February 20, 2014

1007-1008 INDONESIA (Java) - The Olden Days Indonesia

"The Olden Days Indonesia" is a series comprising wonderful reproductions of postcards issued at the beginning of the 20th century. The couple shown in the first of these was immortalized, undoubtedly, with a special occasion. On the original, published by J. art shop Sigrist from Jogja (today Yogyakarta), is written "Javaansche Bruid en Bruidegom - Temanten laki en prampoean di poelo Djawa" (i.e. "Bride and groom in Java"). Actually the photo don't show an ordinary bridal couple - even if, as far as I know, the two were not identified (nor the photographer) - but a patrician one, and this thing is proven by the clothes, a typical kraton (royal palace) wedding dress of Yogyakarta.

Both of them wears a gold bracelet on arm, with a dragon head. Ornament worn on the chest is a gold necklace with a three objects, called calendar. The ear jewelry, sumping, are shaped like wings and leather images are painted with golden color. The hat worn by the groom, kuluk, is made of glass. Batik patterns are used quite unique as well . The bride is dressed in dodotan (Javanese traditional clothes of batik) and bun bokornya as motif headdress, with a special frilly headdress cassowary feathers, decorated with flowers and jebehan bight.

In the second postcard is a wayang orang performance in the same city, in 1920. Wayang (which means shadow) is a Javanese word for particular kinds of theatre. About wayang kulit, or shadow puppets, I wrote here. Wayang wong (in Javanese), or wayang orang (in Indonesian - literally means "human wayang") is a type of unmasked dance theatrical performance, with themes taken from episode of Ramayana or Mahabharata. Performances are stylised, reflecting Javanese court culture. Garrett Kam, a Hawaii-based teacher and performer of Javanese dance, wrote in a article in 1982: "Wayang wong dance drama in the central Javanese Kraton (royal court) of Yogyakarta represents the epitome of Javanese aesthetic unity. It is total theatre involving dance, drama, music, visual arts, language, and literature. A highly cultured sense of formality permeates every aspect of its presentation". Originally, it was performed only as an aristocratic entertainment in palaces of Yogyakarta and Surakarta, the first court dance drama, Gondorwedoyo (Scent of the Heart), being presented under the personal direction of Hamengku Buwana I in the 18th century. In the course of time, it spread to become a popular and folk form as well.

About the stamps

The two stamps are part of a series of three (all with the same face values - 2500 IDR), named Indonesian National Identity and issued on October 1, 2012:
1/3 - it's on the postcard
2/3 - it's on the postcard

The two stamps form the series issued on August 14 2012 to celebrate 100th Anniversary of Indonesian Scout Movement (both with the same face value 2500 IDR):
1/2 - it's on the postcard
2/2 - it's on the postcard

Foto PestaPernikahan Tempo Doeloe di Pulau Jawa - Sersankreatif blog
Javanese Royal Wedding - Keraton Yogyakarta Wedding - Gender and Relationships
Wayang - Wikipedia
Wayang Wong - Wikipedia
The Cambridge Guide to Theatre, edited by Martin Banham

sender 1, 2: Farah Angelina (direct swap)
sent from Jakarta Barat (Java / Indonesia), on 01.02.2014

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