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Overview about Ondel-Ondel, Typical of Betawi

Overview about Ondel-Ondel, Typical of Betawi

18 Sep 2013 08:05:00

Ondel-ondel is a large doll with eyes that always look glaring and identical to Betawi culture. However, there is also a similar artistry in some areas outside the city, like the arts in Pasundan that resembles this Ondel-ondel called Badawang , whereas in Central Java called Barongan Buncis, while in Bali known as Barong Landung. It is said that this art existed before the arrival of Islam in Java.

Ondel-ondel usually is two and a half metres tall with a diameter less than 80 centimeters. Ondel-ondel depicting a man usually has red face, while Ondel-ondel depicting a woman usually is white or yellow -faced. Ondel-ondel making process itself is usually divided into two stages, namely the stage of making the frame and mask-making stage. To make a pair of Ondel-ondel doll generally takes about one to three weeks depending on the desired size. To make the frame, the materials used are usually bamboo and fibers, whereas for mask-making is now using more of fiber glass materials rather than wood because it is more practical. The makers usually use satin fabric and sarong the bottom for the clothes that will be used on the dolls.

Originally Ondel-ondel has a function as repellent reinforcements and Betawi people often made Ondel-ondel as a symbol of ancestral village guards to keep from a variety of disorders roaming spirits. So do not be surprised if the first Ondel-ondel have a pretty creepy face. Associated with the initial function of Ondel-ondel before start making Ondel-ondel usually a craftsman would perform special rituals such as providing a variety of offerings like incense, seven kinds of flowers and mush. It aims to make the process of making the doll can run smoothly and the spirit that will be residing in the doll is a good one. This special ritual called by local people as Ukup or Ngukup.

But over time as well as a shift in the function of Ondel-ondel itself then the special rituals are becoming obsolete. Since the leadership of Ali Sadikin as Jakarta Governor in 1966-1977, Ondel-ondel have switched functions as art doll of Betawi and as art performances to entertain people. Ondel-ondel face which formerly was impressed as creepy now turned into sweeter. In the show, Ondel-ondel is often accompanied by traditional music of Betawi like Tanjidor, Bende, Ningnong, or Rebana Ketimpring.

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