Saturday, August 16, 2008


Kuda Kepang

The Kuda Kepang is a very interesting dance from Johor.

It was once a form of totemic worship.

The dance had strong links with spirit possession and often dancers went into a trance-like state.

However with the Islamisation of Malay Peninsula, this dance now generally renders the tale of nine Javanese men who spread the Islamic faith in the interior of Java.

The nine Muslim evangelists rode on horseback and dramatized stories of the battles waged and won for the cause of Islam to draw and hold the attention of the congregation.

Kuda Kepang is performed by nine dancers who are seated astride a two dimensional 'horse' made of hide or pleated rattan.

The dancers re-enact the early Islamic battles in enthusiastic gestures and vigorous action. Naturally as time as moved this dance is seen very much more for its entertainment value.

This dance is performed in accompaniment to a rich and exotic rendition of traditional music played with indigenous instruments such as gongs, tambourines and angklungs.

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