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Arts and Culture


Purwokerto is an area in Southern Central Java which has unique arts and culture. Among those are Lengger, Cowongan, and Begalan. Lengger is a unique art that develop in the area around Purwokerto. It is estimated that this performing art has been around since 1775. This dance is unique because the dancer is a an by he dress up like a woman. In addition, another uniqueness of Lengger is the use of Calung as the musical accompaniment. Calung is a traditional musical intrument made from bamboo.

Cowongan is a performing art originates from the rainmaking ritual done by farmers in order to get good crops. Over time, the ritual then has turned into a performing arts. Although it has been changed, there are ritual aspects still preserved. One of them is them is the act to summon Dewi Sri, a goddes who is believed to be symbol of soil fertility. In the Cowongan art, poetry and verses are recited to ask people to always have faith in God Almighty.

Begalan is an art that is usually performed at weddings. It is called Begalan because it comes from the word begal, which means robbery. Begalan is actually similar to a mini drama between two people,  the robber and the person being robbed. The uniqueness of this show is in the dialogue between the performers, which usually contains criticism and advice for the bride and groom and are delivered in a humorous style. In Begalan, there are artistic properties used, such as several traditional kitchen tools such as ilir, cething, steamer, tampah, and so on. Each of these tools will later be used as a properties for dialogue between the performers and each of them has their own philoshophical value.