Gaok, an Almost Extinct Majalengka Oral Tradition

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Gaok from Kulur Village, Majalengka has already exist since Islam spread in Majalengka. At that time, Islam was spread through Wawacan manuscript, an Islam manuscript, that was vocal as Gaok. Basically, Gaok tells about Java literature and it is played on baby’s gratitude. Gaok also contain of Moslem value.

Gaok is from ngagorowok, means yelling. In Gaok, the player alternately chanting pupuh (Kinanti, Sinom, Asmarandana, and Dangdanggula) with a loud sound (yell) like echoing the Adzan. The Gaok player wear traditional Sunda clothes, which are Kampret cloth and headband. Besides Islam value, Gaok also contain Sunda’s ancestor culture, which is an offerings ceremony before they do the Gaok.

There are some rules that have to be held when doing the Gaok. For example, the Wawacan Manakib/Layang Syeh manuscript, which is a manuscript that tells about Syeh Abdul Qodir Jaelani, is read, the audiences are forbidden to talk, smoke, and eat. So, they have to listen the Gaok carefully. The offerings, or nyuguh karuhun, also must be available, snacks to main dishes.

The nyuguh karuhun includes:

  1. Parawanten, or various ancestor’s favorite dishes, such as puncak manik (an egg above tumpeng), rurujakan (coconut rujak, banana, and tamarind), red and white porridge, fruits, bitter and sweet coffee, dawegan, kupat leupeut, tangtang angina, and cara (serabi cake).
  2. Pangradinan, or ancestor’s cosmetic tools, such as parfume, whiting, coconut oil, flowers, mirror, and womb.
  3. Parupuyan, or fireplace.
  4. Additional equipment, such as accompanist, buyung and songsong, which function as melody to end the last sentence of song/pupuh, or also known as madakeun/ngagoongkeun.

This post is also available in: Indonesian

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