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Cebolang Minggat [The Exile of Cebolang] (2009)

Dalang: Slamet Gundono

How to cite: Slamet Gundono ([2009] 2016), Cebolang Minggat [The Exile of Cebolang], translation and notes by Miguel Escobar Varela, Yosephin Novi Marginingrum and Steven Burrel. Singapore: Contemporary Wayang Archive. Retrieved from http://cwa-web.org/en/CebolangMinggat.


Syekh Akhadiyat is preparing for Idul Adha (ritual sacrifice). He remembers his son Cebolang, who took off without saying goodbye. Cebolang has been traveling across Java with four friends: Nurwitri, Saloka, Kartipala, and Palakarti. Disguised as a woman, Cebolang meets Nyai Demang, a beautiful young widow. It is revealed that Nyai Demang was never able to consummate her marriage with her deceased husband and she has sex with Cebolang. Cebolang watches the dalang Ki Panjangmas perform the story of Partodewa, a young religious expert who correctly answers four riddles from the arrogant Durna, an expert to the service of the government. Cebolang meets the Adipati of Wirosobo, whom he seduces. Cebolang then encounters a religious expert who gives him a tambourine and tells him the story of Jayabaya. Partogejo and Rara Lekoh act out the story of Kumbayana, a winged horse that married a human, to the delight of Cebolang. In the middle of a storm, Cebolang meets Gatoloco, an unusual religious expert with a unique take on morality and spirituality. Eventually, Cebolang looks for deeper spiritual knowledge and turns to Kyai Abu Bakar Ba'asyir in Gunung Mahameru. Cebolang is advised to watch the story, Dewa Ruci, through wayang. Cebolang recognizes himself in the protagonist of the story and understands his own spiritual quest. He is then ready to return to his father's home. His father accepts him back and offers him words of wisdom.

Story: Literary Work

Music: Distinctive Fusion

Space: Proscenium Stage

Performers: Actors, Unconventional Wayang, Dalang as Actor

Puppets: Wayang Kulit Puppets, Modified Traditional

Language: Javanese, Indonesian, French

Recording details

Notes: Performed from on 20 - 21 February 2009. This performance is based on Elizabeth D. Inandiak's Les Chants de l'île à dormir debout - le Livre de Centhini (Paris: Seuil, 2005), a free adaptation of the 19th Century literary work Serat Centhini. Inandiak's book was translated into Indonesian by Laddy Lesmana and published as Centhini: Kekasih yang Tersembunyi (Yogyakarta: Galang Press, 2005).

Produced by: Komunitas Salihara

Recording place: Komunitas Salihara, Jakarta

Addional credits

Script writer and performer: Elizabeth Inandiak

Music director: Dedek Wahyudi

Actor: Hanindiawan (Theater Kuda Putih)

Pesinden: Ida Lala

Musicians: Anger, Agus, Joko, Waluyo, Priyo

View the metadata record for this resource.

Translation and notes by Miguel Escobar Varela (MEV), Yosephin Novi Marginingrum (YNM) and Steven Burrel (SB).

1. This performance is based on Elizabeth D. Inandiak's Les Chants de l'île à dormir debout - le Livre de Centhini (Paris: Seuil, 2005), a free adaptation of the 19th Century literary work Serat Centhini. Inandiak's book was translated into Indonesian by Laddy Lesmana and published as Centhini: Kekasih yang Tersembunyi (Yogyakarta: Galang Press, 2005). Several scenes in this performance are taken from the latter MEV.

2. Serat Centhini is a literary work written in verse in 1814 MEV.

3. Rantis is a Palestinian town in the West Bank MEV.

4. Gejrot is a traditional dish which originates from Cirebon. It consists of a hollow type of tofu cut up into small pieces and covered in a spicy sauce SB.

5. Word play, Kondo M [The M Story] sounds like kondom [condom] MEV.

6. Mim is the 24th letter in the Arabic alphabet YNM.

7. The poets who composed the Serat Centhini were Sastranagara, Ranggasutrasna, and Sastradipura YNM.

8. Macapat is a traditional Javanese poetic form where each stanza consists of four verses guru gatra, each verse consists of seven syllables guru wilangan and the verses are rhymed guru lagu YNM.

9. Anom Mangkunegara III is the crown prince who commissioned, directed and partially wrote the original literary work of Serat Centhini MEV.

