilts in the shady. 1. While they are wandering in the forest it is. isolated forest village of Talang Jerinjing. 1994. . West Sumatra. Riau. The performance described below was presented by members of Riau’s semi-nomadic.]) in the pencak part of a performance. 131–44. and Bart Barendregt. Randai en Tarian Pencak’ [‘Movement in Silat Minang. I]. however. forest-dwelling Suku Mamak people whose ancestors had served as the designated providers of music. For the palace. of protagonists. Odeion: The Performing Arts World-wide 12 (1995). which shares many movements.5 Part 1: A Traditional Pencak Silat Evening in a Suku Mamak Forest Village Around 4:00 pm on 14 November 1984. very few of which have been discussed in the literature. impractical for them to carry musical instruments around with them. Randai and Pencak Dancing’] (MA thesis. After a display of the slow sparring movements with artful stylistic embellishments (gerak bunga [M. or pairs. dance and pencak silat at the nearby palace of the former sultan of Indragiri. gerak bungo [Minang.
ornamental stretching movements (gerak bunga) of the ﬁngers. With averted gaze. A Pair of Suku Mamak Fighter-dancers Move Slowly around a Circle in the Initial Pencak Section of a Performance.M. On crouched legs they stepped slowly around a clockwise circular formation (Figure 1). The pair of pesilat took centre-stage and began the pencak section of the performance. a Buddhist-Hindu concept that improves one’s moral and physical ﬁtness and knowledge of etiquette. including spirits of the king and queen of the forest (raja macan)—the tiger patrons of pencak silat. Then they crouched down on one leg and extended the other leg to the front with both hands outstretched. Forms of Pencak Silat in Indonesia 49 Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 self-defence. All the while they performed the elegant. Then he gave them some lessons in pencak performance. 1984. Riau. explaining how the techniques that he taught are actually the outer form of the ‘inner force’ (tenaga dalam). elders. Note: Photograph by H. and some women and children were watching them admiringly from the balcony of the home. Kartomi. . controlled pencak section of the performance. By now a number of men and boys had assembled around the outdoor arena for this performance event. Kartomi in Talang Jerinjing. First he spoke to the novices about the nature of pencak silat. then around an anticlockwise circle. hands and arms that form the basis of the slow. with one performer raising his right hand and crooking his left hand on his hip. Pak Kuning then began the performance session by singing an evocation to the spirits. and helps the ﬁghter-dancers recognize danger and acquire the ability to sidestep a physical attack in a performance. the pesilat. For protection from the evil spirits Pak Kuning threw rice grains over his host. musicians. Figure 1. They performed several of the short sequences of movements (jurus) that they would also employ in the ensuing silat section. the pair squatted on their feet and raised both hands to forehead level as they performed a graceful gesture of respect to the benign spirits and the audience. and members of the audience. correcting their stances and movements as they performed the routines. opening with a local variant of the sembah (salutation) movement.
‘Written by the Hand of Allah’) and closely resembles the Suku Mamak berlabeh stance. which has a coconut-leaf double reed. (On this occasion the ensemble dispensed with the optional oboe [su’une]. as in Figure 4. they performed some more 6 The larger drum in the performance measured approximately 60 cm in length by 35 cm in diameter. Figure 2) producing the peningka (‘lead rhythm’) and the smaller gendang anak (‘child drum’). the drummers played cyclic. the pair of pesilat began to collaborate with three instrumentalists. with the larger ‘mother drum’ (gendang ibu.50 Musicology Australia vol. In slow tempo sections he beat it on every twentythird beat as in Transcription B (or every sixteenth beat as in Transcription C). the penyelalu (‘continuing rhythm’). the drummers followed the ﬁghter-dancers’ circling movements and the player of the 28-cm-diameter brass tetawak (Figure 3) struck its boss on every sixteenth beat then damped the sound by placing his left hand on the rim. and the smaller drum approximately 45 cm in length and 30 cm in diameter.) Locking their drums into place with their left legs for ease in playing. which was an heirloom given them by the former palace. 33. and in fast sections he beat it on every eighth beat as in Transcription D. With the smoothly gliding steps (langkah) that are the mark of an accomplished ﬁght-dancer. Note: Photograph by H. Kartomi in Talang Jerinjing. A Pair of Suku Mamak Gendang (Drum) Players Performing Interlocking Rhythms with Each Other in a Silat Performance. double-headed drums. They were playing a pair of locally made. a wooden tube with a lower ﬂair. Then the silat ﬁghting section began. featuring a succession of ‘lulls’ and ‘storms’ in the interactions between the two ﬁghter-dancers. 1. First they assumed a basic stance called berlabeh7 in which they lowered their bodies and rested their weight on their knees while holding one hand in front of their chests. two-headed drums (gendang) and a gong (tetawak). no. 1984. as in Transcription A. 2011 Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 Figure 2. . interlocking rhythms on a pair of cylindrical. During the sembah. 7 The equivalent term in Minangkabau is balabeh (see Barendregt. and six small front ﬁnger holes.6 In their slow but rhythmically arresting opening ﬂourish.
1984. or parrying. as in Figure 5. regular-rhythmic passages as they prepared for the sudden ‘storms’ that burst out at lightning speed. short sequences of movements (jurus). . sometimes locking him into a ﬁxed position. Kartomi in Talang Jerinjing. kicking. Forms of Pencak Silat in Indonesia 51 Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 Figure 3. As the pesilat began to attack each other. explosively loud.8 Each pesilat stepped smoothly and gracefully toward and away from his opponent. raised both hands. and one of them prepared to attack. changing his whole body stance with each step. reverting to a soft interlocking section as the attacks subsided. jagged drum rhythms. of which there are a total of around fourteen.M. The pair of pesilat then warily approached each other in a clockwise and then an anticlockwise circle formation. their kicks were swift and ﬁrm. Note: Photograph by H. then throwing his opponent. Their offensives and basic rolling moves were simple. A Suku Mamak Musician Playing the Gong in a Silat Performance. Kartomi. personal communication. and 8 Pak Kuning. The drummers depicted the lulls with interlocking. 1984. the musicians played fast. The other ﬁght-dancer warded off the attack and counter-attacked by hitting. and their ornamental hand and arm movements (bunga) were elegantly executed. sometimes attacking unexpectedly and forcing his opponent to devise a spontaneous response.
