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Jigyasha Prasad Jul 04 2013

How is the Saman Dance performed in Indonesia?

Kshitiz Ahuja Jul 04 2013
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The Saman Dance in Indonesia dates back to the 13th century, when it was conceived by Sheikh Saman, a Gayo ethnic elder of Aceh, to convey religious messages. The dance features an odd number of performers, male (usually young men), sitting or kneeling in a row. They wear traditional costumes with Gayo embroidery depicting natural and moral symbols.



The Saman dance from Aceh, Indonesia has joined Batik, Wayang, and Angklung as Indonesia's contribution to UNESCO’s list of intangible world heritage. This dance form was included in the list under the category of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. According to a government spokesman for cultural affairs, one reason the dance is in need of protection is that it is increasingly rarely performed by men, despite being traditionally a performance exclusively danced by males.

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