gendang beleq

Sasak is a major tribe that inhabited the island of Lombok. There is approximately 80% of the population here are Sasaknese followed by another tribes such as Mbojo, Dompu, Samawa, Java and Bali. Sade village, Central Lombok is one of the residential area where the culture of Sasaknese is still well preserved. Generally, here the men work as farmer. As for women, they generally work as traditional weavers.

They usually put their woven cloth in the front of their house. Displaying them with another crafts they have made. There is also uniqueness here in which the floor of their house is layered by the mixture of clay, bean and manure of buffalo. They believe that the mix is even stronger than cement. In addition, they have their own philosophy. They believe that the soil is a place where humans are originated. The manure depicts the daily lives of majority of Sasaknese as a farmer and highly depended on the buffalo in cultivating their land.

It seems obvious that the culture has been preserved by Sasaknese. In addition to the tradition of Sasak tribe in Lombok, there are several cultural activities that are very popular. Collective culture that has been running for hundred years made the creation of these cultural activities.

Gandrung Dance

This is a typical dance that is often performed in such formal and non formal event. Once upon a time, this dance is usually performed during the night after the rice harvest. One that becomes the characteristic of Gandrung is the Gegelung. The headdress of the dancer decorated with the flower of frangipani.

Gendang Beleq

Named Gendang Beleq, as one of the instruments is in the form of a big drum. The name consists of two words, Gendang and Beleq. The word “Gendang” means drum and Beleq means big. In its performance, this orchestra consists of two Gendang beleq, the Gendang ‘mama’ (Male Drum) and and Gendang ‘nina’ (Femane Drum). Both bring the dynamics during its performance. These traditional music instruments are played in a group followed by another instruments.

Bau Nyale

Bau Nyale is a legendary and sacred event for Sasaknese. Once upon a time, this tradition was started by the story of a beautiful Princess named Purti Mandalika. Her beauty makes the kings from across region are scrambling to ask for her hand. But it became complicated for her if she rejects their application, then it will trigger the war. That was a big dilemma for her. But then the princess took a strange decision on the 20th of October, to kill herself. Exactly, she threw herself into the open sea. After commited suicide, a lot of nyale (sea worm) appeared at sea. Until now, the appearance of nyale believed as the incarnation of Princess Mandalika. The word ‘Bau Nyale’ comes from sasak language. Where “Bau” means catch and “nyale” means marine’s worm. So, according to the name, this is a worm-catching activity on the beaches.


If you search for the word of “presean” in the Google, then you will get a bunch of awesome photos of two men fighting with sticks and shield. This kind of martial art is very popular and got alot of attention. Once upon a time, Presean was typically organized as a means of rain calling, but now it has become a traditional games organized in the form of a competition held in a rural until the district levels. This martial art uses Penjalin (Stick) made from rattan as a weapon and Ende (shield) that is made from cowhide. Players are called Pepadu, where they consist of two teens / adults fighting and using their skills. The victory is declared valid until one of Pepadu dripping his blood.


Text by: W Juliantara

Photo by: Lalu Budi Karyadi

About Author: Kasan Mulyono
Writer. Lecturer. Ph.D in Economics. Mine worker. PR veteran. Casual cyclist. Father of 4. Husband to Kartina. Moslem. Lives in Lombok & West Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. FB: KasanMulyono2015 Email: Twitter: KasanMulyono Instagram: KasanMulyono