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The center of the equatorial emerald circuit


Wilujeng sumping (means Welcome). Welcome to West Java. Look at the lovely Sundanese dance performed by a girl of Periangan. There are at last 180 traditional arts in West Java.

And so did many cities and towns of West Java surounded by montains, as well as many gardens and buildings with artistic architecture located in the downtown, all differentiated with most other cities and towns in Indonesia. The Bogor Botanical Garden off 111 hectares and located in the downtown of bogor, for instrance, becomes an Puncak – Cianjur, there are located the Cibodas Botanical Garden  and Cipanas Palace. And in the city of Bandung which was knowen in the past as Paris of Java of The Flower City there are located the Juanda Great Forest Garden of some 590 hectares and serval other gardens functioning as the lungs of the city. Outside the city of Bandung, there is located the Tangkuban Perahu crater, which should not be missed by those visiting Bandung and West Java. In additions, there Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), the Pakuan Building and Savory – Homann Hotel.

Cirebon and Banten are 2 region of West Java which have the largest number of ancient heritages and historical buildings. Cirebon is known with its Pleaces of Kesepuhan, Kanoman, Kaparabonan, Kacirebonan, Cirebon Great Mosque, Panjunan Mosque and the grave of Sunan Gunung Jati. And Banten is rich with ancient findings and heritages of the Banten Sultante of the 16th to 18th centuries such as the ruins of the Surosowan Place, Kaibon Place, Banten Great Mosque, the graves of the sultans of Banten as well as the lighthouse of North Anyer built by the colonial Dutch government in 1885.

At Sumedang there is a number of ruins of the ancestors of Sumedang kept in the Museum of Prabu Geusan Ulun. And at Bogor and other regions of West Java there are some prasastis (inscriptions) of the periods of the kingdom of Tarumanagara, Pajajaran, Galuh, and Sunda.

All of those heritages become a part of important evidence of the historical path of West Java starting from the prehistorical period until the present time.

Not only the mountains, ricetields, forests, valleys, lakes and plantations will attract your eyes and excite your heart, but West Java is also rich with sea sceneries and its impressive and beautiful beaches. In particular, the west and south parts of West Java, starting from the Beautiful Salira Beach at Merak (Serang Regency), North Anyer, Carita Beach (Pandeglang Regency), the Beach of Peucang Island included in the Ujung Kulon natural conservation area there is a sea garden which in its clear water are various kind of flshes and coral reefs, the Mumbinuangeun Beach at Malingping (Lebak Regency) with white sands and unexploited area, the Ujunggenteng Beach (Sukabumi Regency) known as the place where turtles lay eggs, Pelabuhan Ratu Beach with Karanghawu (Sukabumi Regency) which is already known, the Cipatujah Beach (Tasikmalaya Regency) and one should not miss the tourism package of West Java which includes the Pangandaran Beach with its Panunjang natural reserve, the Batu Hiu and the Donan Cave (located at Ciamis Regency) which all are closely located to each other. What should be borne in mind by those having holidays in the Southern beach is to follow all rules and regulations and obey the warnings set by the government or the beach guards, since the sea of the southern region (the Indonesian Ocean) is dangerous or’unsafe.

There is also a sea garden in Indramayu Regency, located at the region of the Pulau Biawak. At Indramayu there is also a recreational garden and the ’I‘irtamaya sea bathing place located on the bank of the highway of Cirebon Indramayu.

For those wished to visit West Java, are suggested to come between the months of April and August, since during the dry season it is safe and pleasaht. If you came in the rainy season, your trip may be disrupted, since rainfall in the region of West Java is generally very high. Furthermore, during the rainy season, the beautiful mountainous sceneries at Puncak (The Peak), for instance, will not able be seen since mist is very thick.

Tourism places in West Java can be reached by land and air transportations. Most visitors came to West Java, however, preferred to travel on land using their own vehicles or available public transportations. The distance between Jakarta and Bandung is 180 km (via a well built toll highway of Jakarta – Bogor or Ciawi), which can be travelled pleasantly, while enjoying the mountainous natural sceneries and the tea plantations located on both sides of the highway. Along the way you could also stop and visit some tourism places having complete facilities, such as Cibulan, Megamendung, Puncak Pass, Ciloto, Cibodas, Cipanas, Cianjur and many others.

It is suggested to’those wished to travel in West Java, to start from Jakarta. From the capital city of Indonesia, there are many options to travel in West Java. Besides travelling to the south via the toll highway of Jakarta

Bogor – Ciawi or via Parung to Bogor and Bandung passing Puncak (or via Sukabumi), you will also be able to travel to the north via Bekasi,Karawang, and then take a turn via Purwakarta and arrived Bandung, or after arriving Karawang, your trip could be proceeded to Cirebon via Sukamandi, Pamanukan and Indramayu, which all are located in the regions of West Java. By taking the north route, you will also be able to visit some tourism places. The weather is, however, very warm, since the route is along the north coast.

The distance between Jakarta and West Java could be travelled via a route to the west. Passing the toll highway of Jakarta Tangerang Serang which was just officially opened in early 1985, you will arrive faster at the west cape of Java Island. Travel by ship (on an excursion boat) and by air (using a helicopter) could be arranged through travel bureaus, and you could disembark at the Ujung Kulon natural reserve. From Serang, your trip could be continued by car to Bogor and Bandung via Pandeglang (or travelling along the coasts of Cilegon Merak Anyer Labuhan Pandeglang), Rangkasbitung (Lebak Regency), Bogor and then to Bandung via Puncak or Sukabumi.

The condition of the roads of the north, south and west routes are very good. From Jakarta, buses, taxis and trains are ready to serve you any time you wished to travel to Bogor and Bandung, or to Indramayu and Cirebon as well as to Tangerang, Serang and Pandeglang. The bus fare from Jakarta to Bogor is Rp.10.000 – Rp.13.000 and from Bogor to Bandung is Rp. 70.000 – Rp. 91.000 and from Jakarta to Bandung Class Economy Non AC is Rp.65.000 – Rp.84.000. There is also available a special bus service called the Patas buses (fast and limited seats) travelling directly to Bandung, and its fare is Rp Rp.75.000 – Rp.97.000 The Patas buses are equipped with air conditioner or fan, and passengers are provided with free snacks. The taxi fare from Jakarta to Bandung is Rp.615.000. All buses and taxis usually make a stop-over at Cipanas.

Travelling by train is cheaper. The train fare from Jakarta (from the trainstations at Jakarta Kota or at Gambir) to Bogor is only Rp.20.000. And the fare of the Parahyangan train from Jakarta (from the trainstations at Jakarta Kota and at Gambit) to Bandung is Rp.110.000 for economy’ class and Rp.150 for eksekutif class which is equipped with air conditioner. In addition, there are also trains serve the routes of Jakarta Rangkasbitung – Serang Merak, Yogyakarta Bandung, and Surabaya Bandung.

For those wished to travel by air to Bandung, the Garuda Indonesia, Merpati and Bouraq air services are ready to serve particular routes. For instance, the air fare from Jakarta (from the Sukarno Hatta International Airport) to Bandung is Rp.3.183.700 from Yogyakarta to Bandung is Rp.3.682.900 from Surabaya to Bandung is Rp.965.200 and from Ujungpandang Makassar to Bandung is Rp.1.725.400.

