About Reyog Ponorogo Part 10
The supporting history of Reyog Ponorogo.
2. The second opinion
The second opinion puts tradition of custom rites (religious ceremony) as a reference. Some experts in cultures say that something which motivated the birth of Reyog Ponorogo was the tradition of custom rites when the flourishing animism culminated. In the past the Javanese generally had a belief that spirit of the dead could be brought in to the mortal world of man, and so could the spirits of dead animals. The spirits were brought in for safeguarding life and giving strength or power. The way to bring in the animal spirits to descend from heaven to earth was carried out through custom rites. These people wore animal masks and were engrossed in their dance waiting for the descent of the spirits.
In account of the belief, the spirit of tiger was considered the most powerful spirit for safeguarding life. Prof. Wilken mentioned that the belief in the power of animal spirits was influenced by the belief of incarnation. The custom rites evolved in line with the development of human mind. In the end the traditional custom developed into dances. The rites which mostly were accompanied by dances can now be found in life of tribes in Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Bali. The traces of the ritual dances are still found in existence in Java, which now become ‘topeng’ (mask) and traditional game. For examples the barongan (animal head mask), topeng (mask), and traditional game of Ni Towong. Then, according to this suggestion, that the art of Reyog Ponorogo is a further, more mature development of the tradition of custom rites.
In account of the above two opinions, the unclear confusing things are now fading away. How the first form of Reyog Ponorogo was, now gets into clearer reality. It was of a very simple form, but it was possible.
3. The third opinion
The third opinion relates the history supporting the birth of reyog with the meaning of the word REYOG itself. The word reyog is the development of the word REOG. Thus, the words REYOG and REOG are of the same meaning. The similar examples for instance are:
Keog (the sound of chicken being hit) is the same as keyog; theot (croak, the sound of a frog) is the same as theyot. Dheog (limp foot may be beaten that causes difficulty to walk) is the same as dheyog.