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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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South Sumatra

South Sumatra

“The Realm of Many Rivers”

(p.145) 7 South Sumatra
Musical Journeys in Sumatra

Margaret Kartomi

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the historical distribution of two musico-lingual groups living in South Sumatra: the Besemah in Tanjungsakti and Kayuagung, and the Ogan-Komering Ilir (OKI) people in Burai. South Sumatra's network of rivers and tributaries—known as the Batang Hari Sembilan—has governed its peoples' travels, worldviews, adat, legends, and musical arts for well over 2,000 years. This chapter explores how South Sumatra's environment and associated cosmology, adat customs, and the history of religion and foreign contact have shaped its musico-lingual groups and music, dance, and theater more generally. It first considers the Besemah's bardic legends and their classical and social dances and ensemble music, vocal music, and solo instrumental music before turning to the Anak Dalem people. It also describes the Ogan-Komering Ilir (OKI) river basins, the dance called tari tanggai, Palembang, and musical arts with a Muslim theme or flavor in the uplands and lowlands.

Keywords:   musico-lingual groups, South Sumatra, Besemah, Ogan-Komering Ilir people, adat customs, music, dance, Anak Dalem people, tari tanggai, musical arts

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