Extension for visas and customs matters for foreign visitors can be made in Bandung, namely at the Immigration Offlce, J1 KH Penghulu Hasan Mustafaw As a matter of fact, it is quite easy to travel in West Java. Just imagine, even if your aircraft was landing at the Sukarno Hatta International Airport located at Cengkareng, in fact, you already arrived West Java. Because this international airport is located at the region of Tangerang Regency which is one of the 24 regencies/municipalities of West Java. Furthermore, the famous route of Puncak Bandung which is so impressive, from Jakarta it could be reached within 30 minutes only, after passing the Jagorawi toll highway.


Gemah Ripah Repeh Rapih

The overall emblem of the Regional Government of the Province of West Java has a shape of an oval with a ribbon beneath. The dominant color is green and yellow. Other colors are black, light blue and red.

A kujang (Sundanese dagger) with 5 holes is located in the center. Kujang is a multi-purpose weapon used by the Sundanese in the past. Five holes in its centre represent Pancasila (Five Principles of the philosophy or the way of life of the Indonesian). A stem of rice consists of 17 grains is located in the left-hand side. A stem of cotton with 8 flower buds is located in the right-hand side. Rice represents or symbolizes food prosperity, and cotton symbolizes cloth prosperity. The figures of 17 and 8 remind us to the 17th of August 1945, the Republic of Indonesia’s independence day.

Beneath the symbol of rice and cotton is a pictun of a mountain which symbolizes the region of West Java as a mountainous area. The pictures of rivers and dams are located beneath the picture of the mountain in the left-hand side. These picturés symbolizes that there are rivers and water-dams in West Java which are beneficial to agriculture. Beneath the picture of the mountain in’the right-hand side there is a picture of squares which symbolizes numerous rice~tields and plantations. As we already know, the society of West Java is generally dependent on the fertility of the mil which is developed as an agricultural area.

An agricultural activity has a close relation with irrigation as its major resource. In the emblem of West Java, irrigation is symbolized by the picture of a dam which is located in the center of the lower part.

Inside the ribbon there is a set of words written, Gemah Ripah Repeh Rapih, which means to illuStrate the environment of West Java whose people lives in union and peace. The color of green which dominates the emblem means fertility and prosperity of the soils in West Java.


West Java Golden Visage

The existence of Tarumanagara Kingdom in the 5th century was a beginning of the Sundanese history. Written historicalt evidence about the Tarumanagara Kingdom was found in the prasastis, namely one pramm’ in Jakarta, 5 prasastis in Bogor, one prasasti in Bandung and one more prasasti was found at Kotakapur, Bangka Island. Most of the prasastis were written in Sanskrit and Palawa characters, except the pramsti of Kotakapur was written in Old Malay language and Pranagiri characters.

The prasasti mentioned, that one of the kings of the Tammanagara was called Pumawarman. In addition, there were 2 other names and those perhaps were kings of Tatumanagara, namely Rajadhiraja Guru and Rajarsi.

Others sources on Tammanagara were found in ancient manuscripts, statues, oral tradition and custom and foreign sources from China and India.

During the period of Tammanagara it was assumed that there already in existence an international relations, among others with China. Tammanagara sent a envoy to China, and so did China to ‘I‘arumanagara, such as a Buddhist monk walled Fa Hien in 414 AD.

The prasasti found at Tugu village (Jakarta) mentioned, that Pumawarman ever gave an order to dig 2 water channels wled Candrabhaga and Gomati. The Gomati Channel was constructed in 21 days in his 22nd years of his reign. Both channels which assumed at present located at the region of Bekasi were functioning as flood prevention, irrigation, defence and navigation systems.

Although the periods of the beginning and the end of Tammanagara was not exactly known, this kingdom was, however, in existence since early of the 5th century and lasted in the 7th century. Its capital town was assumed located at the bank of the river near the present Bekasi,Karawang.

After Tarumanagara disappeared by the end of the 7th century, in the Sundanese region there were emerging small kingdoms, such as Kuningan, Galuh, and Sunda. The region of the kingdoms of Kuningan and Galuh was each located at the present regions of Kuningan and Ciamis. And the region of the Sunda Kingdom was located at the west side of Citarum River. By the beginning of the 8th century those kingdoms were merging and became a unity which was ‘then called the Sunda Kingdom.

One of the famous figures of the Sunda Kingdom was Sanjaya, who was also called Maharaja Harisdarma. Based upon the Carita ‘Parahyangan (the Parahyangan Story), he was a son of Sena, a king of Galuh. According to the Canggal prasasti, he reigned in 732 AD. Under his reign, the Kingdoms of Galuh and Sunda were merged which was then more known as the Sunda Kingdom.

In the prasastis found at Leuwi Kalabang and Bantarmunmng, at the region of Cibadak (Sukabumi), it was recorded the name of Maharaja Sri Jayabhupati as a king of Sunda who reigned in 1030 until 1108 AD and lived at Pakuan Pajajaran (at present it is near Bogor). It was believed, that Sri Jayabhupati was still a descendant of kings of East Java (Lokapala). He was born and brought up in East Java.

From the prasasti found at Astana Gede (Kawali), it was also known a name of Prabu Raja Wastu or Rahyang Niskala Wastu Kancana (1371 – 1475) as one of the Sunda Kings lived at Kawali (Galuh). And so, this means that there was a transfer of the center of the kingdom from Pakuan Pajajaran to Kawali.

The next famous head of the Kingdom of Sunda was Sri Baduga Maharaja or Sang Ratu Jayadewata (1482 – 1521). Under her reign Sunda Kingdom was experiencing golden years. With its capital town of Pakuan Pajajaran, this kingdom had a population of around 50.000 people. Its region covered the present areas of Wést Java and a west part of Central Java.

The influence of Hinduism in West Java began since the 5th until 16th centuries. This was seen by the names of the kings and the characters written on the prasastis.

Tom Pires, a Portuguese explored along the north coast of Java Island in 1513, mentioned about the people of Cimanuk who already became Moslem. Cimanuk was the most east located town and also became the border of the Sunda Kingdom. And even based upon the Cerita Purwaka Caruban Nagari, before 1470 at Cirebon, the people already became Moslem. Some assumed that the arrival of the first Moslem at the Sundanese region was‘in 1337 AD.

The stronger influence of Islam had forced the Sunda King, Sri Baduga Maharajato’face it. In 1522 he made an economic and security cooperation with the Portuguese who was at that time stationed at Malaka. It was, however, proved that the cooperation with the Portuguese was not able to challenge the strong influence of Islam particularly after Banten and Sunda Kelapa were occupied by the Islam troops from Demak and Cirebon in 1526 and 1527. The decline of the Sunda Kingdom was sped up by the fact that there were no strong and authoritative leaders. And so, when the Islam troops from Banten attacked the eapital town of the Sunda Kingdom in 1579, the history of the Sunda Kingdom was ended.

When Pakuan Pajajaran as the capital town of the Hindu’s Kingdom of Sunda fell, the penetration of Islam religion to the Sunda’s hinterland became deeper and the ‘ region was wider opened. And it was based on 2 places, namely Cirebon and Banten. From Cirebon, Islam religion was spreaded to the east part of Sunda’s hinterland, and from Banten it was spreaded to the west part of the hinterland bordered by the Citarum River. By the end of the 16th century all of the Sunda regions except the Baduy region located at South Banten were controlled by Islam with its centers located at Cirebon and Banten.

