Kethek Ogleng Performance in Wonogiri Regency, Central Java Province


It is true most tourists come to Wonogiri Regency in order to visit natural attractions like Waduk Gajah Mungkur. However, the region also has several interesting traditions especially the one called Kethek Ogleng. The Indonesia cultural heritage is considered one of the most famous arts in Wonogiri. The purpose is to entertain the audience and to preserve the culture! This beautiful and unique dance involves spontaneous and attractive moves as well! No wonder, many outsiders are interested to watch the performance directly in Wonogiri. In this case, the best destination is Tempursari Village at Sidoharjo Sub-District where the performance is often done.

The Nuance
What is Kethek Ogleng about? Well, “Kethek” means monkeys. No wonder, the dance is performed by several men wearing Hanoman (the white monkey) attire. The nuance is considered merry due to the presence of Javanese accompaniment actually. In fact, the dance often becomes the main entertainment during special events! Not to mention it is included in a cultural carnival, which is done regularly each year. What about the stage or background? Well, it can be either indoor or outdoor stage depending on the management’s decision.

Watching Kethek Ogleng Performance
When it comes to the history, Kethek Ogleng Performance is related to a man namely Samijo. He was the resident of Tempursari Village and the first dancer of this beautiful art! If tourists want to learn more about him, they can talk to the locals or their tour guide later. So, what makes the performance unique? Unlike others, it involves various items and ornaments including ropes, chairs, etc. No wonder, the audience won’t feel bored when watching it.

The most interesting part of Kethek Ogleng Performance perhaps is the powerful and acrobatic moves done by the dancers. Aside from that, it tells an interesting story regarding a monkey who looks for Dewi Sekartaji. The fact is the monkey was Raden Gunung Sari. He decided to change his appearance into a monkey in order to go back and forth the village freely. He was an important person in that area, after all. Again, tourists can get the complete story from the locals. Somehow, it is also worth the money to rent a local guide who knows thorough information about it.

As for the accompaniment, the performance involves the Javanese Gamelan along with various traditional percussions. Not to mention it also involves a local singer who has a unique voice! Some people even say the performance may hypnotize them! Perhaps it is because of the combination of wonderful moves and the excellent music, no?

Nearby Attractions

  • Gajah Mungkur Reservoir
  • Gajah Mungkur Mini Zoo
  • Alas Kethu
  • Plinteng Semar Park
  • Gajah Mungkur Water Boom
  • Omah Jungkir
  • Tombo Galau Park

How to Get There
A trip to Wonogiri Regency may take about 3 hours and 40 minutes if tourists come from Semarang City. The distance is 176 km, after all. One thing, they must take Semarang – Surakarta Street if they want to get there faster. After reaching Wonogiri, their prime destination should be Tempursari Village at Sidoharjo Sub-District where the dance is often performed.

Where to Stay

  • Tifa Hotel
  • Dewi Anita Hotel
  • Diafan Hotel
  • Cendrawasih Hotel
  • Sendang Asri Hotel
  • Puri Kamulyan Joglo


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