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Sep 2011

Tari Saman - Traditional Dance from Aceh

Kategori : Wisata Budaya

Tari Saman (Saman dance) is typical of the soil rencong, aceh. Saman dance uniqueness lies in the cohesiveness of the movement which is amazing. The dancers move in unison can saman to the music in harmony. Orderly movements of the body as if driven one, continues to dance with a compact, following a dynamic sang songs. It's interesting, is not it? Nothing wrong with a lot of saman dance captivate the audience the art of dance. Not only from Indonesia, but also from abroad. Now, let's review some more about this unique dance.

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This dance is usually played by a dozen or dozens of men, but the numbers must be odd. However, in subsequent developments, this dance is played also by women or a mixture of male and female. And of course with modifications other movement. I am sometimes asked how so many people can simultaneously play a dance that has a high speed? In addition to training of course, there are definitely certain formation in the laying of each dancer's balance so that the density and look harmonious and dynamic dance. 

Saman Dance History 

Saman dance is on call because it was created by a cleric named Sheikh Saman Aceh in XIV century AD, from the Gayo highlands. Initially, this dance is a popular game called Pok Ane. However, later added to the accompaniment of poetry that contains the praise to Allah SWT, and accompanied also by a combination of pat-pat of the dancers. At that time, saman dance become one of the media propaganda. 

As the times, too, Saman grow until its use becomes more frequent. Now, dance saman dance can be classified as entertainment / performances, because performances of dance is not bound by time, certain events or ceremonies. Tari Saman can be displayed on every occasion that are crowds and excitement, such as birthday parties, weddings or other celebrations. To place, Saman usually done at home, fields, and some are using the stage. 

Tari Saman usually displayed is guided by a leader who is typically called the Sheikh. Sheikh Saman dancers and should be able to work together well to create a compact and harmonious movement. 



Saman dance motion using the two elements that became the basic elements of dance saman: applause and pat his chest. Allegedly, when the spread of Islam, sheikhs of ancient Malay dance saman studied, then bring back through the motion, accompanied by poems facilitate the propagation of Islam for the sake of preaching. In the present context, the dances are religious rituals that are still used as a medium to convey messages preaching through the performances. 

Saman dance one dance that is quite unique, because it only shows the motion of clapping and other movements, like rocking motion, kirep, Lingang, surang-filtered (all motion is the Gayo language). In addition, there are two rows of people singing, clapping and all Tari Saman dancers have to dance in harmony. In Tari Saman usually, the longer the tempo going faster and faster so Tari Saman interesting. 


In general, Saman dance is played by a dozen or dozens of men. but the numbers must be odd. However, in later development, this dance is also played by women. Another opinion says this dance is danced less than 10 people, with details of 8 dancers and 2 as cue givers while singing. However, developments in the modern era requires that a dance would be more lively when danced by a dancer with higher numbers. This is where the Sheikh, it must regulate the movement and singing poems Saman. 

Costume or special clothing saman divided in three parts: 


  • · On the head: bulung pupil or tengkuluk basic black cloth square. Two aspects such as dress embroidered with thread, edit kepies. 
  • In the body: basic shirt / dress filigree (the basic black dress, embroidered in white thread, green and red, embroidered waist portion kedawek and kekait, short-handed shirt) and sarong pants. 
  • On hand: bracelets masks, handkerchiefs. Similarly, in the use of color, according to tradition contains certain values, because the color indicates the identity of the wearer. The colors reflect the compactness, wisdom, strength, courage and harmony. 


Saman dance is indeed very interesting. Saman dance performances are not only popular in our own country, but also popular overseas as in Australia and Europe. Recently saman dance in shows in Australia to commemorate the catastrophic tsunami of 26 December 2006. Therefore, we should be proud of the arts that we have, and preserve it so as not to become extinct.

Tag : tari saman,traditional dance, aceh culture


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