After the Sunda Kingdom fell, the region was divided into several independent areas, namely Cirebon, Banten, Sumedang (Sumedanglarang) and Galuh. Sumedanglarang was, however, considered as the continuation of the Sunda Kingdom. Because not only was its capital town Kutamaya characterised the towns of the Sunda Kingdom period such as Pakuan Pajajaran, but the king (Prabn Geusan Ulun) and other leaders were also the descendants of Galuh and Pakuan Pajajaran. The wish of Sumedanglarang to take over the role of Sunda Kingdom was, however, could not be materialized, bemuse Prabu Geusan Ulun even became Islam and it was indeed difficult to overcome Islam. The situation was even worsened, when a conflict between. Sumedanglarang and Cirebon was .erupted as a result when Prabu Geusan Ulun took the . wife of the king of Cirebon Kingdom, the Queen Panembahan.

Meanwhile, an Islamic Kingdom in Java which was strong, Mataram, began to spread its power when it was reigned by Senopati (1575 – 1601). Sultan Agung (1613 – 1645) as the 3rd king of Mataram was even more . aggresive. He wished to rule all the regions of Java Island. In 1619 Cirebon was under the power of Mataram. Sumedanglarang declared an unconditional smrender to Mataram in 1620. And so did Galuh, after the latter was fail to fight against Mataram.

Sumedang and Galuh then became Mataram’s regen, cles similar to those of the other Iater formed regencies, such as Bandung, Parakanmuncang, Sukapura, Limhangan, Kawasen, and Batulayang. Those regencies were administratively merged into a region of Priangan headed by a Wedana Bupati (Assistant to the Regent).

When Mataram expanded its power to the Sands Region, nearly at the same time, at the other part of the Sunda Region, there was an incident which later it became a very important element to the history of the Sunda Region, Java Island and even to the Indonesian history, that is, when on the 24th of June 1596, 4 Dutch trading ships disembarked at Banten. This was the beginning of the arrival of the Dutch to Indonesia. Although finally they were given permission after waited for a long time, their visit was, however, disliked by the authority of Banten. The Dutch was forced to leave Banten. They then sailed to the east along the north coast of Java Island, and visited among others the harbor of Jayakarta (Jakarta) which was occupied by Banten.

The Dutch seemed ”smelled” monies and power in Java Island. This was proved by some steps taken by the Dutch several years later. In 1602 the Dutch built a trade company in Indonesia called the Verenigde Oost-Indische Campagnie (VOC) or Kompeni, or the Dutch East-Indies Trading Company. And 8 years later, in Novembet 1610, VOC woeessfully gotaplaee in Jakarta after they bought a piece of land from Pangeran Jakarta who had a conflict with Sultan Banten.

In 1619, VOC built a center of power in Jakarta, after the area was freed from the power of Pangeran Jakarta and Sultan Banten. In 1645 this place which was called by the Dutch as “Her Conincrijk Jacattra” or Batavia was acknowledged by the Banten Sultanate and a year later it was also acknow ledged by the Mataram Sultanate with out mentioning its borders.

Until 1677 Batavia was bordered by Cisadane River (with Banten) in the west side and by Citarum River (with Mataram) in the east side. The border with Mataram was changed again to Pamanukan River and then to Cilosari and Cidonan Rivers (1705) based upon a treaty signed between Mataram and Batavia.

In 1681 VOC penetrated its power to Cirebon. Three years later its power also entered Banten. Cirebon and Banten, however, became independent sultanates. By the end of the 19th century, both sultanates, however, became parts of the regions under the power of the Dutch Indies which succeeded VOC in 1800. Bythat time all of the Sunda Regions and most parts of Java Island were under the power of the Dutch colonial government.

During the reign of the Govemor General Daendels (1808 1811), the Sunda Region was divided into 2 parts. The regions of Batavia (Jakarta), Tangerang, Karawang, Bogor, Cianjur, Sumedang, Bandung and Parakanmuncang with a population of 200.000 people were included into one governmental region which was called the Batavia en Jakatrasche Preanger regentschappen (the Batavia and Jakarta Priangan regency). While Cirebon, Limbangan, Sukapura and Galuh were included into the governmental region which was called the Kesultanan Cirebon en Cheribonsche Preanger regentschappen (the Cirebon Sultanate and Cirebon Priangan regency).

The term Jawa Barat or West Java for Sunda Region was known since 1880 after Java Island was divided into 3 military regions, namely the Military Region I of West Java, the Military Region II of Central Java, and the Military Region III of East Java. The border between the Military Regions I and II was the same as stated in the treaty signed in 1705.

The province of West Java was the first province established in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) as stated in the Staatsblad (State Law) 1925 No. 378, which then followed by the establishment of the provinces of Central Java in 1928 and East Java in 1929. The creation of the provinces by the Dutch East Indies Government was to implement the autonomous plan as made by the Queen of the Netherlands in 1901.

In the early stage of its development, the province of West Java consisted of 18 regencies (Serang, Pandeglang, Lebak, Batavia, Jatinegara, Bogor, Karawang, Sukabumi, Cianjur, Bandung, Sumedang, Garut, Tasikmalaya, Ciamis, Cirebon, Kuningan, Indramayu, and Majalengka), and 6 gemeente or municipalities (Batavia, Jatinegara, Bogor, Bandung, Sukabumi, and Cirebon).

Inspired by the establishment of Budi Utomo by Sutomo and others on the 20th of May 1908, the Sundanese youth at Stovia (School tot Opleiding voor Indische Arsten, or the medical school which was the highest educational institution at that time provided for the local people) and other Sundanese hgures lived in Jakarta, on the 22nd of September 1914 unanimously agreed to establish an organization called the Paguyuban Pasundan (the Pasundan Society).

When it was established, the Paguyuban Pasundan was only involved with social and cultural affairs. In its later developm’ent, this association, however, extended its activities and covered other fields of politics, economics, youth, women’s role and education. As apolitical association, the Paguyuban Pasundan believed, that the Indonesian nation will achieve their independence. Their political movement was clearly mentioned in a congress held in 1929.

Historical evidence proved, that during the period of the National Awakening (1900 – 1942), the role and contribution of the people of West Java were very invaluable. And even in several instances, West Java become the pioneer in the struggle of the nation. It was not ov’y marked in the early national movement which was am.ted by West Java (at that time, Jakarta was included as a part of West Java), but also in the later stages of the nation’s struggles which was initiated by the first province of Indonesia. All of those were made possible by the geographical location of West Java which became the center of power of the Dutch and the Japanese colonial governments, as well as by the provision of fairly sufficient economic and other important facilities and infrastructures compared to those of other regions, particularly those related to education. West Java (especially Jakarta and Bandung) became the place for youth of most parts of Indonesia to come together and continue their education. And in fact, those youth will become the pioneers and leaders of the national movement.

After the Republic of Indonesia was proclaimed its independence on the 17th of August 1945, the existence of the province of West Java was strengthened. A meeting of the Committee for the Preparation of the Indonesian Independence (PPKI) held on the 19th of August 1945, among others stated that the regions of the Republic of Indonesia consisted of 8 provinces, and the Province of West Java was one among those.

At that time, the Province of West Java consisted of 5 sub-provinces, 18 regencies, and 5 autonomous municipalities. The sub-provinces were: Banten (Regencies of : Serang, Pandegiang, and Lebak), Jakarta (Regencies of Jakarta, Jatinegara, Karawang and Jakarta municipality), Bogor (Regencies of Bogor, Sukabumi, Cianjur and Bogor and Sukabumi municipalities), Pn‘angan (Regencies of Bandung, Sumedang, Garut, Tasikmalaya, Ciamis and Bandung municipality), and Cirebon (Regencies of Cirebon, Indramayu, Majalengka, Kuningan and Cirebon municipality).