52 Musicology Australia vol. 33. . no. 1.9 The drummers played passages of continuously interlocking rhythms that matched the growing tension between the pair as each tried to outwit and physically overcome the other. 2011 Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 side-stepping. punching his ﬁst 9 This method resembles the Minangkabau silat teaching method discussed in Barendregt. One pesilat attacked from the berlabeh position. ‘Written by the Hand of Allah’. 120–1.
Kartomi. which resembles the hovering of a preying eagle (alang. but at other times they deliberately tried to confuse the combatants. or somersaulting away. The combatants needed to use all their ingenuity to improvise solutions to problems as they arose. Sometimes the musicians simply played louder and more furiously to match the mounting tension occasioned by the pesilat’s attacks and counter-attacks. which forced him to somersault away. usually by performing a surprise move. elang) (Barendregt.10 Then one tripped the other up. mainly to make an episode more exciting for the audience and to assert themselves as collaborators. Forms of Pencak Silat in Indonesia 53 Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 toward his opponent. such as back-ﬂipping. but he responded by kicking his opponent in the groin. for example. The drummers 10 In different areas.M. the balabeh alang babega in Minangkabau. . Sometimes they sonically distracted one pesilat while warning the other in order to avoid an attack that he could see coming. 121). who resisted it by raising his left palm at right angles. the basic berlabeh stance varies. making him fall to the ground. ‘Written by the Hand of Allah’.
122. Note: Photograph by Barendregt in Solok (no date). A Pair of Pesilat Move around in a Circle before One Suddenly Attacks. 1. Figure 5. reproduced with permission from Barendregt. Kartomi in Kampuang Salido. ‘Written by the Hand of Allah’. 2011 Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 Figure 4. West Sumatra. 33. . no. Note: Photograph by H. The Berlabeh/Balabeh Posture Performed by Pak Darwis Sultan Sulaiman. Painan Timur.54 Musicology Australia vol. 1984.
structurally balanced artistic event. the men and women in the audience spurred the pesilat on by calling out admiring or amusing comments. As Pak Kuning explained. and to impress the onlookers with an exciting. various styles of pencak silat were taught and practised for self-survival and defence of one’s family and sultan at all levels of Malay society.M. 1984. but not all of them. Andaya.14 Not only at Indragiri but also at other riverine palaces in Riau in the colonial era (approximately seventeenth to mid-twentieth centuries). Besides collecting valuable forest products they supplied them with ritual specialists whose shamanic chants. There was a lull in the proceedings as the pesilat reverted to a calm circling formation in a clockwise then an anticlockwise direction. while the third group provided staple foods and other basic goods and services.13 In mainland Sumatra most of the people lived at subsistence level. Leaves of the Same Tree: Trade and Ethnicity in the Straits of Melaka (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. The pesilat are expected to provide an interesting performance by continually building up and resolving the level of the artistic tension. the pair is expected to perform so well that the benign spirits will ´ ance to help heal a patient. the small population of nomads and semi-nomads prefer to live in relative isolation in the forest so as to evade contact with government or commercial groups who may interfere with their lives. Sultans are Muslim and kings are Hindu/Buddhist. . and if the artists perform at a se required to contribute to the healing process by providing the right spiritual atmosphere through their music and dance. knife. animals and other natural phenomena as well as the spirits of their ancestors. deftly manoeuvring his opponent into a compromising position under his keris. or machete. To this day. One protagonist then further increased the level of tension by brandishing a keris (short Malay dagger) before his opponent. for etiquette requires that each ﬁght-dancer maintain good relations with his opponent. Pencak Silat in Society: The Semi-nomadic Suku Mamak Over centuries past. Then one man would suddenly attack again and the other would counter-attack. the kings placed a special value on the local nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples. Forms of Pencak Silat in Indonesia 55 Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 marked such moves as these by sharp jagged rhythms that spurred the combatants on to present more surprises. with the musicians varying the musical rhythms. tempo and dynamic levels to match. capturing 11 12 13 14 Weapons used in other areas include a rencong (short Acehnese dagger). Until the demise of the traditional Malay sultans in the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. Moreover. they are be attracted to attend. Leonard Y. the ﬁrst two groups provided their rulers with products that they collected in the forest in return for bartered goods such as salt. 49–81. accompanied by soft. who then produced and brandished his weapon. Kartomi. as semi-nomads—such as the Suku Mamak discussed above—who divided their time between collecting products in the forests and slash-and-burn agriculture on the edge of the forest.11 As the excitement built up to fever pitch. Personal communication. interlocking drumming (Transcription C). They prefer to live close to nature where they feel free to venerate the spirits that inhabit the rocks. as in Transcription D. and the rulers used or sold the products in the lucrative trade circuits to which they belonged. or as sedentary farmers living in villages near their king’s or chieftain’s palace.12 each pesilat aimed to attack and win some skirmishes. or who in earlier times would capture them as slaves. either as nomads in the forests. sickle. prayers and ritual pencak silat and other performances helped solve problems such as healing a sick patient. 2008). trees. sword.
