All About Ondel-Ondel

All About Ondel-Ondel


The tall body, wide eyes, and colorful outfit sometime scare you off or even you find it entertaining. Yup, Ondel-Ondel is a real Betawi mascot who now can be seen at only some spot in Jakarta. How is the story of Ondel-Ondel from the first start, actually?

Ondel-Ondel is made of bamboo, decorated with heavy and colorful makeup and hair made of ijuk fiber. Usually, Ondel-Ondel is performed in pairs with attributes to make it look like a real man and woman. Long ago, Ondel-Ondel is used as a doll to praise the spirit of ancestors or respected figures. On the other side, Ondel-Ondel also represents the exorcist of evil or any kinds of illness. Lots of mystical cases are also related to Ondel-Ondel. In the past, the player of Ondel-Ondel should give sesajen or offerings first in order to have a smooth cultural festival.

Ondel-Ondel is completed with background music and many kinds of musical instruments, such as tehyan, tanjidor, gendang pencak Betawi, ningnong, gambang kromong, and rebana ketimbung. Nowadays, Ondel-Ondel is just played in some places for entertaining purpose only, although still with the same music and dance attributes.