Out of 26 provinces (and later became 27 provinces with the inclusion of the Province of East Timor in the Republic of Indonesia) which formed in 1965, the Province of West Java was included. And Jakarta was already separated from the Province of West Java and became the Special Region of Jakarta and it was then changed to the Greater Jakarta City with a same level as a province.

At present, the Province of West Java consists of 20 regencies (Serang, Pandeglang, Lebak, Tangerang, Cianjur, Bogor, Sukabumi, Bekasi, Bandung, Purwakarta, Subang, Knrawang, Garut, Tasikmalaya, Ciamis, Sumedang, Cirebon, Indramayu, Kuningan and Majalengka) and 4 municipalities (Bogor, Sukabumi, Bandung ‘and Cirebon). Awarding to the Statistical Yearbook of Indonesia 1983, in West Java there were 429 districts and 6.009 villages.

The Regional Development Planning Agency (Bappeda) of West Java in the Third Five-year Development Plan (Repelita III) divided West Java into 7 development regions, namely: Banten (Serang, Lebak and Pandeglang), Botabek (the west part of Bogor, Tangenng and Bekasi), Sukabumi (Sukabumi, the east and south parts of Bogor and Bogor municipality, and Cianjur), the Greater Bandung (Municipality and the Regency of Bandung, Sumedang and part of Garut). Purwuuka (Pumakarta, Subang and Karawang), Cirebon (Municipality and the Regency of Cirebon, Majalengka, Indramayu and Kuningan) and East Priangan ( a part of Garut, Tasikmalaya and Ciamis).

In the field of tourism, West Java is divided into 6 development regions and each has its own strategies and priority scales but those are still interrelated and create a single tourism package. The 6 tourism development regions are Tourism Region I of Banten (Regencies of Serang, Pandeglang, Lebak dan Tangerang), Tourism Region II of Bogor (Bogor Municipality, Regency of Bogor, Sukabumi Municapility, Regency of Sukabumi and Regency of Cianjur), Tourism Region III of Purwakarta (Regency of Purwakarta, Subang, Karawang and Bekasi), T ourz’sm I V of Cirebon (Cirebon Municipality Regency of Cirebon, Kuningan, Indramayu and Majalengka), Tourism Region V of West Priangan (Bandung Municipality, Regency of Bandung and Sumedang), Tourism Region VI of East Pn‘angan (Regency of Tasikmalaya, Garut and Ciamis).


West Java Golden Visage


he region of West Java which includes the administrative region of the Special Region of the Capital City of Jakarta and the Province of West Java is geographically located between 50°50’ – 70°50’ South Latitude and 104°48’ – 108°48’ East Longitude. The region of West Java (excludes the Special Region of the Capital City of Jakarta) covers an area of 46.300 km2 or 35% of Java and Madura Islands or 2.41% of Indonesia which is 1.919.443 km2. It also means that the Province of West Java is larger than the size of the Netherlands (Holland) combined with Luxembourg, or a combined size of Switzerland and Luxembourg.

In the west side, the province which known as the Pasundan region is bordered by the Sunda Strait, in the north is bordered by Java sea and the Special Region of the Capital City of Jakarta, in the east is bordered by the Province of Central Java, and in the south is bordered by the Indonesian Ocean.

West Java is located as a region in Indonesia which has an active seismic area because of the existence of some active volcanoes. Although there is no dangerous volcano, however, West Java has at least 5 volcanoes which could be considered as ”temporarily dangerous” ones, namely Mount Ciremai (its height is 3,078 m above the sea level and its last eruption was in 1938), Mount Gede (2,958 m and its last eruption was in 1955), Mount Galunggung (2,168 m and its last erUption was in 1982), Mount Tangkuban Parahu (2,084 m and its last eruption was in 1966), and Mount Krakatau (at the Sunda Strait, 813 m .and its last eruption was in 1883).

In West Java there are 8 main rivers flowing, namely Citarum (268 km), Cimanuk (258.4 km), Cidurian (181.5 km), Cipunegara (148 km), Ciujung (147.2 km), Cisadane (144 km), Citanduy (130 km), and Ciliwung (118.5 km), and there are also other rivers which their lengths are less than 110 km. There are altogether 51 rivers. Three rivers now to the Sunda Strait, 28 rivers flow to the Java Sea, and the mats are flowing to the Indonesian Ocean.

Rainy season in the region of West Java stays longer, because when the east season comes (the wind blows from Australia), the west wind is still exist and creates rainfall. In this region, the average annual rainfall is above 2.000 mm. and in some coastal areas the rainfall is even between 3.000 and 5.000 mm. The total rainy days in the highlands, Bogor for instance, is 352, and in the lowlands is 138 days.

Temperature in a place is among others affected by its altitude and its distance from the coast. In gé’neral, the average temperature in West Java is between 18 and 22°C.


West Java Golden Visage


een from its economic development, West Java is roughly can be divided into: the north line with its lowlands, the central line with its highlands, and the south line with its mountains. The weather in the 3 lines is different, which creates different characteristics and activities in its agriculture as well as different agricultural cultivation. This condition also affects its population density.

As a matter of fact. agriculture still becomes the major source for living of the people in West Java. It was made possible by the condition of the weather and its natural features which made West Java known as one of the fertile agricultural lands in Indonesia. The comparison of its percentage is, agriculture 54.57%, trade and business 15.36%, services 9.67%, industries 9.58%, government and defence 3.54% and other sectors 7.28%.

The major agricultural product of West Java is rice, which comprised 70%. Based on the 1983 data made by the Bureau of the Central Statistics, ricéfield in West Java was 1.702.192 hectares with a product of 7.524.938 tons. And the dry ricetield was 129.918 hectares with a product of 245.308 tons. Thus, those altogether covered an area of 1.832.110 hectares with a total rice products of 7.770.246 tons. And even in 1984 it was projected, that the rice prodl’lct will reach a total of 8.5 million tons compared to the total rice products of the whole regions in Indonesia (which covers 26 provinces not includes East Timor) which in 1983 was 35.302.741 tons as an outcome of a total area of 9.162.469 hectares ricetields. As a matter of fact since a long time ago, West Java was recorded as the highest rice producing province, and even its rice product per capita was the highest one compared to those of other regions in Indonesia.

At the same time, crop product (eorns, eessavas. sweet potatoes, peanuts and soybeans) in West Java was however only 2.384,061 tons produces by 400.585 hectares land.

It is quite interesting to know how people cultivated agricultural land, particulariy rice, sincethecommunity in West Java besides practicing agricultural pattern in the riceiields, they also cultivate the drylands or ngahuma. And even at some villages in West Java, people is still practicing several ceremonies to accompany land cultivation, planting and harvesting.

In the northern lowland, the farmer practices the monoculture or single agricultural product, that is rice. And so, if there was a famine, it was so difficult to hnd any rice substitution. Therefore, soon after the harvest time was over, the men were usually left for towns to lind jobs as hard labor; until the next harvest time arrived.

In the mountainous arms, people practiws the multiculture or multi agricultural products. Besides rice, they grow other food producing plants, for instance, spices. After the harvest time, their ricefields were grown with vegetables, cassavas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes or the ricelields were used as fish pond (balong).