33. and other phenomena of the natural universe possess consciousness. for its established terms and rationale are closely associated with Southeast Sumatrans’ ancient indigenous religious beliefs.56 Musicology Australia vol. known as Batara Guru) were added to the pantheon of venerated indigenous spirits from the time of Sriwijaya.17 Traditional Malay Pencak Silat: Its Origins and Cosmology What are the origins of Malay pencak silat? There are at least three theories. and the sultan at Pelalawan on the Kampar river with the semi-nomadic Petalangan people. no. most Compassionate’) and references to Muslim saints or spirits have been added to the invocations. . cosmology and pedagogy of pencak silat. Over the centuries. Their shamans made liberal use of music. maintaining and playing the nobat drum ensemble and teaching and performing the martial arts. have subjective characteristics. including live and deceased humans. and indigenous religion from the time of Sumatra’s Buddhist-Hindu kingdom of Sriwijaya (seventh to eleventh centuries CE). Several pencak silat movements are named after the movements of animals. Muslim terms and phrases such as Bismillah al-rahman al-rahim (‘In the name of Allah. 18 The theories were explained to me by some pencak silat masters. and contain spirits. and are interconnected in the one reality. 17 Encik Oemar Syarif. which are based on the idea that not only people but also animals. trees. or vanquishing a rival in love.16 The sultans of Indragiri designated the ancestors of the above-mentioned Suku Mamak group as their ofﬁcial providers of the performing arts. and birds have a language of communication. the Hindu god Siva. winning battles. stars. such as the Suku Mamak discussed above. 2011 tigers and other wild animals. 1982. not only did the sultan at Rengat on the Indragiri river have a special relationship with the abovementioned Suku Mamak. 1984. All natural phenomena. feel pleasure and pain.15 Several Riau-Malay kings appointed special groups of nomads or semi-nomads to serve as their trusted musicians who maintained and played the royal nobat ensembles. including the Muslim majority and Christian minority. Most of the nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples escaped efforts made to convert them. and it behoves humans to revere and maintain relations with the spirits of nature and the ancestors. 1. or other rites of passage. and vestiges of them also still remain in the consciousness of the adherents of world religions in the rest of Sumatra. the sun. tigers and chimpanzees have a culture. the kings’ most powerful heirlooms and symbols of sovereignty. Thus in many areas of Sumatra. but the sultan at Siak on the Siak river had a close relationship with the seminomadic Sakai people. which is not surprising as the people believe that. Another holds that it is even older. language. funeral. mountains.18 One holds that it developed as part of the generation and spread of the Old Malay culture. personal communication. ´ ances and at the royal and commoner rituals on dance and self-defence displays in their se the occasion of a wedding. Sumatra’s kingdoms came into contact not only with adherents of Buddhism and Hinduism but also Islam (from the early to late second millennium) and a few came into contact at different periods with Confucianism or Christianity. moon. including the above-mentioned Pak Kuning.g. yet some of the terms used in their ritual languages indicate that they too have had Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 15 Pak Kuning. or as nomads living in houseboats at sea (Suku Laut [‘Sea Tribes’]). These beliefs are still dominant among groups of people who prefer to live relatively isolated lives wandering in the forests. personal communication. who were entrusted with the task of making. most Gracious. 16 In Riau. like humans. Adherents of this theory also hold that some Hindu and Buddhist celestial beings (e.
the sparring techniques against an opponent. 1970). the coasts of many other Indonesian islands. the cradle of the Old Malay language and culture was located in the lower reaches of the Musi River in the Buddhist-Hindu kingdom of Sriwijaya (approximately seventh to thirteenth centuries CE). matters of royal prestige. From time immemorial. and using the ordinary ﬁghters in the army and navy forces when necessary to protect the kingdom and its trading activities. including the preliminary spiritual and physical exercises. the traditional art of self-defence is taught by male master teachers (guru besar silat. albeit mostly between small numbers of combatants on each side. Tiger Movements. the centre of the Malayu kingdom on the Batang Hari River. it subdivided into its many lingual varieties around coastal Sumatra. and even in the lingually non-Malay Batak Mandailing area that neighbours Minangkabau.C. Kartomi.). They absorb the cosmological meaning and terms of the art and imitate the master’s movements en masse. Thailand. All the theories portray pencak silat as an exclusively male art. As the archaeological evidence shows. Malay oral epics dating back to the sixteenth century emphasize the need for Malay boys to learn the martial art of pencak silat (e. the Sejarah Melayu [‘Malay Annals’]). the artistic movements and formations. As the belletristic Malay literature and oral traditions (hikayat) indicate. Brown (trans. It also became an essential symbol of male Malay identity in Minangkabau where the people speak a variety of Malay. all young Malay boys have been required to learn pencak silat as a tool of traditional education in philosophy and religion and for self-defence in a historically warring environment. They fought wars over land rights. but they mostly portray their female characters as helpless beauties and mothers who need male heroes to protect them and their children against marauders and criminals.20 The art also spread throughout Riau. the coastal areas of Sumatra.19 whence it spread north to Riau and other areas of Sumatra and the Malay peninsula. the inhabitants of Sumatra were frequently involved in ﬁghting local wars over the past millennium and a half. and the cosmological associations that were attributed to the art and all other aspects of living. aristocratic rivalry in love. and Pencak Silat Pencak silat is one of the Malay customs associated with the birth or development of the Old Malay language in southeast Sumatra during the ﬁrst millennium CE. Leaves of the Same Tree. Hindu and Muslim kingdoms with whom their ancestors engaged in barter. Sejarah Melayu or Malay Annals (Kuala Lumpur: OUP. with its capital in or near present-day Palembang until the eleventh century. 83. peninsular Malaya. including certain musical instruments) and other magically potent objects. in which magic charms and songs expressing reverence for the spirits are all-important. external threats. and thenceforth near Jambi. The Spread of Malay Culture. 20 C. The Malay hikayat tell of the military and amorous exploits of many male heroes and occasionally refer to heroines. and other parts of Southeast Asia. As the Old Malay language spread. although the language 19 Andaya. All Malay boys were therefore expected to learn the art of self-defence. and possession of pusaka (heirlooms. A third theory holds that pencak silat is indirectly related to the hand and armed combat used in petty wars. Forms of Pencak Silat in Indonesia 57 Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 contact with members of the Buddhist. or guru silat) to male novice pupils. The rulers rewarded the most proﬁcient ﬁghters by making them generals (panglima) and admirals (laksamana). Thus. . 11.g. as we shall see below.M.
