The name selomangleng comes from two words in Javanese, namely selo and mangleng. The word selo means stone, while mangleng means slanted. That is because this cave at first glance looks like a sloping stone. This cave is not deep and wide. There are only two rooms that have two large entrances, while inside there is one small entrance. There are also reliefs on the cave wall. This cave is in Kediri, East Java.

Jaranan dance is a traditional dance that is played by dancers on artificial horses made of woven bamboo. Besides being rich in artistic and cultural values, this dance is also very thick with magical impressions and spiritual values. Jaranan dance is a very famous art in East Java, in some areas in East Java Jaranan art is still alive and preserved. This dance is often performed in front of Selomangleng cave. 

Jaranan art as one of the creative industries in Kediri City is able to survive among the development of technology that has entered into people’s lives. Jaranan dance is an art that has diverse origins and a long history. This art was born when the ancient kingdom of East Java was established so that it can be said that this art is the ancestral tradition of the people of East Java.

Jaranan, actually describes a story of the past, when Raja Bantar Angin, a king from Ponorogo intended to propose to Dewi Songgolangit, a beautiful princess from the kingdom of Kediri, or commonly called Dewi Sekartaji or Galuh Candra Kirana.

It is said that according to the story, because of his ugly face, the King of Bantar Angin finally ordered his Patih, who was named Pujangga Anom, a patih (governor) who was known to be very handsome. In order that Dewi Sekartaji was not interested in Pujangga Anom, the King of Bantar Angin asked him to wear an ugly mask. Then Pujangga Anom, coming to the kingdom of Kediri, conveyed his king’s intentions. Putri Sekartaji, who knew that Pujangga Anom was wearing a mask, felt offended, then cursed that the mask could not be removed for good.

King Bantarangin finally came to the Kingdom of Kediri. Then, Dewi Songgolangit asked for 3 conditions. If King Bantarangin could fulfill them, she was willing to be married. These three conditions, a two-headed animal, 100 white cavalrymen, and a musical instrument that could sound if hit together. Unfortunately, King Bantarangin, could only fulfill 2 of the 3 requirements, 100 white horses depicted with Jaranan/kuda lumping, a musical instrument that could be played simultaneously, namely gamelan.

As a result, there was a battle between the two kingdoms. The kingdom of Kediri, came with an army of horsemen, which is now described as a Jaranan, while the Kingdom of Ponorogo brought troops, which are now described as Reog Ponorogo art.

On the way, there was a battle. Angry king of Ponorogo, cut down the white tiger who was accompanied by the royal governor of Kediri, with a samandiman whip, until finally drifted to the head of one of the knights from Ponorogo. Simultaneously with this incident, a peacock, then also attached to the knight’s head, so that there is a human head attached to the head of a white tiger and peacock, this is now symbolized by Reog Ponorogo.

On the way, there was a battle. Angry king Ponorogo, cut down the white tiger who was accompanied by the royal governor of Kediri, with a samandiman whip, until finally drifted to the head of one of the knights from Ponorogo. Simultaneously with this incident, a peacock, then also attached to the knight’s head, so that there was a human head on which the head of a white tiger and peacock existed, this is now symbolized by Reog Ponorogo.

In fact, in Reog dance, all dancers also carry a whip. While in the art of  Jaranan, depicting the cavalry of Goddess Sekartaji who wanted to fight King Ponorogo. Barongan, Wild boar and its attributes, as symbols, during the journey to Ponorogo through the wilderness, the troops were also blocked by various things, such as dragons, and other wild animals.

The variety of arts in Kediri Regency certainly cannot be separated from the history of the kingdom of Kediri. Some local specialties that can be enjoyed by tourists include Jaranan Art, Kethek Ogleng, etc.

Jaranan Art presents a variety of interesting attractions that are sometimes able to arouse a sense of wonder. Attraction of the player’s movements accompanied by gamelan beats and occasionally interspersed with magical elements makes this art worth watching.

In Kediri Regency there are several Jaranan arts that can be enjoyed, including Jaranan Senterewe, Jaranan Pegon, Jaranan Dor, and Jaranan Jowo. Jaranan Jowo is one of Jaranan‘s arts which contains magical elements in its dance. At the peak of Jaranan performance, dancers will experience trance (possessed) and perform dangerous actions that are sometimes beyond human reason.

Jaranan Dor, Jaranan Pegon, and Jaranan Senterewe prioritize the creativity of motion with dynamic musical accompaniment. Jaranan Senterewe is a favorite Jaranan dance, because in its performance it is always accompanied by entertainment songs that are diatonic tone. All Jaranan arts in Kediri Regency are under the auspices of the Kedanan Art Society (PASJAR) of Kediri Regency. The standardization of Jaranan dance in Kediri has problems because almost in every area there is this art, especially in the area around Kediri, but the movements are different. Historical studies are needed to establish a standard.

This dance is still preserved and developed by several art studios in Kediri. Each studio has its own characteristics and standard in its performance.

Jaranan art has become a part of Kediri City community life. This is evident from year to year the number of Jaranan groups has increased, in addition to the existence of the Jaranan, it attracts the interest of the public to participate in the Jaranan group to become a Jaranan dancer during the performance.

Surabaya, 5 February 2020