10. Cébolang Minggat [The Exile of Cebolang] is the name of this segment of Serat Centhini MEV.

11. A religious ceremony where cows and goats are sacrificed and the meat is distributed equally to the whole community SB.

12. In this fragment, Dalang Slamet Gundono plays the role of Syekh Akhadiyat. Siti Wuryan is the Syekh's wife YNM.

13. Osèng-osèng kangkung is an Indonesian dish that consists of stir-fried kale with spices YNM.

14. Idul Korban is a common name for Idul Adha, indeed korban means "sacrifice" in Indonesian SB.

15. Here, the dalang momentarily stops playing the part of Kyai Syekh Akhadiyat in order to tell a side story about his own experience (with someone incidentally named Ibrahim) SB.

16. NU or Nahdatul Ulama a traditionalist Sunni Islamic movement in Indonesia. Imam [the person who leads prayers in a mosque] SB.

17. Ngok is the dalang's interpretation, used to describe the sound of touching or lightly grabbing onto someone's shoulder, which is done when one arrives slightly late for sholat, thus letting the prayer leader (who is busy praying) know that you are behind him and praying with him. The prayer leader will then speak out loud when necessary in order to lead the prayer SB.

18. Aing is low Sundanese for "I" YNM.

19. Lillahi ta'ala [for him, our Lord, or, for the sake of Allah] SB.

20. Iyya kana' buduu waiyya kanasta'iin [You alone we worship and only You can help us] SB.

21. Ngarĕpku kéné [in front of me here] is delivered in Javanese, to the delight of the audience SB.

22. A little joke, to the dalang "fifteen" sounds like "victim" SB.

23. Sholeh [good, proper behaviour] YNM.

24. Tawadu [obey] YNM.

25. Minggat [to leave home without saying goodbye] YNM.

26. As a joke, the dalang says sĕgawon[dogs] instead of sekawan [four].

27. A joke on Slamet Gundono's wayang, which is known as wayang suket [grass wayang] MEV.

28. In the Serat Centhini, Rara Lékoh is the daughter of a widow called Medhangreja. Her appearance was unkempt and her demeanour reckless YNM.

29. Mulan Jameelah is a famous Indonesian singer YNM.

30. Mar'atus Sholihah [good woman] YNM.

31. He probably means Ismail, not Isa YNM.

32. Throughout this portion, Rara Lekoh is teasing the kyai YNM.

33. Rara Lekoh's attention is divided. She is trying to attend to the kyai while at the same time listening to his friend's story about goats, sincerity and sacrifice YNM.

34. Recehan [small change] usually given to street sellers or beggars YNM.

35. Rara Lekoh jokingly speaks the greeting reserved for entering cemeteries YNM.

36. "From Hong Kong" is an expression that denotes fake things MEV.

37. The actor (Parto) refers to a common fable where Kancil (the mousedeer) steals a cucumber YNM.

38. The following scene corresponds to songs 43-44 from Centhini: Kekasih yang Tersembunyi YNM.

39. Kadipaten [duchy] refers to a region under the control of a particular kingdom or palace SB.

40. Kandil is a traditional Javanese oil lamp YNM.

41. Spitting bowls were common in traditional Javanese houses YNM.

42. Heri Dono is an Indonesian visual artist. Originally from Jakarta, he has been a long term resident of Yogyakarta. He was a recipient of the Prince Claus Award in 1998 YNM.

43. Sardono Kusuma is a famous Indonesian choreographer and visual artist. In the book Centhini- Minggatnya Cebolang, the name of Dewi Sri's consort is given as Sadono (Elizabeth Inandiak, 2005:122) YNM Sadana is most often known as the brother of Sri. They are the sons of King Sri Mahapunggung and Danawati. They are both venerated as symbols of fertility and prosperity. MEV .

44. Aji Ags is a famos theatre artist, originally from Solo MEV.

45. Muka badak lit. "face of a rhino" implies "a thick-skinned person" or someone with no shame SB.

46. Trance dances, where the body of a dancer is said to be possessed by a spirit, are an important part of Réog Ponorogo MEV.

