Jamasan, Larung Ageng, Sedekah Bumi & Manten Kucing

Nov 26th, 2010, in Featured, News, by


Regent of Wonogiri, Central Java, Danar Rahmanto has withdrawn government funding and recognition for three Javanese cultural practices, under pressure from orthodox Islamic groups, they being:

  • Jamasan Pusaka (sword cleansing ceremony)
  • Larung Ageng (procession to Sembukan beach)
  • Sedekah Bumi (agricultural fertility ceremony)

Rahmanto cited political reasons for the move, as his election campaign had been supported by the Partai Persatuan Pembangunan (PPP), Majelis Tafsir Al-Quran (MTA), Lembaga Dakwah Islam Indonesia (LDII), Muhammadiyah, Majelis Mujahideen Indonesia (MMI), the Ikatan Persaudaraan Haji Indonesia (IPHI) and the Pemuda Kabah, and he felt bound to carry out their wishes on the matter.

Larung Ageng
Larung Ageng procession

The regent said citizens remained free to carry out the rituals, but that the government would no longer support them financially in its culture and tourism budget. The Larung Ageng ritual however, for one, remains featured on the local government’s website.

Anding Sukiman of the local PPP said the regent was under an obligation to not support mystical and superstitious beliefs and practices, and to uphold the correct forms of religion. harianjoglosemar


Meanwhile not far away in Tulungagung, East Java, possibly feeling emboldened by the success of Islamic orthodox groups in Wonogiri, the local branch of the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) has condemned the “manten kucing” ceremony.

Manten Kucing
The happy couples

The manten kucing ceremony involves a procession to a well where two cats are symbolically paired up, or ‘married’ by a man dressed as a Muslim cleric or kyai, and is done by local people when the area is suffering water shortages.

Maskur Kholil of the MUI said:

It’s superstitious and it hurts the feelings of Muslims.

Culture was fine, he went on, but it should not be mixed up with religion, and clerics especially should not be insulted. antara

7 Comments on “Jamasan, Larung Ageng, Sedekah Bumi & Manten Kucing”

  1. hafiz says:


  2. Guna2 says:


  3. timdog says:

    WITTY [you guys are…]

    I’ll come back on this topic when I’m in a more serious mood and my brain is less frazzled; I’ve been looking at this uprising against Chinese landholders in Probolinggo in 1813 all day and there was a rebel from Surabaya kicking up the Ratu Adil stuff, and talking of Jihand but at least some of his followers were Tengger “Hindus” and then the English came for a picnic and ended up getting killed along with the Chinese and… I’m rambling aren’t I? I’ll stop…

  4. Lairedion says:

    I find the “manten kucing” phenomenon totally wacky and wouldn’t mind seeing it disappear. Let those cats live in peace. But the underlying message hardliners are flexing their muscles over and over again is very disturbing. And we have another insecure Muslim who’s afraid his fellow Submitter’s feelings are hurt.

    It’s sad to see my former country going down the drain into wahhabi madness.

  5. tomaculum says:

    “Maskur Kholil of the MUI said:

    It’s superstitious and it hurts the feelings of Muslims.”

    But it is OK if they hurt the feelings of others?

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