1983). 23 Barendregt. it classiﬁed the religions of each ethno-linguistic group. 1. tumbling. . king of tigers. 33. see item 7. no. 24 When the government in the Suharto era insisted that all Indonesians must belong to one of ﬁve established religions.23 I also found evidence in support of this view in several parts of Riau.24 Since that time.e. ‘Written by the Hand of Allah’. So as not to give away their secrets. stealthy ‘long steps of a tiger’ (langkah panjang macan). 22 For a recording of the Serama Datu (‘magic shaman’) rhythm. who are in frequent contact with the tiger. water. They teach their trainee ﬁghter-dancers that pencak silat is not just a martial art but also a philosophy that is based on their ancestors’ Buddhist and Hindu beliefs and veneration of the spirits of nature.58 Musicology Australia vol. not on the ﬁve world religions that are recognized by the government (i. West and North Sumatra. Suku Mamak pesilat say that they continue to model their ﬁghting-art movements on those of wild animals. analyses and commentary. . 25 Barendregt. Protestantism. kicking. They transmit certain secretive combat techniques that are based on deep observation of animal behaviour and the elements of nature—ﬁre. and this policy has not changed at the time of writing.25 while retaining vestiges of the old religion. side B of Margaret Kartomi. when Minangkabau Suﬁ brotherhoods began to be formed. and earth. I]) possess the mystical powers of a shaman as well as advanced practical self-defence skills and pedagogical ability. striking. when the Minangkabau guru silat teach the philosophy of the art. Some Minangkabau regard the tiger as the founding father of some silat styles’. The government sees the Suku Mamak as belum beragama (‘not yet subscribing to a religion’) because their indigenous religious beliefs are based on nature and ancestral spirit veneration. the tiger. Minangkabau masters adapted pencak silat to their new beliefs.22 Barendregt has hypothesized that the early development of silat education in West Sumatra was ‘bound up with the belief in tiger spirits. Musicaphone Baerenreiter BM 30 SL 2568 (LP record with musical transcriptions. The raja macan. evade and sidestep his opponent’s attack by performing agile hand and foot movements. Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 . He said that a pesilat’s main aim is to anticipate. his followers avoid looking directly at their opponent. 118. was the patron of all silat students . 2011 underwent substantial adaptation from the fourteenth century. The Suharto regime (1965–1998) recognized only ﬁve religions. Like the Suku Mamak. who was venerated for his mystical ‘tiger knowledge’ (ilmu macan). The Mandailing People of North Sumatra. air. averting their gaze to the ground or the arena as they perform. Leaves of the Same Tree. informed me that he had befriended a succession of tigers in the forest. and the people regard themselves as a separate ethnic group. ‘Written by the Hand of Allah’. as in the case of the irama serama angin (‘magic wind rhythm’) performed by both Suku Mamak and Mandailing musicians. The aforementioned silat master (guru besar) Pak Kuning. Buddhism/Confucianism and Hinduism). From the slow. Islam. above all among the Suku Mamak nomads in mainland Riau. and blocking. Catholicism.21 Many traditional silat master teachers (guru besar silat [M. 117. especially the king and queen of the forest. they emphasize the indigenous belief in the need to venerate 21 Andaya. He also taught his followers the ‘white bird’ (burung putih) and ‘descending python’ (ular sawa barendam) movements and told them about the powerful steps that the ancestors learned from ‘elephant knowledge’ (ilmu gajah) and observation. 82–3. stealthy ‘long steps of a tiger’ (langkah panjang macan) and ‘the tiger attacks movement’ (gerak serangan macan) he developed silat movements such as gerak serangan macan (‘the tiger attacks’) and the slow. and that he had learnt several stances and movements while observing them playfully pouncing and cornering their prey.
a traditional pencak silat performance requires collaboration at ﬁve levels: between the master and the trainee or lead ﬁghterdancers. and both practise similar basic procedures. a gong or two. the pesilat and the musicians. and their mantra address the Prophet Muhammad and other Muslim prophets. recognize. vital strength and will (ﬁlsafat Tuhan dalam diri kita [‘‘God’s philosophy in us’’])’ (Barendregt. ﬂute.). sight. For example. a pair of hanging gongs are played in colotomic (punctuating) fashion every eight or four beats (as in Transcription C).e. plus optional players of melodic instruments such as an oboe. M]) that inﬂuenced the art from the sixteenth century when the Minangkabau began to accept Islam. gongchime.. The concepts of inner strength and divine self associated with pencak silat in the Solok area of Minangkabau are discussed in Barendregt. and he collaborates with his pesilat followers as organizer and director of rehearsals and philosophical introductions to performances (Figure 6a). Collaboration in and Transmission of Traditional Performances As exempliﬁed in the performance described above. they follow their opponent’s every move musically. loud 26 Ibid. 117. and sidestep a dangerous attack (silat). tarekat [I. usually launching an attack as the best form of defence. At the ﬁrst level of collaboration. anticipating an attack from the opponent. he needs closely to follow and match the pesilat pairs’ movements musically. the pair(s) of pesilat ﬁghter-dancers become adversarial collaborators to produce an excellent performance. the artists and the ceremonial event organizers.M. ‘Written by the Hand of Allah’. 117–28.]. but they interrupt the ﬂow to mark the unpredictable high points in the action by producing a sharp. bowed string instrument. Kartomi. knowledge. 117–19). At the second level. who minimally comprise a pair of drummers. or colotomic instruments.26 but unlike the Suku Mamak they also emphasize the importance of a Suﬁoriented education and acquisition of the esoteric knowledge of the litany (ilmu tassawuf. for example. Although the lead drummer usually decides when to begin and end a performance and marks it with a rhythmic signal. physical strength. Forms of Pencak Silat in Indonesia 59 Nature and the ancestors in order to gain inner strength (tenaga dalam. Their philosophical discourse and terminology derives from Suﬁ-oriented sects (tariqat [Ar. speech. Ar. Both groups teach that pencak silat is an important means of promoting good social behaviour and etiquette. They apply a variety of methods for dealing with unpredictable situations. but they practise distinctive forms of the art. the collaboration occurs between the pair(s) of pesilat and any accompanying musicians. The pair of drummers frequently increase the tension by playing interlocking passages in strict quadruple metre and building up to a fast. Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 . i. which contributes to the excitement by adding a melodic build up to the drum climaxes at strategic moments.27 The most commonly used melodic instrument is the oboe. the pair(s) of ﬁghter-dancers themselves. movements and use of musical instruments. and in fast silat scenes they serve as a tempo-keeper.. At the third level. making sure that they understand the importance of the moral philosophy that comes with the skills. Through experience they learn to foreshadow. and the whole group of presenters with the audience (see Figure 6). played on every second beat. The collaboration between the pesilat and the musicians is intense. 27 In some Suku Mamak pencak performances. a Hindu-Buddhist concept). ‘Written by the Hand of Allah’. hearing. they refer to the ‘seven divine philosophies of man. and creatively improvising a method of escape from danger. such as when punched (Figure 7) or tripped up (Figure 8). a respected guru besar silat master passes on the techniques of attack and defence to his pesilat novices or followers. loud climax.
