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(http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/category/digitalexclusives)>5KelantanesePerformingArtsYouNeverKnew
Existed!

5 Kelantanese Performing Arts You Never


Knew Existed!
(http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/digitalexcl
kelantanese-performing-arts-you-neverknew-existed)
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21Mar2014 DigitalExclusives(http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/category/digitalexclusives)
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Kelantan,dubbedtheCradleofMalayCulture,isatroveofMalayheritagetreasures.Gettoknow
variousofferingsofthestatewithourlisttogetyoustartedonyournextCultureVulturedestination.
By:AriFajar

By:AriFajar
WhenaskedthequestiononMalayperformingarts,mostwouldconjureimagesofzapindancesand
gambusmusic,thoughbothareundeniablyveryArabicandPersianincharacter.Icouldnthelpbut
wonderwhatpreIslamicMalayperformingartswouldlooklike.
IstartedmysearchforanswersinKelantan,astatesorichofMalayhistoryandartsthatitisdubbed
theCradleofMalayCultureinPeninsularMalaysia.Ifthereisoneplacetogotoanswerquestionsonthe
uniqueMalayartsandculture,thisistheplacetobe.
Hereinthisuniquestate,Ifound5wonderfullytraditionalKelantaneseperformingartsthattruly
exemplifytheMalayheritageatitspurest.Theseshouldbeinyourmustwatchlistintown!

01.MAINPUTERI
MainPuteri(translatedPrincessPlay)isbothaformofentertainmentandhealingritual.Theroleofthe
mediuminMainPuteriistosummonthespiritwhichcausedillnessandfaceitwithsongs,dancesand
musicalscores.Soundslikethebestexorcismmethodever?Youbet!

CultureVultureFacts:
EachmemberoftheMainPuteriTroupehashisownrole.Thefollowingtwoarethemostimportantones.
1.TokPuteriorTokTeriisthemanoftheshow.Afterhegetsintoatrance,hewilldealwiththespirit
accordingly.Ifitsawarriorspirit,TokTeriwillhaveatomoi(localversionofMuayThai)matchwithhim.If
itsthelegendaryspiritofDewaMuda,TokTeriwillsingascorefromMakYongtoappeasehim.Simply
fascinating!
2.TokMindungisresponsiblefortherebab(abowedstringinstrument).HeistheoneTokTeri

2.TokMindungisresponsiblefortherebab(abowedstringinstrument).HeistheoneTokTeri
converseswithfortheentireritualandprovidesmusicalaccompanimentfromshort,monotonous
melodiestolong,melodioustunesasTokTeriswitchesbetweenthecolourfulcharacters.

02.WAYANGKULIT
TheMalayversionofwayangkulit(shadowpuppet)isrootedfromtwotraditions:Thaifromthenorthand
Javanesefromthesouth.DuetoKelantanslocationattheborderofThailandandMalaysia,Kelantanese
wayangkulitislargelyfilledwithThaiinfluenceswithfewJavaneseelementsinthebackground.

CultureVultureFacts:
KelantanesewayangkulithasoftenbeenconfusedwiththeJavaneseversions.Itcanbedifficultformost
peopletodifferentiatebetweenthetwo,sohereareacoupleoftipsoftellingthemapart:
Thephysicalfeaturesofthepuppetsdiffer.MostThaiKelantanesepuppetshavenormalhuman
proportionswithheroesdepictedofhavingstrappingposturesbefittingtheirwarriorstatuses.Javanese
puppetsarehighlystylizedwithonlyslightsemblancestoactualhumanspointynose,curvysmileand
elongatedlimbs.TheheroesareslimbodiedwithsveltehipsthatwillmakeanyMiddleEarthelfand
moderndayhipstergreenwithenvy.
Trytomovethearms.YoucanmovebotharmsoftheJavanesepuppetsbutThaiKelantaneseonesonly
haveonemoveablearmwhiletheotheroneisinperpetualpose(usuallyholdingvariousornate
weapons).

03.MAKYONG
MakYongisbelievedtobederivedfromancientshamanisticritualswithartisticelementsborrowedfrom
ThailandandIndonesia(especiallyNora/Menora).Afterdecadesofcourtlypatronage,itbecame
exceptionallyrefinedandisconsideredtobethehighestlevelofMalayperformingart.Ithaseverything
fromelegantdancemovementstosophisticatedcostumes,compellingstoriesandevenabitofcomedy.
ItsnowonderthattheMalaysianMakYonghasbeenawardedaUNESCOWorldHeritagestatus.