After the harvest time was over, the people of this multiculture agricultural arm spent their spare time by making household crafts, for instance, bamboo’s or pandan leaf’s plaited crafts, and bricks or other handicrafts, and then it was sold in the market as their extra incomes.

In the regions along the northern coast (Cirebon, Indramayu, and Karawang), besides planting the rioefields, people also heme fishermen. These 2 jobs were practices alternately. During the planting season, they worked in the ricetields and after the harvest time was over, they became fishermen. The people of the northern coast (particullary those of Indramayu) occasionally sailed to the m to watch fishes without waiting for the harvest time ended, that is by dividing or sharing the jobs and works among members of their families. And so, husbands or men sailed to the sea, while wives and women were working in the rieefields or making batiks at homes.

In the fishery sector, in 1981 West Java produces 191.197 tons of fishes. This is the total products of sea fishes (95.540 tons), fishes of public irrigation (3.911 tons), land fisheries (pond, karamba and rieetields: 91.746 tons). Having this total product, it made West Java in the third place followed by the province of South Sulawesi (224.568 tons) and East Java (202.730 tons). But with a total value of the iish products of Rp.126.574 million, it made West Java in the highest place compared to the other provinces in Indonesia. It was followed by the provinces of South Sulawesi (Rp 109.804 million) and East Java (Rp.79.287 million). Those data were cited from a book, “The Statistics of Indonesia 1983” published by the Bureau of the Central Statistics of Indonesia.

The fertile land and its fine weather made West Java as one of the major plantation estates in Indonesia. Its area is mostly scattered in the region of West Java, particularly the regions of Priangan, Bogor, and the hilly lowlands as Cirebon. The land used for plantation estates was 585.075.33 hectares, consisted of 415.439 hectares of people’s plantations, 84.602.33 hectares of private large plantations, and 84.034 hectares of state large plantations (PTP). Various kinds of plants grown in this area are rubbers, teas, quinines, coconut palms, coffees, coconuts, and chocolates.

Reeeutly there are efforts to concentrate more attenuans to grow tea plants which could reach 100 years old rather than, for instance, planting rubber trees. The Development of tea plantations, for Instance, was already carried out at Parakan Salak, Cisalak, Capetir, Arum, hmmuan, and Bojong Terong, Which all are loaed in Sukabumi Regency. During 5 years period, salted m 1985, it was projected that this area could be grown with tea plants covering 6.000 hectares and will be amed out by the PT Perkebunan XI.

West Java has also a fairly big potential in mines and Immng sector, and the excavation was carried out by the repent! government, PN Aneka Tambang, Pertamina, Lemmas, and the community using modest tools and equipments. Some strategic minerals produces in West Java among others are petroleum and gas (along the northern coast of West Java, and includes its offshore), manganese ores (at Cikotok Lebak Regency, Cibalong/ Sukabumi Regency, and Karangnunggal Tasikmalaya Regency), and coals (among othets, at Bojongmanik, Cihara and Bayah which all are located at Lebak Regency, and at Mount Buleud Sukabumi Regency).

Other major minerals are gold and silver (among others are at Gkotok Lebak Regency, Cirotan and C’mms Sukabumi Regency), black lead (among others is at Mount Sawal), copper (among others is at Karangnunggal), mercury (at the regions of Mount Parang, Mount Lembuh and Gseta Subang Regency), sulphur (at Mount Bodas Lake), and phosphate (among others is at Cijulang/ Ciamis Regency).

In addition, there are also minerals such as marble (at Sorong/Tasikmalaya Regency), bentonite (at Karangnunggal), andexita (at Mount Endut Bogor Regency), m stones, river stones, limestones, clays, granites, coral stones, sands, quarts, iron sands or main element for cement industries which all are sattered at several areas in West Java, for instance at the Regencies of Bogor, Sukabumi, Bandung, Cirebon, and Karawang.

The potency of rivers in West Java is in fact also becomes the largest one in Indonesia. It could be med to generate electric power. And one of the most ideal rivers to be developed as a water power electric center (PLTA) is the Citarum River which is 268 km long.

The utilisation of (Etarum River was already started years ago. Between 1917 and 1925, at the branch of Citarum River was already constructed 3 small PLTAs, namely the PLTA Piengan with a full mpacity of 5.2 MW, the PLTA Lamajan (19.2 MW), and the PLTA Cikalong (19.2 MW) which all are located at Bandung Regency. In 1965 the construction of the PLTA Juamh Jatiluhur (Purwakam Regency) was completed with a full capacity of 150 MW utilizing the water potency of Citarum River.

After 63 years ws over, the idea of a Dutch irrigation expert, Prof.Blomstein(1922) to utilise maximally the Citarum River was materialised, by the completion of the construction of the PLTA Saguling with a full mpacity of 700 MW. Later its peak capacity could be increased to 1.400 MW, and that is the largest capacity of an electric power ever owned by Indonesia.

The PLTA Saguling built at a cost of no less than US$ 738.2 million (uss 238.4 million loan from the World Bank, US$ 135.6 million loan from the Japanese, and US$ 364.1 million was provided by the Serang Regency as well as Jakarta, the Capital City of the nation and the central government.

Meanwhile, tourism industry in West Java was also showing some impressive developments. By the completion of some electric power center projects, there were also growing new recreational places. The construction of road and highways, bridges, communication facilities, hotels, restaurants and others which also accompanied with the construction of industries at several regions in West Java, in fact, become a life support to the already in existence tourism objects. On the other hand, the regional government of West Java was fully aware of the development of tourism may create positive and negative impacts to the social-cultural and natural elements. related to the tourism objects. Therefore, steps taken to develop tourism were not separated from the environmental view. For instance, to protect and preserve the natural environment of the southern part of West Java as a natural conservation area (forests, waters and wildlife).

How was the tourism in West Java really develop? Perhaps, the data of the ”Statistics of Hotel occupancy 1984” published jointly by the Bureau of the Central Statistics (BPS) and the Directorate General of Tourism of Indonesia could provide a clear general tigures.

In 1984, in West Java there were one 4-star hotel with 106 rooms, 7 3-star hotels with 565 rooms, 21 2-star hotels with 1.440 rooms, and 21 1-star hotels with 663 rooms. In addition, in 1984, there were 361 of no-star hotels located in West Java with 7.641 rooms, which means therewas an.increase compared totheearlier time in 1983, when the number of no-star hotels was 327 with 7.086 rooms.

Among the 10 province included as the Tourism Object in Indonesia, the number of classified hotel in West Java (total number of all classes were 50 hotels with 2.774 .rooms), has placed West Java in the third place compared to Jakarta (48 hotels with 8.031 rooms) and Bali (25 hotels with 3.270 rooms). But the number of non-classified hotels (361 hotels with 7.641 rooms) made West Java stood at the second place compared to East Java (377 hotels with 8.352 rooms) and above Central Java (389 hotels with 6.920 rooms).

An overall percentage of room-occupancy rate of starred-hotels in West Java during 1984 was experiencing an increase of 1.0%, that is from 36,6% (1983) to 37.6% (1984). And so did the percentage of bed-occupancy rate in West Java was increasing 1.5% (from 36.4% in 1983 to 37.9% in 1984).

Number of guests coming and staying at non classified hotels was also increasing, from 1.136.584 persons (12.835 foreigners and 1.123.749 local guests) in 1983 to 1.345.120 persons (15.939 foreigners and 1.329.181 local guests) in 1984.