Models of Collaboration in the Presentation of Traditional Pencak Silat Performances. 1. no.60 Musicology Australia vol. 33. 2011 Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 Figure 6. .
1975. Melaka. Note: Photograph by H. Figure 8. . Malaysia. After Being Tripped Up and Falling to the Ground. Note: Photograph by H. a Pesilat Kicks his Opponent in the Groin and Makes him Somersault Away. Forms of Pencak Silat in Indonesia 61 Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 Figure 7. Kartomi: Muar. A Pesilat Attacks with a Punch.M. 1975. Kartomi. Whereupon his Opponent Resists by Raising his Left Arm. Malaysia. Kartomi: Muar. Melaka.
see Ashley Turner. ed. Jamie C. 374. the Japanese paid great attention to cultural means to change people’s minds and win their hearts’ (Mark. 33. The pesilat pair. 1. Their motive is not to support their preferred winner but to increase the challenge to the ﬁghters and to make the ups and downs of their display more entertaining for the onlookers. Kassler (Sydney: Currency Press. the Japanese ordered the occupied Indonesian people to subscribe to the Japanese wartime slogan ‘Asia for Asians’ (as opposed to Asia for the Dutch) and to show pride in their ancient culture and arts.29 The Japanese also offered pencak silat as part of combat training to youths in the Fatherland 28 For a detailed. 29 For example. 1 March 1945. ‘Belian as a Symbol of Cosmic Reuniﬁcation’. the master guru besar and his pesilat followers collaborate with the elders and hosts in presenting performances to the guests and audience at a healing ceremony. but each knows his place in the hierarchy. The second drummer (penyelalu. Part 2: Major Changes in the Collaborative Processes of Pencak Silat’s Transmission and Performance Style since the 1940s During and after World War II. Thus. The pesilat always lead the musicians. which they ﬁnd distracting as they try to concentrate on the dangers of the ﬁght. Following their invasion of the Dutch East Indies in 1942. and as a consequence in the collaborative processes involved in its inter-generational transmission and performance styles.g. 1991). practice and performance activity. However. holy day celebration such as Idul Fitri (the festival celebrating the end of the fasting month. Horton and D. circumcision. see Ethan Mark. practice and meaning of the art. ‘Intellectual Life and the Media’. Indonesian Independence Day. Ramadan).62 Musicology Australia vol. ‘follower’) takes his cues from the lead drummer (the peningka). At the fourth level. pencak silat exercises were included in a sandiwara drama presentation that was written and directed by Japanese artists. in The Encyclopedia of Indonesia in the Paciﬁc War. ‘From the start of the occupation. professional pencak silat artists performed in public shows along with items of traditional dance. Kwarta (Leiden: Brill. Most pesilat ﬁnd that music magniﬁes the excitement of the combat for both the performers and the audience. or a national holiday celebration (e. 2011 Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 drum clap when a pesilat hits or kicks his opponent (see Figure 8). as reported in Asia Raya. or—in Muslim areas—a wedding. 389). improvisatory performance. begin and end each episode by performing locally varied sembah (an elegant salutation) of respect to each other and members of their audience. 2010). The musicians also aim to entertain the audience by surreptitiously intervening in the ﬁghting by beating out a sharp drum sound or rhythm at a crucial moment in order to confuse or distract one or the other of the ﬁghters and even to issue warnings of an impending attack.B. a series of major changes occurred in the function. W. Both the pesilat and the musicians collaborate to produce an adventurous. Finally the guru and the team of pesilat and musicians collaborate to entertain their audience at a performance. ‘Intellectual Life and the Media’. no. in Metaphor: A Musical Dimension. They also serve to maintain the social consensus that pencak silat is a valuable pursuit for all young men. or pairs. Usually the elders of a community lead the village organization of men and women who provide the basic resources for silat education. seen and unseen. and they match their build-ups of tension and release by changing the dynamic level and tempo. comparative music-technical discussion of the fusion of penyelalu and peningka drum rhythms among the Malay Petalangan people in Riau. 17 August). other life event celebration.28 and the ﬁrst drummer takes the lead over any other instrumentalists present. some pesilat prefer to perform their mock-combat without any music. music and drama. ed. 135–7. ‘Education was .
