Reog Ponorogo

Reog Ponorogo :

A Political Satire Through Dance Show

For some people, a protest, a debate, or an open letter to the government might be their way of criticizing the government. So let me tell you a unique tradition to criticize the government: Dance show! But first, we must visit a city in East Java, Indonesia, called Kota Ponorogo, to learn more about this dance show called Reog Ponorogo.

This dance featured a giant lion head mask adorned with peacock feathers and other masked characters, depending on the story. It is believed that this show dance began in the 9th century, during Kediri Kingdom rule. The dance show typically tells a story about the political satire of the ruling government. And over time, it is used to spread Islam around the country.

These days, Reog Ponorogo is shown only at certain events like Islamic holidays, folk festivals, political celebrations, etc. However, the Reog Ponorogo dance show is believed to be full of magic and mysticism, especially regarding the giant lion head mask. The interesting fact about the mask is that to wear it, one would need to support the whole unit by biting a wooden handle inside the mask. The mask could weigh around 50-60kg or 110-130lbs, and the dancer’s teeth and jaw support it, which sparked the whole magical and mystical beliefs.

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