Exhibition: Minangkabau Processions of Sumatra


This is a listing of older East-West Center events (newer listed first).  See Events to get the list of current or upcoming events.

Art Exhibition

When: Jan 27 2012 (All day) until Apr 29 2012 (All day)
Where: East-West Center Gallery

The Minangkabau ethnic group, also known as Minang, is indigenous to the highlands of West Sumatra in Indonesia. This community is traditionally matrilineal and yet holds strong Islamic religious beliefs. This Muslim-matriarchal dichotomy is central to the Minangkabau people’s identity. From this unusual interaction, many distinctive customs and rituals have developed.

Processions are central to the Minang life cycle and ritual. Some scholars suggest that these various processions are symbolic reenactments of the young man leaving the matrilineal home and going out into the world and later returning to his wife’s abode. Minang are still mostly concentrated in West Sumatra but there are also communities in the main urban areas of Indonesia. This exhibition illustrates the beauty and significance of processions so characteristic of weddings, funerals, investitures of leaders, religious ceremonies, and in the performing art form of randai.

 Minangkabau women carrying food in procession.


East-West Center Gallery
John A. Burns Hall, 1601 East-West Road
(corner of Dole St. & East-West Rd.)
Gallery hours:Weekdays: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Sundays: Noon-4:00 p.m.
Closed Saturdays and holidays
Parking on the UH-Mānoa campus is normally free and ample on Sundays.

Special Events

All in the EWC Gallery, admission free, except where noted.

Friday, Jan. 27, 2:00-4:00 p.m. -- Minangkabau Symposium, featuring four Southeast Asia scholars from Indonesia and the U.S.: Edy Utama, Jeffrey Hadler, Jennifer Fraser, and Kirstin Pauka. Discussions will be of interest to the general public.  With support from Shangri La, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art and Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities.

Sunday, Jan. 29, 2:00-3:30 p.m. -- Exhibit Gala Opening including reception, randai demonstration, and walk-throughs by the curators.

Sunday, Feb. 19, 2:00-3:00 p.m. -- “Vocal and Flute Music from West Sumatra” featuring Musra Dahrizal & Jasrial Jamaluddin. These Minang master artists will perform traditional music and answer questions about performance styles; they have been in residence for six months, spearheading preparations for the Kennedy Theatre randai production, “The Genteel Sabai.”

Sunday, Feb. 26, 2:00-3:00 p.m. -- “Randai in West Sumatra: Continuity and Change,” an illustrated talk by Kirstin Pauka, professor, UH-Mānoa Dept. of Theatre and Dance; randai is a unique blending of martial arts, storytelling, and song.

Sunday, Mar. 4, 2:00-3:00 p.m. -- “A Woman’s Place: Kinship and Power in West Sumatra,” a talk by Prof. Robin Tatu exploring gender relations in Minangkabau society, where matrilineal inheritance and female control of rice fields and houses is counterbalanced by Islam and customary practices favoring men.

Sunday, Apr. 15, 2:00-4:00 p.m. -- Film showing: “Love for Share” (2006). This film is a well-known satire about marriage and polygamy in contemporary Indonesia.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Eric Chang
Phone: 808-944-7177