Sapeh
The Tropenmuseum collection of sapeh from East Kalimantan, c. 1900s
String
Other namesSape, sapeʼ, sapek, sapeik, sapeq, sampeh, sampeʼ, sampek, or sampeq
Classification String instrument
Hornbostel–Sachs classification
(Composite chordophones)
DevelopedTenggarong of East Kalimantan, Indonesia (mainly and originally)
Related instruments
lute
Musicians
List
    • Tusau Padan
    • Jok Jau Evong
    • Tegit Usat
    • Echo Bilong
    • Mathew Ngau Jau
    • Salomon Gau
    • Jerry Kamit
    • Arang
    • Uyau Moris
    • Alena Murang
    • Irang Awai
    • Ferinandus Lah
    • Thambunesia

Sapeh, also spelled sape, sapeʼ, sapek, sapeik, sapeq, sampeh, sampeʼ, sampek, or sampeq (/sʌpɛʔ/) is a traditional string instrument of Borneo-origin that developed in northern, eastern,[1][2] and central regions of Kalimantan. It is a wooden-base instrument with strings attached, and works in a manner similar to the guitar.

Since the 1950s, these string instruments from all across the Indonesian Archipelago have been officially recognized by the Indonesian government as one of the national Intangible Cultural Heritages of Indonesia in the domains of Traditional Skills and Crafts, Community Customs, Rites, and Celebrations, Performing Arts, as well as Traditions and Expressions of the Natives, and has been digitilized[clarification needed] since at least 2010.[3][4][5][6][7] Some native Dayak maestros of these musical instrument are highly respected by Indonesia and have been awarded Anugerah Kebudayaan (lit.'Cultural Award(s)'), such as Mr. Arang from Bulungan[8] and Mr. Irang Awai from Kutai.[9][10] Sapeh was also played with a bow like the Western cello.

History

Ancient depictions of Sapeh in Central Java
Sapeh-like instrument as depicted on one of the ancient Javanese temples in Central Java (Borobudur temple).
(photos above extracted from the digital ethnography collections of Tropenmuseum and KITLV in the Netherlands, photographed by Kassian Céphas in c. 1890–1891)

Depictions of sapeh exist in carvings and bas-relief panels found in ancient temples of Java dating back to the early 8th century. According to native Kalimantan manuscripts and inscriptions (mainly found in Banjar and Kutai Kertanegara), these string-based musical instrument originated in the eastern region of the island of Java and were introduced to the southern and eastern coastal regions of Kalimantan along with the Gamelan (percussion instruments) during the expansion of power of Singhasari kingdom (which later developed as Majapahit empire) in circa 12th to 13th century. Some notable manuscripts include the Nan Sarunai Usak Jawa (lit.'Javanese power over Nan Sarunai') and Salasilah Kutai (lit.'Genealogy of Kutai').[11][12] The etymological origin of Dayak sapeh, sapeʼ, sapek, sapeik, sapeq, sampeh, sampeʼ, sampek, or sampeq could be derived from Old Javanese sampe,[13] which literally means "contempt", "scorn", "scornful treatment", or "disrespect",[13] corresponding to the historical events as recorded in the Nan Sarunai Usak Jawa.[12]

Some of the Dayak performers of Erau festival in Tenggarong, c. 1899.

The sampeh was first performed in public during the Tenggarong's native festival of Erau in the 13th century. Since then, the popularity of sapeh later spread to other regions of Kalimantan, even deep into the inland of the island in the west of Tenggarong. An electric version was patented in East Kalimantan.[citation needed] Nowadays, it is played among the Dayak multiethnic community. In recent times[when?], the sapeh was introduced to the northern and western regions of the island such as North Kalimantan,[8] West Kalimantan and the Malaysian state of Sarawak by the natives of Kayan River.

Cultural significance

The sapeh has always been connected to Java, thus it is sometimes used in religious activities of Kaharingan as well, which is a form of folk religion heavily influenced by Javanese Hinduism. The sapeh is played with accompaniment of chants of folk songs as respect to ancestors and deities.

