Traditional Art from Central Java

Primbondh/ June 29, 2022/ articles about art

Traditional art is a culture that cannot be separated from the diversity of Indonesia. Almost every region in Indonesia has its own traditional art. One area that has a variety of traditional art is Central Java.

Central Java itself is the “heart” of Javanese culture. One of the reasons for this is because of the strong influence of the Surakarta Palace. Here are six traditional arts from Central Java that you must know.

Lumping Horse Dance

The art of Kuda Lumping is identical to the soldiers who are riding a horse. Of course not using real horses, but woven horses from bamboo. This dance contains quite a magical element because usually there are some dancers who are in a trance due to the rituals include in this art.

In addition, there are also extreme attractions during the show, such as eating glass, walking on broken glass, and other dangerous scenes. Basically, this dance depicts the heroic soul of the soldiers who ride horses during the war.


Macapat is a Javanese literary work in the form of poetry and the bond of the gatra teacher or the number of lines, the teacher of the song or sound falling at the end of the line, and the guru wilangan or the number of syllables that govern it. In every line. Then, Macapat offers moral lessons so that people make it a way of life.

Unfortunately, at this time the Javanese people themselves rarely know about Macapat. You can still find this art in several areas in Central Java, such as Klaten.


Usually, the people of Banyumas Regency carry out the Begalan tradition before carrying out the marriage contract. This art is a combination of the art of speech or comedy with the art of dance to the accompaniment of musical instruments such as gending. People believe this tradition has magical powers because in its history this art originated from a prince who succeeded in fighting giant robbers.


The art of Ketoprak is an opera for the Javanese people. Ketoprak itself is a folk theater that has a fairly distinctive storyline. The stories that are told are usually related to legends, chronicles, history, to fairy tales.

Some of the stories that are quite famous are the stories of Ande-Ande Lumut, Angling Dharma, to Joko Bodo. Ketoprak also performs dances accompanied by traditional music. Usually use musical instruments such as kenong, drums, gamelan, to the flute.


Dengklung art is an art of pride for the people of Batang Regency, Central Java. This art cannot be separated from the influence of the entry of Islam into the area in the 19th century. Dengklung itself is a mix of musical rhythms between Java and the Middle East.

This art is in the form of chanting Salawat sung by male or female singers. The musical instrument that is often used in this art is the tambourine. Until now, you can still see this art, especially during the celebration of major Islamic religious events.

Puppet Jemblung

Wayang Jemblung is a puppet show that has its own uniqueness in which the players will behave like crazy people. Even so, the values in the story have a very high moral message. This show is the pride of the people of Banyumas, especially at the foot of Mount Slamet and Bagelen.

Usually, in this art, there are 5 players, each of which acts as a puppet, musician, and sinden. According to people’s stories, this art was born during the time of their ancestors and they believe it started from the local community tradition to help each other, especially at the time of the birth of a baby.

So, those are the six traditional arts originating from Central Java. It turns out that this area has a lot of very interesting art. Hopefully, In the future can preserve art.

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