Traditions & Communities

 
 Photo credit: Cheryl Hoffmann

Photo credit: Cheryl Hoffmann

KUDA KEPANG (JOHOR)

Kuda Kepang is a dance of Javanese origin performed in Johor by communities of Javanese lineage, particularly in Batu Pahat and Muar. Kuda Kepang is performed by nine male dancers who are seated astride a two dimensional 'horse' made of pleated rattan. 

The dance commemorates the tale of the Wali Songo (Nine Saints) of Java who spread the Islamic faith in the interior of Java. According to the legend, the Wali Songo rode on horseback and dramatised stories of the battles waged and won for the cause of Islam to draw and hold the attention of the congregation. 

The lead ‘horseman’ is known as the danyang. Bujang Ganong (a masked dancer) and Barongan (dancers portraying tiger and snake-like creatures) emerge alongside the Kuda Kepang dancers. The Kuda Kepang dance is accompanied by a rich rendition of traditional music played with Malay and Javanese instruments such as gong, gendang, and kenong.

KUMPULAN KUDA KEPANG
PARIT RAJA

PUSAKA works closely with the Kumpulan Kuda Kepang Parit Raja, a group of young performers, guided by elders, who unfailingly enthral and mesmerise audiences with their combination of intensity and playfulness. 

 Photo credit: Karl Rafiq Nadzarin

Photo credit: Karl Rafiq Nadzarin