47. Sanggul [traditional Javanese hairdo] MEV.

48. The following scene corresponds to songs 34-35 from Centhini: Kekasih yang Tersembunyi YNM.

49. Cebolang is accompanied by four friends: Nurwitri, Saloka, Kartipala, dan Palakarti (Centhini: Kekasih yang Tersembunyi, 27) YNM.

50. Sabět means puppet handling. Ki Manteb Soedharsono is a famous Javanese dalang, originally from Central Java MEV.

51. Ki Anom Suroto is a famous Solonese dalang MEV.

52. The sounds lolé lolé announce the entrance of Durna in classical wayang.

53. Alas dadi wana is a popular phrase in the wayang world. It's also a phrase that continues to baffle spectators as the words alas and wana both mean forest. The only difference is that wana is the refined way to say it. As dadi means “become” we get, “forest became forest.” In general usage, both words are used at times to mean the spare or empty land or fields at the sides of villages or even just “land” in general (however it is important to remember that they both actually mean the same thing and neither one is favored over the other as having this second meaning). As (in this performance) the following sentence is wana dadi kutha [the forests became cities] it is logical for us to take this whole passage to mean something like “the jungle became forests, the forests became cultivated land, which became villages, which became crowded cities” SB.

54. SK stands for Surat Keputusan [official decision letter]. It is the document that certifies that an individual has entered government service in contemporary Indonesia YNM.

55. Balahu could be a variant of Wallahu taken from the common islamic saying Wallahu a'lam [God knows best]. In this context, Durna probably is using it to mean, "God knows" SB.

56. Syiar [the greatnesss of Allah] YNM.

57. Fatwa [a decision, a point of view or rules made by a recognized authority according to Islamic law] SB.

58. Wong tuwa lit. “old man/woman”, more commonly means parents. Sometimes used to mean the most respected member of a group (who is usually the oldest), in this case the dalang is arguing with his crew from his head position and at the same time, playing the role of the kyai SB.

59. The following scene corresponds to songs 51-53 from Centhini: Kekasih yang Tersembunyi YNM.

60. Adipati [Duke] SB.

61. Ngoko [lowest register in the Javanese language, reserved for close friends or people of lower status than oneself] MEV.

62. Rapal [prayer or mantra] YNM.

63. Awalu wajibin 'alal insani ma'rifatul ilahi bistiqani [in the beginning all men know God with certainty and without doubt] is taken from the Az Zubad script by Syeikh Ibnu Ruslan YNM.

64. The following scene corresponds to songs 39-40 from Centhini: Kekasih yang Tersembunyi YNM.

65. It is said that when Prophet Yusuf entered a kitchen, the women were so taken by his beauty that they peeled their own skin instead of peeling the apples they were cutting YNM.

66. Těrbang [tambourine made from goat's skin] YNM.

67. Nasyid is an Islamic vocal art YNM.

68. Kubana [big tambourine drum] YNM.

69. In Centhini: Kekasih yang Tersembunyi, Ki Dikara narrates this story to Cebolang YNM.

70. The hermit killed by King Jayabaya was called Ki Ajar Subrata for his usage of seven kinds of offerings that represented secret knowledge: kue ketan [sticky rice cake], kunyit [turmeric], bawang putih [onion], untaian melati [jasmine flowers], bunga seruni [chrysanthemums], tumpeng nasi gurih [ceremonial rice arranged into a cone], and sari cendana [sandalwood essence] YNM.

71. These verses are taken from the popular poem Aměnangi jaman édan, a section of the Serat Kalatida written by Radèn Ngabèhi Ranggawarsita, a major poet at the Surakarta kraton in the 19th century YNM. This poem is also used in Ledjar Soebroto's Raden Saleh MEV.

72. Sada lanang lit. "male stick" SB.

73. Klěting Kuning is the name of a young woman in the legend of Andé-Andé Lumut, where she hits a magic wand against a river. This dries the river up and allows her to cross it YNM.

74. The Javanese have adopted the English word "wire" which is used to mean electric fan SB.

75. Caleg is a shortened version of calon legislatif [legislative candidate] MEV.

76. Kum-kuman [soaking], such as clothes or plates being soaked before washing SB.

77. "Walking-walking" is offered as a direct translation of the Indonesian jalan-jalan [to walk about] MEV.

78. The word kawin means both sex and marriage in Indonesian, usually depending on the context. When talking about animals it obviously means, "mating". When talking about people, it is commonly used to mean marriage, although it's not the most polite way of saying it. Also, this double meaning is often played on in humorous conversation SB.