West Java Golden Visage


ccording to the Population Census by the end of 1983, in West Java there were 27,917,771 people consisted of 14.135.168 women and 13.782.603 men. For Indonesia, it means that the number of people in West Java made this region as the largest number two after the Province of East Java. It also means, that the number of people in West Java was 2.5 times the population of the Netherlands ever occupied Indonesia for hundred of years. And even the total population Of Canada combined with that of Australia was still lower than the total population of West Java. Out of almost the 28 million people of West Java, there were 51,209 foreigners, Consisted of 25.931 men and 25.278 women. Most of them were Chinese, Indian, and Arabian.

Until now the distribution of people in West Java is still uneven. The regions of Bogor, Tangereng and Bekasi which became the supporting areas of vast development of Jakarta are the most density populated regions, that is‘, approximately between 768 and 1.500 persons per kind. And even in the municipality of Bogor, the number of density reached to 10.788. 40 persons per km2. In fact, peoples are concentrated in those areas which have fast growing development, such as in the vicinity of Jakarta, in the region of the Greater Bandung, and in the regions along the northern coast. On the contrary, in the regions starting from Pandeglang, Lebak, South Sukabumi and Ciamis which known as the southern regions of West Java and become a conservation area, those are less densely populated regions. In the latter regions its population density was only 225 to 576 persons per km2.

People’s mobility from and to Jakarta already happened in the past. The destination and places of origin were usually the same, namely Jakarta, Lampung and Central Java. The destination for most people moving from West Java was usually Jakarta and Lampung, and those entering West Java were mostly people from Central Java and Jakarta, and the others were from provinces outside Java.

The distance between Central Java West Java and Jakarta West Java is also supported by a good transportation and communication facilities (of land and air) which made it possible to accelerate the flow of migrants entering West Java. Migrants came to West Java from Sumatera and the other islands were mostly to continue their education, changing jobs, or following their families.

In West Java there are certain areas where the society has a habit to travel, such as those from Banten to Lam. pung and Jakarta; from Tasikmalaya and Ciamis to Jakarta, Central Java, Lampung and South Sumatera; from Majalengka, Kuningan, Cirebon and Indramayu to Jakarta, Lampung, South Sumatera and South Sulawesi. This kind of migration is usually temporarily only.

In addition, local migration in West Java -from villages to towns, or from urban areas to larger towns is fairly high. They moved for several reasons, for instance, business, looking for jobs, continuing education. or family matters.

This mobility was made possible by the provision of fairly sufficient facilities and transportations. In 1982, In West Java there were 706.091 motorized vehicles consisting of 142.497 cars, 183.096 buses and trucks, and 430.498 motorcycles. The length of roads and highways in West Java In 1982 was 12,408 km and was supported by the functioning of the toll highways of Jakarta Ciawi and of Jakarta Serang. Now, in 1985, the toll highway of Jakarta Cikampek is almost completed.

Other transportation means which supports people’s mobility is train. The length of railways in West Java in 1981 was 1,398 km. While air freight service is provided by the national airways companies, the Garuda Indonesia, Merpati and Bouraq with air routes from Bandung to Jakarta, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Denpasar (Bali), Manado, Ujungpandang, Banjarmasin, Balikpapan, Palu and Tarakan.


West Java Golden Visage


slam religion is a religion of the Sundanese people since Banten and Cirebon became Moslem regions since the 15th century. The influence of religion to the Sundanese society is very strong. They are, generally speaking, devout Moslems, by conducting the five times prayers daily, fasting during the holy month of Ramadhan, and their strong wish to go for Haj pilgrimage. The large number of hajs from West Java went to the Holy Land, Mecca, in 1983/1984 was 9,250. This figure was the largest one compared to those of other provinces.

In addition, the tradition and custom law of the Sundanese is also strongly reflected by the influence of Islam. It is shown by the inheritance law, wedding ceremonies and others.

Approximately 98.1% of the population in West Java in 1980 was registered! as Moslems. The rests were Catholics (0.3%), Christians (0.8%), Buddhists (0.5%) and other religions/beliefs (0.3%). Those of other religions apart from the Moslems were mostly incoming peoples, such as Chinese and those came from Mollucas, Bataknese (North Sumatera), and others.

What interesting is the Baduy society lives in the region of South Banten. They called their belief as the ”religion” of Sunda Wiwz’tan, which strongly suggested people to behave Well and not to hurt others based upon conduct and action which is ten wasa (dare not to do) because such conduct or action is considered buyut (taboo) or forbidden.

At present Sundanese language is widely used among the society in West Java. In the villages, Sundanese language is used for daily communication, while in towns it is particularly‘hsed by members of the family, between friends or close colleagues as well as in public and formal meetings between those understand and speak this language.

Sundanese language as one of the Indonesian local languages is included in the group of the Austronesian languages. It has dialects, and each has unique words, intonations, and its own grammar; however people could understand each other. The famous dialects are those of Cirebon and Banten.

In the region of West Java itself, if it was further studied, not all people as members of the society used Sundanese language. Along the coasts of Cirebon and Banten there are peoples who called themselves as the “Javanese people” and they used Javanese language with Cirebon’s and Banten’s dialects which are also known as Javanese Cirebon and Javanese Banten (Serang) languages.

Javanese Cirebon and Javanese Banten languages during its earlier stage were having very strong and distinct similarities, but after they are influenced by the environment and different historical developments, at present both have plenty of differences. On the contrary, the influence of Sundanese language to the two Javanese dialects is fairly strong.

In the mixed regions such as Cirebon and Banten where Sundanese and Javanese languages are used, there is a tendency that some families used Sundanese languages did not want to be called Sundanese people, but called themselves as Cirebon’s or Banten’s peoples, and used the term Sundanese people for those originally came from the regions of Priangan. And even in Cirebon, people used Cirebon’s language called those used Sundanese language as wong gimung (people of the mountain), because most of the Sundanese people of Priangan lived at mountainous regions. Therefore, until the 19th century, the Dutchman called Sundanese people as Jawa gunung (Berg-Javanen or Mountainous Javanese).

On the other hand, it was already known that outside West Java there were also regions or kampongs (urban villages) used Sundanese language, such as the Regencies of Brebes, Tegal and Banyumas in Central Java, and‘ Lampung transmigration area (South Sumatera).

From the above discussion, people then made an identification or description about Sundanese people. Seen from cultural anthropology, it could be said that those called Sundanese people were inherited to use the mother tongue and its dialects of the Sundanese culture. In addition, they also came from and lived at the regions of West Java often called the Tanah Paxundan or the Tatar Sunda (the Sundanese Land).

Since there was an influence of Javanese language after the Sunda Land was occupied by Mataram, in Sundanese language was then known the undak-usuk-basa, that is social levels of language users in a society. The feudal undak-usuk-basa was earlier not known in Sundanese language.

Sundanese language used at present consists of levels of linguistic value in accordance with the social status, namely the levels of kasar (ill-bred), sedang (gentle), kasar pisgn (very harsh) and Iemes pisan (very gentle). For instance, the word dahar means ”to eat” is considered as a harsh word. The usage of this word ll changed as it used for other people of higher social level or status. For respected people, the word could be changed to neda of the mediocre or tuang of the gentle word. While ngalebok, madang and gagares are very harsh words of the same meaning.

The undak-usuk-basa basically requires the users of the language to be strict to the use of words with whom they speak according to their status in the society. Although the words itself are synonyms only, but its usage should not be interchanged. If the synonyms were interchanged, it could be considered as an infringement and the persons who use or speak the words are considered as uneducated or impolite ones.


