Project Title: The Rebana Kercing of Kampung Laut, Kelantan: A Dying Arts
Organization Name: Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, City Campus, Pengkalan Chepa, 16100 Kota Bharu, Kelantan.
Site Name: Laman Seni, Rebana Kercing
Location: Kampung Laut, Kelantan, Malaysia
Describe Location: State Government planning for new cultural and tourism development locational area.
Specifically the objectives of this project are as follows:
- To examine the factors that lead to the current critical state of Rebana Kercing performance by reviewing the socio-cultural and historical perspective of this folk performance.
- To preserve this dying art by safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage (ICH) through documenting this participatory-action research which includes in-depth interview, participatory fieldwork and concurrently digitizing the traditional training process and the cultural performance.
- To educate and train the younger generation in Rebana Kercing so that they will acquire the skill of performing Rebana Kercing.
- To instill the “set of traditional knowledge and wisdom” of this traditional performance theoretically and practically among the the younger generation through the training workshops by the Master.
- To establish a space at Kampung Laut village, the place of origin, as a center for collecting data, training and sharing the knowlege of Rebana Kercing to the public as well as for Kelantan tourism spot.
Project Activities Description:
Even though Rebana Kercing has a significance contribution to the community in historical and socio-cultural perspectives, it cannot be denied that this performance is facing the problem of dying out due to the art itself and the external factors. Culturally, the decrease of performers, the lack of well-trained practitioners and supportive audiences are the main factors that disrupt the cycle of this art. From the economic perspective, the limitation of the chance for stage-performance, the lack of sponsors and funds have notably threatened the life of this art. Besides, globalization, modernization and even digitalization will continue to contribute to the dying of this intangible heritage unless it is able to adapt or reproduce a new form that suit with the contemporary society.
In order to sustain this art along with the changing of time, continuous efforts are needed. Such efforts include the recording of Rebana Kercing music, songs, lyrics/chanting and dance movements elaboratively in written and digital form; distinguishing and elaborating the detailed specification of the costume used in the dance; differentiating the detailed specification of the musical instruments in Ethnomusicology approach; and making a film documentary on the history of Rebana Kercing that originated from the 19th century until now including the last effort from this team to save this forgotten Kelantanese Malay performing art.
Apart from the recording and documentation, the researchers aim to cultivate the traditional knowledge and wisdom that were coded in the performance structure. By doing so, the traditional learning process will be planned parallel with the implementation into school program or academic courses by applying the modus operandi. The dance activist will play an essential role as a dance activist and school or academic instructor. In this way, the dance will be sustained and safeguarded in various stages and levels, from the community to academic institutions. Activities for knowledge dissemination and for cultural performance will be embedded concurrently. Collaborative projects such as training programs, research activities, consultancy works will be teamed up with the state of Kelantan and universities. With the support of the proposed grant, a more effective training mechanism can be established entirely rather than just a simple one layered training. Having space to station all administrative matters and training purposes is of utmost importance. It can also be regarded as a place for meetings, training and in general, a social gathering venue that can promote cultural understanding between different ethnics and levels of the society.