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Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Traditional Art of Didong

Publish 11-04-2008 10:04:06 by Admin
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A. Brief Information

Most of Gayo people in Central Aceh District live either in mountainous areas or in highlands. They tend to preserve their traditions like Didong. Didong is a very popular traditional art amongst Gayo people. The players of Didong are commonly called ceh-ceh didong. There are Ceh Lakiki, Ceh To`et, Ceh Daman, Ceh Ibrahim Kadir, Ceh Ujang Lakiki, Ceh Ucak, Ceh Tujuh, Ceh Idris Sidang Temas and Ceh Abd Rauf who are famous didong players in Nangroe Aceh Darussalam.

More often than not, it is usually performed in groups consisting of 15 men showing self-improvisation such as sitting, standing, while hitting their feet on the floor. This wonderful performance with beautiful dance come out from the combination of reciting magnificent Gayo poems, beating of traditional percussions, pillows and pans, and clapping hands.

B. Distinctive Features

Didong is the proudness of Gayo people that stays alive among the enormous influence of modern technology and western civilization. Gayo people never get bored with the play, watching every show that is performed on Saturday night starting after Isya (7 p.m.) until Subuh (4 a.m.).

The recited poems combined with dance, literature, and “hypnotizing” sound luring the viewers to keep watching the performance, offer the portrayal of social and religious messages and the relation between human and their nature. The performance also contains moral messages so that we can set a wise mindset towards human being.

The regeneration processes of didong are done well as there are many talented figures appear at every generation. Most of them learn from nature. They acquire the knowledge of nature cosmology as a part of microcosm awareness, wise and local awareness. It tends to show humanistic messages and people`s aspirations. A director, Garin Nugroho, states that Aceh is a warehouse of great artists.

C. Location

Didong Traditional Art can be watched in Central Aceh District, Nagroe Aceh Darussalam Province, Indonesia.

D. Access

It will be easy to reach the location through Bireun City, Nagroe Aceh Darussalam Province. There is a small bus station where numbers of public transportation can be easily found there. It will carry you to Takengon with IDR 25.000 for its costs (per January 2008) for approximately five hours. You may also take alternative way to Central Aceh District by Blang Kejeren or Kutacane.

E. Ticket Price

It is free on usual celebration of traditional arts. However, there might be cost for you who watch the performance on special occasion such as in Didong competition,

F. Accommodations and other Facilities

There are some middle class hotels or luxurious hotels, restaurants and food stalls in Takengon, Central Aceh District. However, there is only little information stating that hotels or inns can be easily found in the hinterlands of Nangroe Aceh Darussalam Province.



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