Lumping Horse

LUMPING HORSE (Kuda Lumping)

By Kusmanto


Indonesia is a nation which has so many arts in each of the islands. Therefore, it’s not wrong that Indonesia is called as the heaven of arts. One of the famous arts is kuda lumping.


Kuda lumping or jaran kepang or jathilan is a traditional dance from java island. In this traditional dance the dancers will ride the horses. However, those are not real horses, but those are just the toy horses which are made of bamboos with colorful paints and the clothes as accessories. So, those look as the shape of horses.


Up to now, there is not any evident resource which reveals the origin of kuda lumping. However, there is some estimation about that it may have appeared from Diponegoro’s war against the Dutch colonial or from the war training of Mataram troops which was led by Sultan Hamengku Buwono I, the king of Mataram Kingdom against the Dutch troops.


Now, kuda lumping has been developed to become an entertainment for Javanese people in Indonesia, especially, in the wedding party and in the religious ceremony, too. When it is shown as a performance, we will see magical tricks from the dancers. The performances are followed by instruments of traditonal music, such as gamelan, angkelung, gong, and many others. In the same time, the dancers show the unusual abilities as they eat the glasses, step on the sharp nails, walk on the hot live coals. Furthermore, they are immune/invulnerable to whip and sharp things. In the performances they are guided and led by a pawang (guide) who has endowment by magic powers, so that the show will be running well when they do all of their attraction in front of audiences.


So kuda lumping is one of Indonesia arts which comes from Java island. It very unique art because it will show magical abilities in its performance which make people get wondered when looking it. Therefore, let us keep kuda lumping as the heriatge and richness of Indonesian arts from now on.