but the second—the sporting model—sometimes dispensed with music entirely as it was converted from its status as an art form into a sport. the ﬁrst and last models retained musical accompaniment in their performances. three levels of collaboration occur. the participants are much less mystically and religiously inclined than when taught in traditional style in the villages. Ibid.. Tentara Sukarela Pembela Tanah Air) established in 1943. Silat teaching for ‘civil defence’ was ofﬁcially encouraged at the ﬁrst national Sporting Games held in Surakarta. it did not achieve its aim of including the art of self defence in the national curriculum. the Indonesian government.31 However. if at all. Jazz Riffs and the Constitution of a National Martial Art in Indonesia’. ‘Intellectual Life and the Media’. On the whole. From 2000. a new collaborative stakeholder began to become involved.M. Secondly there is an adversarial yet artistic collaboration between the pair of pencak artists. West Sumatra. pedagogy and forms. Mark.30 After Sukarno declared Indonesia’s Independence in 1945. ‘silat to shield oneself’]). 323. 3–5. Eventually international pencak silat organizations were established that focused on the sporting aspects and paid only limited attention to the genre’s traditional philosophy. another as a sport (Pencak Silat Olah Raga) with formal games organized for its pinnacle performers. the new curriculum only emphasized Japanese physical education (including military training and taiso gymnastics). as in Figure 6a. not pencak silat. From 1948. During Suharto’s New Order regime (1965–1998). In the ﬁrst modern model.32 Under the auspices of IPSI. the collaboration being less improvisatory and more choreographed than in the traditional styles. When primary and secondary schools were reopened after the invasion. the art was split in three directions. This development has been described by Uwe Paetzold in an unpublished paper delivered at the International Council for Traditional Music conference in Shefﬁeld in 2005. to perform ﬁxed popular numbers and to improvise very little. with government-organized competitions and festivals replacing the traditionally organized village celebrations. Pencak Silat Seni. involving different models of collaboration. 320). Forms of Pencak Silat in Indonesia 63 Voluntary Defence Force (PETA. However. when the ﬁrst national pencak silat body was founded in Bandung. the government subjected the art to major changes for political purposes and nation-building. The ﬁrst level of collaboration operates between a recognized master/guru besar and the pairs of student pesilat in art institutions such as the Sekolah Seni Indonesia (formerly the Akademi Seni Karawitan Indonesia Arts Academy) in Padang Panjang. 95–6 and 107–8. Thirdly the collaboration operates between the pair of artists and the musicians. Body and Society 15/3 (2009). and yet another as a mass physical exercise (Silat Perisai Diri [lit. . ‘Intellectual Life and the Media’. and the guru besar silat may serve mainly as a dance trainer and choreographer. however.33 Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 30 31 32 33 considered as one of the most important means of indoctrinating people as members of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere’ (Mark. however. Lee Wilson. One emphasized the genre as a performing art (Pencak Silat Seni) with competitions and festivals of arts organized for its pinnacle artists. Kartomi. military and government ofﬁcials developed the bureaucratic structures of the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI) through which the teaching method was thoroughly standardized. some Pencak Silat Tradisi (traditional pencak silat) festivals were organized in which performances without any music at all were showcased and the competitive appeal dispensed with altogether. who tend. ‘Jurus.
the Pencak Silat Asia-Paciﬁc Championships. and the sport organizations at the regional. where movements of a wild Sumatran tiger and her two cubs are caught on ﬁlm. . leaving hands. male and female ﬁghter-dancers normally perform separately. and from 1987 in the Southeast Asian Games. international pencak silat organizations were formed that aimed to spread an interest in pencak silat’s physical properties and techniques internationally. 33. and drum claps to mark the main hits and kicks. and North America in 2009. 106–7.37 One clip shows a pair of female pesilat using jurusan that suit the female body.36 In the sporting arena. and to present their athletes at international Games. the collaborations also occur at three levels: between the silat sport trainers. was founded. scores of pencak silat organizations have been operating in most countries of Asia. sporting competitions took precedence. Female participation in this traditionally male art grew signiﬁcantly from the 1990s. ‘Jurus. a well-known silat master. Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 . as recorded on the website. open-hand combat at a fast pace. Australasia. national. North America and a few other countries in Europe and beyond.persilat.34 This. following the segregated gender practices of many other performing arts in urban areas of Indonesia’s increasingly modernist or orthodox Muslim society. Athletes also participate in the Pencak Silat European Championships. front and both sides of the arena. As in Suku Mamak 34 Wilson. toured the United States. 1. Jazz Riffs’. face and feet bare. 35 Persilat. As a result. In early 2010. their silat section featured several rounds of low-grounded. was a major departure from traditional pencak silat. Music was retained in this example of Pencak Silat Olah Raga.35 Since its internationalization. as shown in some Internet videoclips. internationalsilatfederation.com4. along with the fact that music was excluded from the sport.38 After opening their Sundanese-style pencak section with a low sembah and a wide spatial orientation. Australasia. avoiding attacks on the breasts. with formations moving to the back. and featuring the avoidance techniques of rolling on the ﬂoor and kicking. played on a Sundanese oboe (tarompet) in the local pentatonic salendro tonality and a set of truncated conical Sundanese drums. and wearing a traditionalstyle costume that protects and covers the body. Comprising 39 member nations in Asia. Since 1982 silat athletes have competed in the biennial Pencak Silat World Championships. closely followed the frequent changes of tempo from slow to very fast.youtube. 37 Pencak Silat (women) from Indonesia. the aim being to develop one’s strength and ﬁghting skills and above all to win in a competition. (Accessed 1 March 2010) 5www. Bp Waheed.org4. black trouser suit with a loose cut and a colourful sarong to knee length. However. and the Open Championships. where he taught silat tuo (old silat). when the main international pencak silat organization. The internationalization of the sport accelerated in 1980. PERSILAT (Persekutuan Pencak Silat Antarabangsa).com/ watch?v¼DKKDp5X0zDY4. the athlete practitioners. it aims to promote pencak silat outside its source region of Southeast Asia. and international levels. Europe. Pencak Silat Olah Raga internationalized its activities in such a way as to allow individuals of either gender to take part. From the 1970s. using the same collaborative model as in male performances shown in Figure 6c. no. Although IPSI included performing arts-style pencak in its pedagogical activities.64 Musicology Australia vol. or landing punches and kicks to designated areas of their opponent’s body’. 36 International Silat Federation of America & Indonesia. 38 The women wear a high-necked. (Accessed 28 March 2010) 5www. (Accessed 2 April 2010) 5http://www. 2011 In the modern sport model called Pencak Silat Olah Raga (Figure 6c). . long-sleeved. silat Minangkabau and silat harimau (tiger silat). many new moves were introduced including ‘high kicking techniques .