79. Bul is an onomatopoeic sound that indicates the rise and disappearance of something such as smoke YNM.

80. Panu is pityriasis versicolor, sometimes called tinea versicolor, a common condition that causes small patches of skin to become scaly and discolored SB.

81. The following scene corresponds to songs 49-50 from Centhini: Kekasih yang Tersembunyi YNM.

82. Rasa [feeling, taste or experience] MEV.

83. Tapa kalong [to practice asceticism in the way of a bat], i.e., to only eat fruits YNM.

84. Gatholoco or Gatoloco is the name of a figure in the literary work Suluk Gatoloco which is thought to have been composed at the beginning of the 19th century. Gatoloco is a character who is described as having an ugly shape, a foul smell, and dirty lips. He is a philosopher and an opium addict obsessed with sex. In Javanese gatho means "hidden" and loco means "to stir up". Based on this etymology, Gatoloco is often associated with the phallus YNM.

85. Kyai Abu Bakar Ba'asyir is an Islamic figure of Arabic descent. He is the leader of the Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia or MMI [Indonesian Mujahedeen Council], an association that has been linked to terrorist attacks in Indonesia MEV.

86. Simpingan is the arrangement of puppets that won't be used in a performance. For aesthetic purposes, they are displayed to the right and left of the wayang screen on a gěděbog [banana tree trunk] MEV.

87. Cĕmpala [wooden mallet] is used by the dalang to hit the kotak [puppet box] and cue the musicians. Kĕprak [metallic mallet] is used by the dalang to emphasize fight scenes and other actions MEV.

88. Sindhèn [female singers] MEV.

89. Klĕpon [a round boiled rice cake, stuffed with liquid palm sugar, and rolled in grated coconut]. Arĕngginan [a thick flat and rounded rice cracker, made from cooked glutinous sticky rice which is then sundried] SB.

90. Bratasena, Werkudara and Bima are all the same character. A full version of the story Dewa Ruci can be seen at Dewa Ruci MEV.

91. Lit. "he went back and forth" SB.

92. These words are often said at the beginning of a wayang performance MEV.

93. Slep is an onomatopoeic word that indicates an object going inside another YNM.

94. Tari golèkan gading is a dance where a yellow doll is used YNM.

95. Hastha warna [eight colors] YNM.

96. Cap go meh marks the final day of the Chinese New Year celebrations and it sometimes features a paper lamp festival. The reference here is uncertain, but it could also refer to lontong cap go meh a dish that is the result of a combination of different cuisines MEV.

97. Nagagini, a half dragon woman, is one of Werkudara's wives MEV.

98. Arimbi, an ogre princes, is another one of Werkudara's wives MEV.

99. Stag is not an official Indonesian or Javanese word, however it is commonly used to mean "stuck". In this case the dalang means that people often go to Jakarta and become stuck when having affairs SB.

100. The following scene corresponds to song 58 from Centhini: Kekasih yang Tersembunyi YNM.

101. Walaa na'budu illaa iyyaahu mukhlishiina lahuddiin [We recognized no God other than Him in Islam] YNM.

102. Walau karihal kaafiruun [even though the infidels hate Him] YNM.

103. Laa ilaaha illallaah [There is no God other than Allah] YNM.

104. Shadaqa wa'dah, wa nashshara 'abdah [He fulfills his promises and He helps his servants] YNM.

105. Wa a 'azza jundahu wahazamal ahsaaba wahdah [the glory of His army and the destruction of his enemies by his oneness] YNM.

106. Laa ilaaha illallaah [There is no God other than Allah] YNM.

107. See notes 104 to 106.

108. Laa ilaaha ilallahu wallahu akbar [There is no God other than Allah, and he is almighty] YNM.

109. Allahu Akbar walillahil hamd [Allah is almighty and all prayers are direct to him] YNM.

The honorifics in the original languages were retained in the subtitles. In Javanese and Indonesian, speakers address their interlocutors with over 40 different honorifics which denote differences in their relative status and level of intimacy.

ID = Indonesian

JW = Javanese

Adik. ID. Younger brother/sister. It is used for addressing younger people, not necessarily one's relatives.

Adinda. ID. Younger sister. More intimate than adik.