In East Kalimantan particularly, the natives of Samarinda, West Kutai, and Mahakam Ulu have their own distinctive instrumental tones of sapeh namely the Tubunsitun which characterized by its melodious gentle tone and Sakpakok which characterized by its fast and dynamic tone.[1]

Gallery

References

  1. ^ a b "Sape, Alat Musik Kalimantan Mampu Berkolaborasi Dengan Musik Moderen" [Sape: The Traditional Musical Instrument of Kalimantan Now Collaborated With Modern Musics] (in Indonesian). Dinas Komunikasi dan Informatika Provinsi Kalimantan Timur [Official Communication and Information Agency of East Kalimantan]. 2021. Archived from the original on 25 March 2023. Retrieved 1 April 2023.
  2. ^ "Sapeq Kalimantan Timur, Salah Satu Alat Musik Tradisional Dayak" [Sapeq: One of East Kalimantan's Traditional Musical Instruments of Dayak] (in Indonesian). Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Diplomacy, Directorate General of Culture of the Republic of Indonesia. 2019. Archived from the original on 25 March 2023. Retrieved 1 April 2023.
  3. ^ "Sape'" [Sape']. Intangible Cultural Heritages of Indonesia (in Indonesian). Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia. 2010. Archived from the original on 21 May 2022. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  4. ^ "Sape Kalimantan Barat" [Sape of West Kalimantan]. Intangible Cultural Heritages of Indonesia (in Indonesian). Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia. 2017. Archived from the original on 25 March 2023. Retrieved 1 April 2023.
  5. ^ "Ta'a, Sapei, dan Sapaq" [Ta'a, Sapei, and Sapaq]. Intangible Cultural Heritages of Indonesia (in Indonesian). Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia. 2017. Archived from the original on 25 March 2023. Retrieved 1 April 2023.
  6. ^ "Sapeq" [Sapeq]. Intangible Cultural Heritages of Indonesia (in Indonesian). Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia. 2018. Archived from the original on 25 March 2023. Retrieved 1 April 2023.
  7. ^ "Sapeik" [Sapeik]. Intangible Cultural Heritages of Indonesia (in Indonesian). Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia. 2018. Archived from the original on 25 March 2023. Retrieved 1 April 2023.
  8. ^ a b "Arang, Maestro Alat Musik Sampe'" [Arang, the Maestro of Sampe’ Musical Instrument] (in Indonesian). Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Diplomacy, Directorate General of Culture of the Republic of Indonesia. 2015. Archived from the original on 25 March 2023. Retrieved 1 April 2023.
  9. ^ "Irang Awai: "Musik Menjaga Keseimbangan Alam"" [Irang Awai: "Music Maintains Nature's Balance"] (in Indonesian). Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Diplomacy, Directorate General of Culture of the Republic of Indonesia. 2017. Archived from the original on 25 March 2023. Retrieved 1 April 2023.
  10. ^ "Profil Penerima Anugerah Kebudayaan Indonesia 2017 Kategori Maestro Seni Tradisi : Irang Awai" [Profile of the 2017 Indonesian Culture Award Recipient for Traditional Arts Maestro Category: Irang Awai] (in Indonesian). Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Diplomacy, Directorate General of Culture of the Republic of Indonesia. 2017. Archived from the original on 25 March 2023. Retrieved 1 April 2023.
  11. ^ Tromp, S.W. (15 February 2018). "Uit de Salasila van Koetei". Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde. 37 (1): 1–108. doi:10.1163/22134379-90000277. ISSN 0006-2294.
  12. ^ a b K.S., Yakub (2021). "Kidung Nan Sarunai Usak Jawa sebagai Sumber Inspirasi Penciptaan Musik Etnik 'Nansarunai'" [Nan Sarunai Usak Jawa Ballad as a Source of Inspiration for Ethnic Music Creation in Nansarunai Kingdom] (in Indonesian). Indonesian Art Institute of Yogyakarta. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  13. ^ a b Zoetmulder, P.J. (1982). Old Javanese-English Dictionary (in English and Kawi). Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde.