Sigale Gale Traditional Dance, Samosir, North Sumatra

Dance Sigale-Gale is one of the traditional arts of the Batak people, North Sumatra. Sigale-Gale is a human-shaped doll that can be moved and danced to traditional music.

Historically, Sigale-Gale dolls themselves have existed for hundreds of years. It is said that the doll originated from the legend of King Samosir, who lost his only heir. The king was very homesick and ill. Many treatments have been tried, but nothing has helped. Then the king’s advisers proposed to make a wooden statue reminiscent of the king’s son. After the statue was completed, several rituals were performed, including a challenge to the spirit of the deceased son. After that, the statue was shown to the king. The king saw the statue, a miracle happened, the king recovered and again began to lead his people.

Dance Sigale-Gale is a mystical dance. Previously, dance was performed at a funeral, when a man was dying. According to people’s beliefs, this dance is performed to accompany the soul of the deceased. But over time, the significance of this ceremony decreased and the dance was redesigned to be performed at various cultural and traditional events.

Several people participate in the dance, they move the doll, holding the rope, and imitate the movements of the person. The movements of the doll in the Sigale-Gale dance are very diverse, for example, movements such as tor-tor move and other traditional Batak dance movements. Thus, the doll is one of the participants in the dance.

The dance is accompanied by traditional music called gondang music and consists of a flute, drum and gong.

As costumes, traditional batak clothing is used, complete with Ulos fabric. The Sigale-Gale doll is also dressed in traditional clothes, which gives it a resemblance to the dancers and looks harmonious in the dance.

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