by Yovita Siswati on 28/01/09 at 3:30 am
The story behind a couple of Javanese traditional statue.
When I was married, I see a couple of statue in the form of Javanese bridegroom placed in the reception room. I was so fascinating with the beauty of them and fall in love with them instantly. Later, I knew that the statue was called “Loro Blonyo”. This fascination leads me to study deeper into the tradition behind it.
The statue is a symbol of the God and Goddess of fertility in Javanese culture: Devi (Goddess) Cri and God Sadono. Java is an island, part of the Indonesian archipelago whose society is very rich with customs and traditions.
Loro Blonyo is the Javanese words of “two become one”. Devi Cri and God Sadono are very much worshipped by Javanese rural community especially by the farmer. Traditional Javanese farmer feel very much attached to Devi Cri, as they called her “mother Cri”. The farmer believes that their crop is the gift of kindness from the Devi.
Traditional Loro Blonyo Statue
Detail of traditional Loro Blonyo hairdo called ‘Paes Ageng” (photograph is private collection of the writer)
Prerogative of the Hindu Javanese aristocracy, in the past there was always a room in traditional houses of royal family which was specially made for worshiping Devi Cri, it is called pasren or petanen, stand for the words pa-sri-an and pa-tani-an which means the place of the Devi and the storage of the agricultural products. The room must be equipped with certain furniture and ornament arranged in certain order. There must be a set of wooden bed fully ornamented with crafty design, which is located in the centre of the room. Other stuffs placed before the bed are a couple or the Javanese bridegroom Loro Blonyo, one set of jar, one set of rice paddy and crops containers and robyong lamp which always flames up.
For traditional Javanese society, this requirement is quite expensive. Therefore only rich farmer can keep Loro Blonyo statue in their house. The richer the farmer, the grandeur will the statue, the ornament and the furniture in the room be. In fact, the statue eventually becomes a sort of a wealth symbol for its owner.
By keeping the statue in their home, the farmers believe that it will bring them good luck in their farming activity. They store their crops one night in pasren before it’s taken to the ceremony next day. They also belive that the Devi will bless them with many children. In a wedding, the bride and groom meeting ceremony was held before the pasren, so that the Dev will bless their life and turn their life into the ones of Dewi Ratih and Dewa Kamajaya, The God of Love.