Babé. ID/Betawi. Familiar form of father, commonly used in Jakarta.

. ID/Betawi. Short form of Babé, father. Jakartan slang. 

Bang. ID. Older brother, short form of abang. If used with non-relatives, it is has the connotation of a slang, and is somewhat equivalent to “man” in English.

Bĕndara. JW. Master.

Bibi. JW/ID. Aunt. A way of addressing/referring to older women. 

Bos. ID/JW. An adaptation of the English "boss". Used either to refer to one's superior or to a friend in a joking context, for example, when a person orders others around without realizing he/she is doing so. 

Bu. ID/JW. Short form of ibu, mother.

Bung. ID. Similar to bang, but slightly less formal.  It might mean "comrade". The political leaders of the independence war are often referred to with this term, for example Sukarno is often referred to as

Bung Karno. 

Dara. JW. Short form of bĕndara, master. 

Dèn. JW. Sir, master, used to address royalty. Short form of radèn.

Dhé. JW. Short form of pakdhé, uncle.

Dhik. JW. Short form of adhik. Younger brother/sister. It is used for addressing younger people, not necessarily one's relatives.

Éyang. JW. Grandfather.

Dimas. JW. Younger brother.

Gusti. JW. Lord. Used to address superiors and Gods.

Ibu. JW/ID. Mother. Used generically to address women who are older than the speaker.

Kakang. JW. Older brother.

Kakang mbok. JW. Older sister.

Kanda. ID. Older brother. Formal.

Kang. JW. Older brother. Informal.

Kangmas. JW. Older brother.

Kaki. JW. Uncle

Kang. JW. Older brother, used generically for men older than the speaker. It is a shortened version of kangmas).

Kakak. JW/ID. Older brother/sister, used generically for people who are older than the speaker.

. JW. Son, short version of tholé.

Lik. JW. Often used between friends as a slang term of address. Uncle, "little father." Short form of {paklik}.

Ma. JW. Same as  pak, short form of rama.

Mbak. JW/ID. Older sister. Used generically for women who are slightly older than the speaker.

Mamang. ID. Uncle.

Mang. ID. Uncle, short form of mamang.

Mas. ID. Older brother, used generically for men who are older than the speaker. Although it is also a shortened version of the Javanese kangmas people prefer to use mas in Indonesian and kang in Javanese.

Mas bro. ID. Slang used among male friends. In a way, it is a reduplication.

Mbah. JW/ID Grandfather, grandmother. It is used generically to address people who are much older than the speaker. Short form of simbah.

Mbok. JW. Mother, short form of simbok. Used generically for women who are older than the speaker.

Mbokdhé. JW. Aunt. Literally, "big mother".

Mbul. JW. Informal term of address between close male friends.

Ndara. JW. Master. 

Nduk. JW. Daughter, short form of gĕndhuk.

Nggèr. JW. Son, short form of anggèr Used generically for people who are younger than the speaker, with whom the speaker is on intimate terms.

Nimas. JW. Younger sister. 

Nok. JW. West Javanese term for daughter, short form of dhénok.

Nona. ID. Miss, unmarried woman.

Paduka. ID. Your Excellency. 

Pak. JW/ID. Father, used generically for men who are older than the speaker.

Pakdhé. JW. Uncle. Used to refer to a man who is older than one's father. 

Paman. ID. Uncle. Used to refer to a man who is older than one's father. 

Pangéran. JW/ID. Prince.

Prabu. JW. King.

Radén. JW. Master, used for royalty.

Rama. JW. Father. It can also be used to designate catholic priests when one is speaking in Indonesian. 

Simbah. JW/ID Grandfather, grandmother. It is used generically to address people who are much older than the speaker. 

Sinuwun. JW. Very formal way to address a man, reserved for sultans, kings and Gods.

Siwa. JW. Term for addressing older people. 

Siwak. JW. Same as Siwa. Term for addressing older people. 

Tholé. JW. Son

Tuan. ID. In colonial contexts, this is the way foreigners are addressed but it can also mean sir.

Wa Nĕrpati. JW. Uncle king, equivalent to the Indonesian paman raja.

Wa. JW. For addressing older people, short form of siwa.

Yayi. JW.  Younger brother/sister.

Yunda. JW. Older sister.

See the Translation conventions.



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