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Lawang Sekepeng Tradition

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Lawang Sekepeng Tradition is one of the traditional ceremonies in the wedding stage of the Ngaju Dayak tribe, Central Kalimantan to welcome the groom's entourage and his family. The tradition has been performed since past times. In Ngaju Dayak language, Lawang means door or gate, while Sakepeng means one piece. So, Lawang Sakepeng means "One-Piece Door.”  Lawang Sekepeng is like a sturdy gate made of wood. The wood is approximately 1.5 meters wide and about 2.3 meters high.  Moreover, above the gate, it is usually placed carvings of vines and decorations of hornbills. On the side of the gate, it is decorated with coconut leaves or young coconut leaves. Some Talawang (Dayak shields) are also often used as decorations on the right and left of Lawang Sakepeng. In the middle of the gate, three threads are spread that have been decorated with colorful flowers, and it becomes a symbol of obstacles for the groom to enter the bride's house.

The attraction of Lawang Sakepeng is the performance of self-defense when welcoming and respecting guests who attend a traditional ceremony. Both the groom and the bride will send their Silator martial arts masters to face each other. When Garantung (a typical Dayak Ngaju gong) and Katambung (a typical Ngaju Dayak drum) are played, these martial arts masters, both male and female, will fight each other until the three threads that block the groom's entrance are cut off. By the breaking of the three threads, the Lawang Sakepeng ritual ends. The Lawang Sakepng tradition has a deep meaning related to the new life of the bride and groom. The three threads that hinder or become the boundary between the bride and groom have their own meaning. The first thread becomes a symbol of distress that is often present in personal and family life. The second one represents a symbol of a bad relationship when the bride and groom start their family life. Finally, there is a symbol of something related to death. The breaking of these three threads means that all dangers, disasters, and bad relationships that prevent the bride and groom from starting a new life as a family will disappear.

Allegedly,  it is said that for the Lawang Sakepeng silat style, the ancestors of the Dayak tribe at that time adopted animal movements and behaviors, for example, by imitating ferocious animals or endemic invaders that are widely inhabited in the forests of Borneo. They include Bears, Beruks (Bangkui moves) and other moves that are oriented towards attacking or predatory creatures. Traditional clothes in the Lawang sakepeng attraction usually use Ngaju Dayak traditional clothes, which is a vest made of bark called Sangkarut. The pants are loincloths with the front covered by a rectangular sheet of Nyamu cloth called Ewah. Currently, the vest has been made of light brown cloth like the original color of the wood. The head uses a headband (salutup hatue) for men and (salutup bawi) for women, and uses earrings (suwang), necklaces, bracelets and tattoos on certain body parts.

Read 409 times Last modified on Saturday, 28 August 2021 06:01