and so forth. The depletion of the forests forced many to move to the outskirts of towns. but also to treat self-defensively in case they marauded against them. with which they needed to learn to live and even befriend as far as possible. the musicians produced sharp drum sounds to distract one pesilat as the other attacked. teach them to perform the easier movements at early morning ceremonies. A master-teacher of the art (guru besar silat or guru silat) usually presides over a 39 Silat Perisai Diri was founded by R. snakes. Branches of Keluarga Silat Perisai Diri (‘The Silat Self Defence Family’) were subsequently established in several countries. with their habitat under constant threat from extensive illegal logging. or to confuse or frighten one or both ﬁghters. The losses are greatest among the nomadic and semi-nomadic peoples.M.39 As the sequences of silat exercises were performed either to recorded music by absent musicians or to no music at all. . the practice has become much less widespread throughout Indonesia. where a traditional form of pencak silat was preserved in Talang Jerinjing but fell into disuse elsewhere. the role of music is important. although technicians were usually employed to play back the pre-recorded music. In the third modern model—the standardized mass exercises called Silat Perisai Diri (‘self-shielding silat’)—the pencak silat trainers or instructors (who are sometimes minimally trained) collaborate with large numbers of government employees or school children whom they teach and supervise in regular early morning exercise sessions held in a square or yard (Figure 6d). inﬂuenced as it is by their Malay confreres in the Indragiri palace. birds. While in the forest they displayed advanced combat techniques in their pencak silat performances but they often dispensed with the music because of the impracticality of carrying heavy instruments around with them. The art of self-defence occurs in many variant forms in virtually all Malay ethno-lingual groups in Sumatra and many other parts of Southeast Asia. many Suku Mamak and other nomadic groups retired further and further into the forests. the all-important collaboration between pesilat and musicians in traditional performances was of course entirely lacking. Forms of Pencak Silat in Indonesia 65 Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 and other traditional practices. 40 As argued by Paetzold (2005). however. From the late 1970s. crocodiles. Their performance style features movements based on their ancestors’ observations of the movements and strategies of wild animals: tigers. Kartomi. Efforts to revive the traditional pedagogical method are rarely successful given the lack of funding and the pressures to teach large classes efﬁciently. In the Talang Jerinjing performance described above. Conclusion This article has described a traditional silat performance by a people who in 1984 were still dividing their time between a nomadic lifestyle for most of the year and a sedentary existence—growing garden products on the edge of the forest—for the rest of the year.M. Since Suharto’s fall. At present the traditional forms of the art are taught in less and less communities as the cities and towns expand and take over the ever-diminishing rural areas. government policy aimed to keep its employees and schoolchildren ﬁt (and politically compliant40) by having the instructors. elephants. Soebandiman Dirdjoatmodjo in 1955 in Surabaya. who were no longer guided by the art’s philosophical and religious traditions. especially Indonesia and Malaysia. where mutual interaction between the ﬁghter-dancers and musicians creates a special tension and complexity. Under Suharto’s New Order.
pancak or the local variant sile bungo or kembang silat (‘embellished pencak’ [Minang. however. many ethno-linguistic groups in Malay-speaking areas of Southeast Asia have developed their forms of the art. the usual range of surprise moves between the standard routines. Thus. . they accompany the sparring of the ﬁghter-dancers by improvising and anticipating. However. 42 The usage of the term pencak silat was not standardized until the IPSI was founded in 1948. followed by exciting episodes of open-hand combat between a pair. If the pesilat choose to perform in silence or cannot ﬁnd any musicians to accompany them. tend to use the term silat seni (‘artistic silat’) for the dance display and silat or silat gayong (‘ﬁst or weapon strike silat’) for the ﬁghting section. The musicians often play only a pair of double-headed drums (gendang). elegance of movement. religious way of life of a silat adept. however. Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 41 In verbal practice. a sarunai [M]) and optional gong[s]). knowledge of movement routines. and the ability to improvise responses to an opponent and signals from musicians. gerak bungo [Minang. If musicians are present. A prototype of pencak silat probably developed into its many variants and spread with the expansion of the Malay language in Sumatra and beyond during the ﬁrst millennium CE. his pairs of pesilat followers. or reinforcing. with the result that fewer areas practise the traditional forms of the art. spiritual and artistic levels. or moncak or poncak in Batak Mandailing and Batak Angkola in Sumatra. ´ k (Minang. no. who sometimes use weapons such as a keris (dagger) or a knife. embellishing movements (gerak bunga [M.41 with the compound term pencak silat denoting the combination of the martial dance display and the ﬁght-dancing section. or pairs. the distinction between pencak as a preliminary artistic display and silat as a combat-oriented art is not always clearly made. Pencak also has locally variant names. In some cases the drummers may even intervene in the pesilat’s actions as they respond musically to their attacks and counterattacks. the elders and religious leaders who provide the resources and organize the performances. and—not least—the members of the audience. the musicians. while the settled Minangkabau people have developed techniques and forms that exemplify the addition of layers of Suﬁ Muslim meaning that is several centuries old. The performance usually comprises two parts: a slow sparring display with artful. but so many areas have been logged that many groups who once lived in or on the edges of the forest can no longer maintain a living. such as penca in West Java.66 Musicology Australia vol. All work together toward the common goal of producing and enjoying a performance that is satisfying on communal. the Suku Mamak people—who live nomadic or semi-nomadic lives in small isolated settlements in the forest—preserve one of the oldest forms of the art in the Malayspeaking world.]). to which they may add a melodic instrument (usually an oboe. on the other hand. 33. the key everywhere to its successful practice and transmission lies in the collaboration between the master teacher-mystic. although occasionally they take the initiative and spur the pesilat on as they spar. Arguably. for in some areas a two-part performance is simply called silat. the level of excitement generated among the performers and audience may be relatively subdued. of pesilat. 2011 performance by a pair of ﬁghter-dancers (pesilat) at a traditional celebration or pencak silat competition. The many traditional forms of pencak silat that were still strong until the 1980s are still practised in forest lands. The ﬁrst part is usually called pencak and the last part silat (M.42 Malaysians. I) or equivalent local terms. Only with such community collaboration can novices acquire the philosophical understanding.]). I]. 1. ﬁghting skills. Only then can they coordinate all the factors that contribute to the ideal ethical.).
