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Kamis, 19 April 2018

Ciblon Music Accompanying the Rite of Calling Fishes

Publish 18-05-2010 12:00:18 by Admin

Yogyakarta, Strains of rythms Suwe Ora Ciblon, a modification of the Javanese song Suwe Ora Jamu, was heard in Kampong Darakan, Kotagede, on Saturday (05/01/2010). This time, the song did not get the accompaniment of gamelan or gendhing music but rather, ciblon music played by dozens of people in the middle of the Gajah Wong stream.

The river water, if hit and played with a certain technique, could produce different yet unique sounds. The sounds could provide music for songs sung by the women, such as Suwe Ora Ciblon, Gundul-gundul Pacul, and Sayonara.

Not only was the performance intended to preserve the tradition of playing ciblon which has long been forgotten by people as the river water turned dirty, it was also a part of World Water Day celebration on March 22th. The performance was initiated by a civil society organization (CSO) named Lestari (Lembaga Studi dan Tata Mandiri) in cooperation with the locals of Kampong Darakan. It aimed at arousing people’s awareness about the importance of river cleanness.

“World Water Day should be a momentum for us to remind ourselves about the importance of water in life. Thus, we prefer doing this easy, creative, yet meaningful activity because it has the power to move people to do real action about water resource preservation,” explained Agus Hartono, director of CSO Lestari.

Agus also added that the tradition ciblon has existed since antiquity. In the past, after working in the field or washing cattle, people would take a bath in the river. While having a bath, they usually hit the water using hands to produce sounds. It was so relaxing for them, especially after working for hours.

Aside from ciblon tradition, the people at the river banks also practiced the rite of calling fishes. The fishes at the river bottom would come out when the water surface was beaten lightly using palm leaf ribs. But these traditions have been worn off as the river’s level of pollution increases.

The people were playing ciblon music enjoyably when the pantomimer, Jemek Supardi, appeared. Carrying a flask containing water, Jemek put on his 10th water performance. He stepped down the river and carried out the rite of calling fishes. He also took the litters in the river before joining the people playing ciblon.

The fusion of ciblon and pantomime performance of calling fishes were attracting people. Their longing with their childhood game was quenched by the event. The performances of Ciblon music and the rite of calling fishes were just a start to build people’s awareness about the importance of river water cleanness. (Sash/01/05-10)


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