Monday, 09 April 2018 10:03

Kejei dance’ from Bengkulu

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Rejang tribe is one of tribes which lives in Bengkulu province. Majority of the tribe live in some regencies such as Lebong, Rejang Lebong, and Kepahiang of Bengkulu province, especially in the central, north areas and hinterland of surrounding Barisan hills with inhabitants reaching around 900,000 people. Rejang tribe has typical dance which is conducted in every traditional ceremony. The dance is called ‘Kejei dance’. Kejei dance is conducted when there is the biggest ceremony in Rejang tribe, namely Kejei ceremony. The ceremony is called the biggest ceremony because it is conducted by people who are able to slaughter some cows, goats or buffalos as requirement of the implementation of Kejei ceremony. Kejei dance is conducted by young people at the center of the village at night. The dance is as an introducing event among young girls and boys. The dance has typical accompaniments of instrument which are made from bamboo, such as Kulintang, Seruling, and Gong.  

Kejei dance was performed for the first time when wedding of princess Senggang and Biku Bermano was held. This dance is believed to have existed before the arrival of monks from Majapahit Kingdom. Since monks came, the instrument was changed with metal and it is used until now. According to the history, the book of Kejei implementation  was stored in the stomach of  monk Bermano. Kejei event is conducted in the long run. It can be implemented for 3 days, 15 days, 3 months or even 9 months respectively. The dance is sacred dance which is believed by society to have mystical values, so that it is only conducted by Rejang people in welcoming monks, wedding and clan’s tradition. In 2017, the dance is determined as one of Intangible Cultural Heritages by Minister of Education and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy. The determination was signed by handing over certificate of Intangible Cultural Heritage  by Minister Muhadjir Effendy to Acting Governor of Bengkulu, Dr. Veterinarian, Rohidin Mersyah.

Read 54 times Last modified on Thursday, 12 April 2018 18:32