‘Tiger-capturing Music in Minangkabau. Mahmud Indragiri) and Encik Oemar Syarif (the Datuk Temenggung [Minister]). for informing us about the style of pencak silat performed in the former palace. Forms of Pencak Silat in Indonesia 67 Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 Since governments intervened from around 1948. ‘The Royal Nobat Ensemble of Indragiri in Riau.wordpress. West Sumatra’. the art of self-defence—pencak silat—of the Malay world.com/2007/01/farrer_wp_174. The practitioners were divided into two groups—those who gravitated towards silat as a performing art (Pencak Silat Seni). I am particularly grateful to the Suku Mamak pencak silat master and shaman (kumantan). Margaret. but they encourage adaptation to new kinds of live performance situations and on the media. Mas Kartomi. and sometimes limit variability in order to present a uniﬁed style believed to represent an ethno-linguistic group’s identity.ﬁles. Acknowledgements I wish to thank the descendants of the Indragiri royal family whom H. Sumatra Research Bulletin II/1 (1972). Asian Music XII/2 (1981). However. it has in fact changed pencak silat so radically that for some traditionalists it can no longer qualify as an aesthetically pleasing art of self-defence that delights the eye and ear with its elegantly ornamented dance and musical elements. They de-emphasize the pesilat’s ability to improvise creative solutions to unexpected dangerous situations. and the members of the audience. References Chambers. Margaret. especially Tengku Hamat (son-in-law of the last Sultan. and his ﬁghter-dancers and musicians who explained and allowed us to record their pencak silat performance in Talang Jerinjing. for it ignores the deep cultural meaning and environmental links of its progenitor. the musicians (if present). and for introducing us to their loyal Suku Mamak artist supporters who spend part of each year in the Talang Jerinjing hamlet on the edge of the nearby forest in Kecamatan Rengat. Quinten and Draeger. Kartomi.pdf4. The preparation of this article was ably assisted by Bronia Kornhauser. ‘Dualism in Unity: The Ceremonial Music of the Mandailing Raja Tradition’. Pak Kuning Harum Bunga Tanjung. Javanese Silat. including its dance and musical aspects. 74–108. Sumatra. the pairs of pesilat students (no longer the followers). 3–15. Kartomi. The Fighting Art of Perisai Diri (Tokyo: Kokasha. in abolishing the art’s musical component and drastically reducing its cultural meaning. Social Analysis 50/1 (2006) (Accessed 28 October 2007). Kartomi and I met in Rengat in 1984. Farrer Douglas. and who prefer to remain nameless. My husband.M. Margaret. These developments represent radical changes away from the traditional practice and pedagogy. Donn. ‘‘‘Deathscapes’’ of the Malay Martial Arts’. . The Galpin Society Journal 50 (1997). 1978). My research was partly funded by the Australian Research Council and the School of Music— Conservatorium at Monash University and was assisted by the Indonesian Department of Education and Culture in Pakan Baru. The modern sporting varieties of the art of self-defence have doubtless contributed to Indonesia’s reputation as a sporting nation. a new kind of collaboration was required between different sets of stakeholders. in Colonial and Pre-Colonial Times’. Kartomi. including live observers and owners of recorded performances. and those who valued it as a sporting activity (Pencak Silat Olah Raga)—developments that led to art competitions and festivals on the one hand and competitive games on the other. Kartomi. 5http://socioblogsg. 24–41. Figure 4) presented in this article. was my helpful companion on our ﬁeld trip and took the photographs (apart from Barendregt’s photograph. ‘Artistic’ Pencak Silat performances resulted from collaboration between the trainer/ choreographer(s) (no longer the master-mystic). the art competition or festival organizers (no longer the elders). Riau. the mystical or religious and ethical beneﬁts of performance.
113–46. ‘Umbuik Mudo and the Magic Flute: A Randai Dance-Drama’.68 Musicology Australia vol.edu.com/2009/03/origin-of-pencak-silat-as-told-by-myths. Her most recent firstname.lastname@example.org. Musical Journeys in Sumatra. 33. Asian Theater Journal 20/2 (2003). Pencak Silat Merentang Waktu. Yogyakarta. is forthcoming with the University of Illinois Press. Email: Margaret. ‘Internationalization of Pencak Silat’. ‘The Music in Pencak Silat Tournaments is Gone.keindonesia. Author Biography Downloaded by [Murdoch University Library] at 02:31 25 April 2012 Margaret Kartomi is Professor of Music at Monash University. De-Vitalization of a Performance Culture?’ Paper presented at the 38th World Conference of the International Council of Traditional Music. 5www. O’ong Maryono. 1998 (Accessed 23 March 2010). no.kpsnusantara. 5 August 2005. 1. 2011 Kirstin. University of Shefﬁeld. Paetzold. Pauka. 5http://www. Rapid Journal. O’ong Maryono. 7/3 (Book 25) (2003) (Accessed 26 March 2010).com4. Uwe U.au .