April 2010


What is Weaving?
Weaving affairs or weave is the process in making cloth by plaiting woof thread between lungsi thread by using a loom made of wood, sticks, bamboo and metal.

Weaving Produts?

From this weaving process will be produced cloth, songket, and gloves. Songket  is one of Minangkabau woven products which is best known by the people and having the high quality, not only because the beauty of golden thread sparkle in a unique variety of motives but also because of its social function as a traditional costume fittings. Songket plays an important role in the ceremonies of birth, circumcision, marriage and death in Minangkabau.

One of the famous songket local weavers in Minangkabau is Silungkang village. Art lovers should visit the weaving village at Silungkang for a look into how the beautifully colored silk songket sarongs and scarves are made.

Getting There
Silungkang village is located in the edge of Sumatera highway approximately 95 km from south-east of Padang City or 12 km south of Bukittingi.

Getting Around
Silungkang village is also famous for its art such as woven rattan craft, stick, bamboo, brooms and weaving.

Songket Weaving Process
Songket is derived from sungkit or leverage that is way to add woof thread and golden thread in manufacture variety of adorn done by embroider lungsi thread. The materials used for weaving are the thread from cotton, fiber, silk and macau thread (gold and silver thread). Thread that generally used is imported abroad such as India, China and Europe.

Songket Motifs
Decoration or motif on songket called Cukie, some are using thread macau (gold and silver thread), silk and colored cotton. A uniqueness of the old Minangkabau songket there is a combination of two or three types of thread in a single motif.Silungkang woven in general have Batabua types, songket that is decorated not fulfill the field of cloth, and with some basic of songket are plain and some boxes. Silungkang woven motifs derived from the natural environment such as pucuak rabuang, flower, bird motifs, sirangkak, balah katupek and others. Its form is quite simple when compared with songket pandai sikek and not so complicated in the process so it can be completed in a relatively short time.

Manufacturing Techniques
In the development of Silungkang weaving today is there also combination between the ikat technique with songket technique with a variety motives of songket.  The materials used today except cotton, there has also been decorated with silk thread, macau thread and colored cotton thread. The Results of  Silungkang weaving, except made clothing there is also a need for decoration and other accessories. Now, Silungkang songket have good enough quality of materials, manufacturing techniques, decorative motifs and marketing, has even produced also weaving machines with a variety of motives and a relatively cheap price. Silungkang also well known as a local supplier of colored thread woven for needs of weavers in West Sumatra.

Songket and gloves Silungkang woven already well known in West Sumatra. Songket Silungkang also made traditionally, with a loom similar to loom in Pandai sikek but slightly having larger size from the loom in Pandai sikek. Since 1860s weaving industry in Silungkang was basically home industry and managed by the family members, which resulted in small scale production with small capital.

adapted from sawahlunto-tourism

The saluang is a traditional musical instrument of the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra, Indonesia. It is similar to the flute in general and made of bamboo. It is related to the suling of other parts of  Indonesia.
It is made of thin bamboo or “talang” (Schizostachyum brachycladum Kurz)[1], with 4 hole. Saluang more simple than other kind of flute because it is made just adding 4 holes and finish. The dimension of saluang is 3-4 cm in diameter and 40-60 cm in length. Minangkabau people believe that talang which is collected from rack of clothes dryer or found drifting in the river is a good material for making saluang.

Dendang Saluang is one of the traditional musics / song of Minangkabau. It is  a combination of ‘Saluang’ (bamboo flute) and Minangkabau classic songs. Saluang is usually played by male musicians, but the singer can be man or woman, sometimes accompanied with talempong ( a small kettle gong which gives its name to an ensemble of four or five talempong, produce a static texture consisting of interlocking rhythms ) . The songs are usually formulated in terms of poems or sonnets carrying special message intended to special listeners such as love message, one’s economic situation.

Saluang player can play that music instrument without interrupting for taking breath from start to end of song. They have developed special breath technique in blowing that instrument without stopping for breathtaking. This technique is also called as manyisiahkan angok techniques (set aside one’s breath)

It’s hard to explain the tuning system that is applied to music saluang. Some of the scales used in the repertoire; intonation often unstable, and there is no absolute system of tunings. To saluang with the basic tone C = DO, we may assume that the principal scales played out as tones do, re, mi, fa, sol. But in reality, the tone sometimes do tend toward the DI (1). Likewise for the other tones obtained by closing half of the finger holes. There are times when players saluang play tunes that are above and below the principal tone.

Style of saluang tune for example : Singgalang, Pariaman, Koto Tuo, Ratok Solok, Cupak, Salayo and Pauah. Singgalang style is quite difficult for the beginners. High skilled saluang player can play many styles and audience can request any style to them.

In the past, Minangkabau people believed that saluang player have pitunang (mantra) or magic power for hypnotizing the audience. That mantra called as Pitunang Nabi Daud.

Randai, the popular folk theater tradition of the Minangkabau ethnic group in West Sumatra. which incorporates music, singing, dance, drama and the silat martial art. Randai is usually performed for traditional ceremonies and festivals, and complex stories may span a number of nights.

It is performed as a theatre-in-the-round to achieve an equality and unity between audience members and the performers. Its uniqueness lies in the presentation of the shape of a circular pattern. Closeness between players and spectators, make Randai very familiar with the community. In each performance, spectators may be interrupted dialogues delivered or may be cheering for the players to give passionate players

Randai played by a group, usually, one Randai group numbered 15 to 25 peoples. Technically, Randai performances are a synthesis of alternating martial arts dances, songs, and acted scenes. Stories are delivered by both the acting and the singing and are mostly based upon Minangkabau legends and folktales such as Kati Alam, Samsudin, Siti Bariah, Alam, Saedar Siti Janela and others. Randai originated early in the 20th century out of fusion of local martial arts, story-telling and other performance traditions. Men originally played both the male and female characters in the story, but since the 1960s women have also participated.

Tari Piring (Plate Dance) is the art of dance held by the Minangkabau. This dance reflects the life of traditional Minangkabau community at the time of working in the ricefield. The dance expresses happiness of the farmers as well as their thanks to the God for the very successful harvest.

Plate Dance is done in pairs or in groups with a variety of movements that are done quickly, dynamically and interspersed with plate knock sound carried by the dancers. Usually formal occasions conducted in West Sumatra presents Plate Dance. Dance has become very popular dish even in neighboring countries such as Malaysia.

The dance is accompanied by a song that is played with Talempong and Saluang, while the movements are done quickly while holding the plate in the palm of their hand. The dance has a motion that resembles the movement of farmers during cultivation, harvest and so create employment. The dance begins with the initial work in the field and proceeds to the final process until harvested rice (paddy) is taken home. Sometimes these plates they throw into the air or they fling to the ground. At the final stage of the dance is male and young lady dancers will trample broken plates without fear nor wound, trampled on by the dancers are barefoot does not at all hurt. This fact should not interpreted as a magic work, as many people may think, but it religiously signals the acceptance of the dancer’s pray by God.