CultureVultureFacts:
MostrolesinaMakYongperformanceareheldbyfemales,includingthevitalrolesofMakYong(the
heroineandthenarrator)andPakYong(thehero).TheonlyrolereservedformalesisPeranwhooffers
comicreliefsandregularbreakingsofthefourthwall.

The late Daud Bukit Abal, renowned as the Godfather of Dikir Barat. Photo courtesy of PUSAKA

04.DIKIRBARAT
DikirBaratisusuallyperformedbetweentwoopposinggroupsfacingeachother.Seatedcrosslegged,
theysinginacallandrespondpatternledbyalyricist.Theyembellishtheirsingingwithattractive
movementsandspiritedclappingswhichgivetheperformancealivelyandcheerfulatmosphere.Aside
fromMalaysia,DikirBaratcanalsobefoundinThailand.

CultureVultureFacts:
DikirBaratconsistsoftwosegments.WhenledbyTokJuara(thechampion),theawokawok(thechorus
line)willpresentaproperandevencomplexmusicalarrangement.WhenledbyTukangKarut(thejoker)
however,theywillperformhumorouspresentationswhichoftenincludecurrentsocialandpoliticalissues
toappealtotheaudience.

05.MENORA
AlthoughManora(withana)isacommondancerepertoireinSoutheastAsiancountriessuchas
ThailandandLaos,Menora(withane)inKelantanisaspecialfusionofThaiandMalaytraditions.
UnlikeManorawhichisadanceform,Menoraisaformofdancedrama,withthedanceelementsare
significantlyThaiwhilethedramasidetakingitscuefromMalaymilieuincludingMakYong.

CultureVultureFacts:
ThewordsMenoraandManoracomefromManohara,akinnari(halfhumanhalfbird)princessin
BuddhistJatakatales.Shewascaughtbyahunterwhenshevisitedthehumanrealm.Thehunterlater
presentedhertoPrinceSudhanaandthecouplegotmarried,butatonepointtheprincehadtoleavefor
battleandManoharawasframedbyanevilofficial.Sheflewbacktoherhomeandtheprincehadto
embarkonachallengingadventuretogetherback.Spoileralert:Itwasahappyendingforthelovebirds.

WHERETOWATCH
YoucancatchaKelantaneseWayangKulitperformanceatKelantansGelanggangSeni(Cultural
Centre).
SeehowthetraditionofMenoraisbeingpreservedatBukitYongVillage,situated50kmsouthofKota
Bharu.
DikirBaratcompetitionsareregularlyheld,frominterschoolcompetitionstonationwideones.Keepa
lookoutforthenationalscaledPertandinganDikirBaratKenegaraan.
NowadaysitisdifficulttowatchMainPuteriandMakYongwithinKotaBharuitself,thoughthereisa
possibilitytocatchitoutsidethecity.TherearealsoeffortstorevivethetraditionsoutsideofKelantan.
TheNationalArtsCultureofHeritageAcademy(ASWARA)inKualaLumpurhasmadeMakYong
compulsoryforitsstudentandtheyalsoholdregularpublicstagings.
IfyouhappentobeinKL,youshouldcheckoutPUSAKAsmonthlypublicperformances.Theseriesis

IfyouhappentobeinKL,youshouldcheckoutPUSAKAsmonthlypublicperformances.Theseriesis
calledPUSAKAEveningsatPublika,whichbringsauthentictraditionalperformancessuchasDikir
Barat,MakYongandMainPuterifromaroundPeninsularMalaysiatoaKLaudience.

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YOURDISCOVERYOFKELANTAN'SRICHCULTURALSCENEBEGINSINKOTA
BHARU!

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Tags:culture(http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/tag/culture),DikirBarat
(http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/tag/dikirbarat),gambus
(http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/tag/gambus),Kelantan
(http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/tag/kelantan),KotaBharu
(http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/tag/kotabharu),MainPuteri
(http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/tag/mainputeri),MakYong
(http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/tag/makyong),MalayCulture
(http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/tag/malayculture),Malaysia
(http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/tag/malaysia),Manora
(http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/tag/manora),Menora
(http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/tag/menora),PerformingArts
(http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/tag/performingarts),wayangkulit
(http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/tag/wayangkulit),zapin
(http://www.airasia.com/travel3sixty/tag/zapin)

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