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Wednesday, 27 September 2023 09:51

Kejei Dance from Bengkulu

Written by  Rahma
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Rejang Tribe is one of the tribes that lives in Bengkulu Province. The majority of the tribe lives in several regencies, such as Lebong, Rejang Lebong and Kepahiang regencies, especially in the central, northern and inland areas around Bukit Barisan. The Rejang tribe has a distinctive dance that is performed every time a traditional ceremony takes place. The dance is called ‘Kejei Dance’.

 

 

The Kejei Dance is performed during the biggest ceremony in the Rejang Tribe, namely the Kejei Ceremony. This ceremony is called the biggest ceremony because those who hold this ceremony are people who can afford to slaughter several buffaloes, goats or cows as a condition for carrying out the Kejei Ceremony. The Kejei dance is performed by young people in village centers at night. This dance is a means of introduction between single men and Rejang tribe girls. The specialty of this dance is that the musical instruments that accompany this dance are made of bamboo, such as kolintang and flute.

 

The Kejei dance was first performed at the wedding of Princess Senggang and Biku Bermano. This dance is believed to have existed before the arrival of the monks from Majapahit. Since the monks arrived, the musical instruments were replaced with metal instruments, as are used today. The Kejei ceremony is carried out over a long period; it can be up to 3 days, 15 days, 3 months or even 9 months in a row. This dance is a sacred one which the community believes to contain mystical values. So, it is only performed by the Rejang community to welcome monks, marriages and clan customs.

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