West Java Golden Visage


undanese kinship system is much‘ influenced by inherited custom and tradition and by Islam religion. These two elements, custom and religion, strongly together become the custom, tradition and culture of Sundanese people. Wedding in Sunda Land, for instance, was practiced according to custom and to Islam religion. In the holding of a wedding ceremony, the custom practices and the religious elements are mixed together.

In Sundanese society, a marriage is not just considered as a union between 2 peoples of different sex, but it also unite together between 2 families of the husband and the wife.

Generally speaking, Sundanese attitude tends to live together with the families or relatives. They will feel secure if they were able to live together with their relatives. If one member of the family must ‘move to other place because of the job or to accomplish Haj pilgrimage, when he or she left his or her birth place, then all members of the family will see him or her off with deep sorrow.

A basic form of a Sundanese family is a batih family, consists. of husband, wife and children of their own or adopted children (anak kukut means adopted child). The relation between all members of a batih family is very strong. Usually there are other persons live together with them such as father and mother-in-laws or other in-laws of the wife or the husband.

There is an opinion suggested, that a daughter is considered as representative of a mother to look after and educate her little brother and sister, and the relation between a daughter and her home and her family is also stronger, which made a wedding in Sundanese society tends to become matrilocal, that is after the wedding the new couple will stay together in a house with their parent. However, if the new couple was able to build their own house or lived in a house built by their parent, the-custom is changed to neolocal.

A family in Sundanese society is a’ parental one, that is a form of a family which is based on the inherited lines of the father and the mother together. In a parental family, a father usually becomes the head of the family and his position is inherited to his son. Since in a parental family the relatives of the father and the mother are having equal importance as well as the same rights and duties on inheritance to marry their own relatives, except those of very close relatives, such as between cousins, which in Sundanese word called kapiadi or kapi lanceuk.

Among the batih families, there are also groups of relatives who are aware of their kinship, and in Sundanese words called dulur, baraya dekeut, baraya jauh. Baraya jauh and baraya deukeut are usually related to an Egoandhls or her past ancestors which in Sundanese word called bondoroyot.

In addition, Sundanese people also knew some kinship terms seen by an Ego, such as a father is usually called abah, apa, bapa, pa; a mother is called ema, ma; an elder sister is called ceuceu, euceu, teteh; an elder brother or sister of the father or the mother is called toa, uwa or wa; a younger brother of the father or the mother is called mamang, emang or mang; a younger sister of the father or the mqther is called bibi, embi or bi. A nickname of a father is usually based on the name of his eldest child or of his first child. For instance, if the name of his mst son or daughter was Tatang or Titin, then the father Will be called Abah Tatang or Abah Titin.

If an Ego was getting married, his wife is called pamajikan; and the husband (the Ego) is called salaki. The younger brother or sister of the wife is called adi beuteung, and the elder brother or sister of the wife is called dahuan. The parent of the wife and of the Ego call each other besan. The parent of the wife is called mtmlm (parent ln-laws). The children of the Ego and his wife are called incu by the parent of the Ego as well as by the parent or the Ego’s wife.


West Java Golden Visage


he oldest and most developed literature form in West Java II the cerlta pantun (Malayan quatrain story), namely an epic of the heroes and ancestors of West Java since the ancient time, Galuh and Pajajaran periods. The famous cerita pantun is Lutung Kasarung, Ciung Wanara, Mundinglaya di Kusumah, Nyi’ Pohaci’ Sanghyang Sri, Babad Siliwangi, Babad Cirebon, and others. The cerila pantun is performed all night long accompanied by the kacapi strings called the pantun. It was occasionally accompanied by suling (a bamboo flute) or by tarawangsa (a local musical instrument with 2 strings, one string was brushed along and the other one was touched). Ah so, the name of pantun was derived from the name of the kacapi which used to be touched or plucked by the pantun player. The form of a kacapi’ is unique, it looks like a boat, and has 18 metal strings. In the region of the Baduy society at Lebak Regency, they have a smaller size kecapi’ with only 9 metal strings.

The cerita pantun is usually performed in a rhytmic quatrain form, alternated by poems and often sung. Pantun which in its earlier development considered sacred, was only occasionally performed and often connected with kaul or a ceremony to fulfil wishes and ngaruat or a safety ceremony related to wedding, circumcision and other ceremonies. But after the 505 there was a big change, which not only related to the story but the accompanying instrument was also changing provided with a complete gamelan orchestra as well as the pesinden (singer).

When Javanese and Arabic characters were adopted in Sunda Land, there were manuscripts written in the form of wawacan. Wawaccm is a story written in a poetic form called dangding. And dangding is a particular form of poems describing special matters. There are various kind of dangdings called pupuh, such as asmarandana, durma, dangdanggula, kinanti, sinom, maskumambang, magatru, mijil, pangkur and pucung. Altogether there are 17 pupuhs and each has different rule of form related to the total lines in each couplet, the number of syllables (engang) in each line, engang’s vowel at the end of each line, and the atmosphere described, such as riot, war, love, suggestion, sadness and others.

In the 19th century there were 2 famous Suréanese men of letters or writers, namely Muhammad Musa and Haj Hasan Mustapa. Muhammad Musa was known as a pioneer who promoted the use of the Sundanese language and the use of punctuation marks in his writings in the form of poetry or prose. While Haj Hasan Mustapa (1852 – 1930) was the greatest Sundanese philologist who wrote some 10.000 couplets of poems in the form of pupuh which all described his experiences and thoughts as well as of his concepts and ideas, which were beautifully written but still strictly following the form of pupuh.

Sundanese people has his own view on dances and karawitan (traditional songs), although during a performance both are closely related. In Sundanese culture, what called a tart (dance) is rereundeukan and igel-igelan. While what called karawitan is kanayagan which also includes the term tatabeuhan (sounds), kakawihan and tetembangan (vocalised melodies). .

When a karawitan was integrated with a dance, the combined performance was then called a karesmen. What called rereundeukan is the body movements supported by moving the feet upward and downward, while moving the shoulders (taktak) to the back-left sides and to the back-right sides. Igel or igel-igelan is moving the body and other parts harmoniously, stepping forward or backward and to the left or to the right, so that there is an impression of a rhytmic and continuous movements.

In West Java there are some 180 kind of traditional arts which can be grouped into 19 categories, namely angklung, bela diri (self-defence), celempungan, debus, gamelan (traditional orchestra), helaran, ibing, kacapian, lawak (comedy), macakal, ngotrek, orkes (orchestra), pantun (quatrain), quro, ronggeng, sandiwara (plays), terbangan (tambourine), Vokalia (vocalized songs) and wayang (stage play or shadow/puppet play)

Out of the 180 art forms in West Java, only a small number of them is, however, still developing, while . the others are not well developed.

From the vocal groups, among others we are acquainted with the tembang and kawih art forms. As with pupuh form originally came from Java it was then developed widely in the Sundanese soil, and so did the tembang which was affected by the Javanese literature, all were rooted from the 17t th century when Mataram under the reign of Sultan Agung spreading their power and occupied West Java region. Its cultural affect showed a special development. After is acculturated with local lecture, it develop into a new art from which was quite different from the original one.

Such kind of a vocalized song called papantunan and dedegungan proved that there was an effort to study the earlier form of Sundanese art, that is pantun (poetry). And from this kind of tembang (song), it was then developed and known the tembang Cianjuran (Cianjur’s song) which reflects Sundanese characteristic.

