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Musical Journeys in Sumatra$
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Margaret Kartomi

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036712

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036712.001.0001

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The Minangkabau South Coast

The Minangkabau South Coast

Home of the Mermaid and the Earth Goddess

(p.42) 3 The Minangkabau South Coast
Musical Journeys in Sumatra

Margaret Kartomi

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores the traditional pre-Muslim music, dance, and legend of the Minangkabau south coast, where descendants of local royalty claim descent from the luhak nan tiga heartland. Yet the style of their key songs and dances is quite different, based on locally told legends such as the pan-Sumatran west-coastal Sikambang legend about a mermaid (Sikambang) and the Earth Goddess Legend. The chapter first describes the music-related history of the former palaces and the common people on the south coast before discussing the shamanic rituals and dances; the bardic art of kaba (epic) performance. It then considers the songs and song-dances attached to three main legends: “Sikambang,” Bundo Kanduang (Earth Goddess), and the Seven Angels/Sisters legend. It also examines some other dances as well as the south coast's main musical instruments and ensembles.

Keywords:   music, Minangkabau, Sikambang legend, Earth Goddess Legend, rituals, kaba performance, song-dance, Seven Angels, musical instruments, dance

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