Monash University
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Dendang Marindu Harimau : 1 - prayer chant 2 - dendang or song

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posted on 2017-06-02, 05:57 authored by Kartomi, Margaret J., Kartomi, Hidris
Audio 2.1: Audio Example 1 in Chapter 2 of book: Margaret Kartomi, ‘Musical Journeys in Sumatra’, Champaign-Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012. In the uplands of mainland West Sumatra, some Minangkabau shamans have a special relationship with the tiger and treat it with the utmost respect. The tiger must be put to death, however, if it kills a person or animal. A shaman with tiger-capturing skills is especially hired for the purpose and he performs ritual activity that combines indigenous religious and Muslim beliefs typically held by the Minangkabau in this region. The ritual begins with a Muslim prayer followed by the singing of beautiful, respectful songs (“dendang”) to the tiger, set to Malay quatrain (“pantun”) verse. These songs, generically called “Dendang Marindu Harimau”, are accompanied by a “saluang” or open, end-blown bamboo flute. The two examples presented here (recorded in January 1972) comprise an excerpt of the preliminary prayer chant, which is unaccompanied, and an excerpt of a tiger-capturing song accompanied by the “saluang”. Bp Djabur Datuak Radjo Taduang, the male singer in both examples, is a shaman with tiger-capturing skills. His son, Bp Haliman Datuak Radjo Campo, also a shaman, provides the hauntingly beautiful “saluang” accompaniment which together with the voice creates a sound akin to parallel polyphony. Duration: 1 − 2 min. 06 sec. 2 − 1 min. 50 sec. Copyright 1972. Margaret J. Kartomi.



Margaret J. Kartomi

Geographic location

Indonesia – West Sumatra – Kubung – Padang Darat – Solok – Lubung – Nagari Penyakalan

Collection date


Collection Type

Sound Recording