Javanese dancing, Sundanese dancing has also passed through tile
following periods of development explained in previous chapters,
viz.: the Period of Primitive Society, Feudal Society, and Modern
the Period of Primitive Society the development of dancing throughout
Indonesia was the same. Dances in West Java were still magical and
sacred and in accordance with the primitive social structure of
the time, they must have been very primitive too.
the Period of Feudal Society which began with the influence of Indian
culture on Indonesia, dancing in Indonesia developed satisfactorily.
This favourable development was not evenly spread, however; it took
place only in certain regions. The reason for this was that at that
time the centres of cultural development were only the kingdoms,
or even smaller still, the palaces, causing the dances to be feudal
this period, dancing in West Java developed most favourably into
a style of its own called West Java style or Sunda style. West Java
during this period was the centre of the Hindu-Indonesian and Islam-Indonesian
kingdoms, which were then the centres of development of dancing,
Sunda style. The oldest Hindu-Indonesian kingdom was also in West
Java, the kingdom of Tarumanegara This kingdom however did not develop
as rapidly the Hindu Indonesian kingdoms in Central Java. After
the kingdom of Tarumanegara had disappeared, the Hindu-Indonesian
kingdom of Pajajaran took its place, but lasted only a couple of
centuries. Apart from this, another Hindu-Indonesian kingdom, the
kingdom of Banten, emerged in the western part of the island of
the Hindu-Indonesian period there have not been remains in the form
of temples as in Central Java and East Java. Most of the religious
buildings in West Java might have been built of wood, so that they
were quickly damaged.
explained in chapters 11 and III, dancing was considered important
in the religious life of the Hindu-Indonesian because in the Hindu
religion, dancing is a very important part of their ceremonies.
We can therefore say that the development of dancing in West Java
during the Hindu-Indonesian period paralleled that in Central Java
and East Java.
the Hindu-Indonesian kingdoms in Indonesia, with the exception of
Bali, collapsed about 1500 A.D., and when the Islamic period began
there were also two great Islamic kingdoms in West java the kingdom
of Banten (formerly a Hindu kingdom) and the Cirabon kingdom.
'Historically speaking, the conversion of Banten and Cirebon to
Islam was chiefly due to the Islamic kingdom in Central Java, the
kingdom of Demak. It was therefore not surprising that the influence
of Central Java on the two kingdoms in West Java was very great,
increasing even more when the Islamic kingdom began to move its
centre to the middle of Central Java (the kingdom of Mataram).
The influence of Central Java on West Java was manifested especially
in the field of culture, among other things gamelan