If the tembang that is songs which its lyrics ihcluded ln poems (pupuh), other vocalized songs exclude the tembang, are called the kawih. A kawih form is usually more independent or stylefree and expressive.

A tembang is usually accompanied by kecapi pantun, rincik and suling (bamboo flute), such as in the art of tembang Cianjuran (Cianjur’s songs). While the type of kecapi suling used to accompany the kawi’h, the number of metal strings and the kecapi form is different from the one used in the kecapi pantun, and it is usually called the zither. And so, the songs which accompanied the gamelan (orchestra), angklung, calung, reog and other art forms are called the kawih.

From the wayang group, there’s also an art which perhaps originally came from Java, but it was then developed and had West Java’s characteristics, that is the wayang golek (the wooden puppets). There are 2 types of Wayang Golek Purwa (the Old Wooden Puppets) which performed the plays of the Mahabarata and Ramayana stories, and the Wayang Golek Cepak which performed the local stories, such as the Babad Cirebon (the Cirebon Story) or other stories of the local Moslem leaders. The form of the puppets is also different. The face of a puppet of the Wayang Golek Cépak more looks like that of human being, while the face of a puppet of the Wayang Golek Purwa is different from that of human being. The nature or character of both types of, puppet of the Purwa and Cepak is, however, quite reflected clearly.

And so does the Cirebon mask found in the regions of Cirebon and Indramayu perhaps originally came from and affected by Central Java which in turn it gradually influenced the regions of West Java and created an art form of the masks of Karawang, Tambun, Bekasi, Banten, and Betawi.

In the region of Cirebon there are 2 kind of masks. The first is the wayang tapeng (masked wayang), where the performers of the players wore wayang garments and masks to cover or disguise their faces. It is usually performed a wayang story by a daldng (a wayang performer). Except the panakawans, the dancers did not ‘ speak themselves. In each masked wayang play, there were some 30. masks shown.

In’ addition, there is the Topeng Babakan (Babakan Mask). The term babakan is derived from the ‘word “babak” mean an act or a sceneof a play. And so, it is a play. consists of acts Or scenes of incomplete story. It showed a single dance of the figures of the Panji play, and illustrated several types of nature or character ‘of human beings, such as the panji, samba or rumyang, tumenggung and kelana. As an entertainer there is the bodor or comedian called jinggananom. Each figure had their own mask of different forms and paints. The mask of a Panji is white, which symbolizes greatness, tenderness, and goodness. The mask of a Samba is blue, symbolizes satisfaction. The mask Of a Tumenggung is red, symbolizes willingness; and the mask of a Kelana is dark red, symbolizes passion and anger.

The reog is one of the popular arts in West Java, and it is even easily understood and accepted ‘by other regions, and so there are reog groups which players are not Sundanese people and they do not speak Sundanese language, but they speak Indonesian language. Reog players consist of 4 persons and each is holding a dogdog (a kind of percussion). The size of each dogdog is different, and it has its own name. The smallest is called tilingtit, held by the dalang or the leader of the reog group. The two bigger dogdogs are called the tempas and the brangbrang. And the biggest is called the indung or the pangrewong, and held by a player performing a comedian. The 4 players entertain the audience for several hours with songs and jokes, and they also express social criticisms.

Annother art form similar to reog’ is calung. It can be performed by many players. The musical instrument used is not the dogdog, but the calung, a kind of bamboo percussion. Each player is holding a bamboo plane which has a particular note or tone. And so, by playing together they can perform a musical rhytm. There is also another art form called the calung renteng, similar to the formof gambang (wooden xylophone) and played by a single person.

An art form similar to calung is angklung, which its musical instrument is made of bamboo, and the way to play the instrument is not by striking it, but by shaking it.

In the region near the Baduy area at Lebak Regency, there is an art form called the bedug lojor or the dogdog lojor or the dodod, and it is often said as the early form of the gending karesnden.

Waditra or a musical instrument called bedug Iojor consists of 3 bedugs (mosque drums) and 4 angklungs (bamboo’s musical instrument). In its original form it, however, consisted of 2 bedugs without angklung. Then it was accompanied by the introduction of smaller size bedug called talingting and angklung.

The bedug lojor is played by 6 or 7 persons, and all have double functions, as nayaga (musical players), singers,dancers, important figures, and comedian. And they even performed as a stage decoration Which is quite interesting and creating a. magical atmosphere. The gendang pencak is one of the popular arts in West Java, a combination between a self defence art and a dance. The ability to move the body harmoniously is shown and accompanied by 2 sets of gendangs, a trumpet and kempul. The striking and sound of the gendang (traditional drum) is very dominant, accompanied by the high sounds of the trumpet which stimulates enthusiasm. The performance is usually held in an’ open field, while the audience is sitting or standing in circle.

The tayuban or nayuban is a dance which was popular among the menak or priyayi (the nobleman) of the Old West Java. It is usually performed in an open stage called the balandongan, and is lighted by gasoline lamps. During this attraction, the male noble persons were givenopportunity to dance with the ranggeng (the female dancers), while enyoying the alcoholic drinks. And the term tayuban or nayuban is derived from the word nayub, that is a custom to drink alcoholic stuff in a lively party.

A tayuban dance is a free dance with no particular rules. The movement of the dance is dependent upon the willingness of the dancers themselves, that is so long as the dance is in harmony with the accompanying gamelan laras pelog (the Iaras pelog orchestra).

Among the common people, it is already known a dance form which provides opportunity among the audience to actively join the dance, that is the ketuk tilu. This dance performance was usually held at midnight in an open field, lighted by an oncor (a kerosene lamp having 3-legged supports) placed in the center of the arena. Some female dancers while singing invited the audience to join the dance together.

The tayuban at present time is gradually disappearing 9r rarely performed, but the ketuk tilu is still popular even among those upper level society and becomes a common dance. Its development is, however, experiencing some variations which is dependent upon each local region. And so the ketuk tilu of Priangan region will be different from that of Karawang or Subang regions. Its version varies, and it is dependent upon its region’s name, such as banyst, doger kontrak. ronggeng gunung bangreng and longser. All of those are basically adopting the ketuk tilu rhytm.

From the combination between the ketuk tilu and the banjet mask dance (also called as the Goyang Karawang or the Karawang Shake dance) which required much spontaneity and‘ improvisation, in 1978 it appeared the so-called jaipongan dance. The faipongan dance became famous of dynamic and artistic. The musical instruments, used are the same as those of the ketuk tilu, namely the gendang (the drum), rebab (the violin), kenong, gong and kecrek. The brushingof the rebabis turning, followed by the shrieks and the striking of the drum which is very strong will invite the moving of the head, shoulders, hands, hips, and all parts of the dancer’s body. Regardless whether the dancer ‘wore sarong and kebaya (fe’rnale coat), gown, jeans or trousers and necktie.

The Jaipong dance is spreading widely and popular particularly among the youth who consider the dance is very attracting and full of dynamics. The movement of the jaipongan dancer is very free, and it will even excite if the dancer was able to practice the pencak silat (the traditional self-defence art).

Carving and batik art are also becoming a part of the cultural arts in West Java. This, for instance, can be seen from the carvings of the waycmg golek (the wooden puppet), the keris holder (the traditional dagger), the frame of the golok or parang (the traditional sword), musical instruments and household’s tools and equipments. The batik centers with different ornamental patterns from that of Central Java, are located in the regions of Tasikmalaya, Garut,Indramayu and Cirebon.

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