Tari Kipas, A Mythical Dance from Gowa

Tari Kipas

Each region in Nusantara has their own cultural customs that characterize it. The culture includes folk songs, traditional clothes, regional languages ​​to traditional dances.  For example, a very famous regional dance from the Gowa area, South Sulawesi, namely the Tari Kipas.

Tari Kipas or Tari Kipas Pakarena is a traditional dance which is the pride of the people of Gowa because it has a unique concept, one of which is the etymology of its name. In the local language, the word pakarena has the meaning of playing. This dance uses a fan as a prop. The shape is a folding fan originally from Gowa, South Sulawesi. 

Pakarena Fan Dance means a dance performed by playing a fan. This fan dance is played by female dancers wearing traditional clothes. The movements of the dancers are so for a distinctive style using a fan as an attribute that characterizes them.

Usually this traditional Gowa dance is staged at traditional events and becomes an entertainment dance. Tari Kipas Pakarena is also a magnet that attracts tourists to visit Gowa, South Sulawesi.

History of Tari Kipas Pakarena

According to history, this fan dance is a dance from the Kingdom of Gowa. This kingdom used to experience its heyday and ruled the southern part of Sulawesi for centuries. The culture that emerged from this period then influenced the culture of the people of Gowa and its surroundings, thus creating the Pakarena Fan Dance.  

Even though the Gowa Kingdom has collapsed, the fan dance is still preserved by the community to this day.

Tari Kipas

Fan Dance Myth

As a cultural heritage, pakarena dance cannot be separated from folklore or myths that exist in society, even though there is no sincere evidence. Tari Kipas is associated with creatures from heaven for generations orally. It is said that this dance comes from the story of the separation of the inhabitants of boting langi or the land of heaven with the inhabitants of lino or earth.

Before they parted, boting langi had time to teach lino about how to live, farming, raising livestock and hunting through hand, body and foot movements.  Then these movements are made into a ritual dance by Lino as an expression of gratitude and thanks to boting langi.

In addition, there is also a story that links the Tari Kipas pakarena with the legend of Tumanurung ri Tamalate who was the first king or somba of the Kingdom of Gowa.  Based on this story, the pakarena dance first appeared with Putri Tumanurung ri Tamalate.  This dance is also a dance accompaniment and complement to the greatness of Tumanurung ri Tamalate.

The Origin of the Pakarena Fan Dance Name

Pakarena name comes from the word “karena” which means to play.  In the past, this dance was also known as the Sere Jaga dance. Sere Jaga dance is a means of community ritual before or after planting rice. At that time the property used was a bunch of rice as a parable of the goddess of rice. That’s the beauty of Tari Kipas and all the meaning behind it.

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