ITS–Kuda Lumping (Magical Horse), while it means toy horses made of animal skins or woven bamboo,it also refers to a dance using these toy horses. Originally an East Java traditional dance, over time it expanded to other areas across Java and is now considered one of the most attractive traditional Indonesian dances.
Today, according to experts, kuda lumping shows in East Java still feature some elements reminiscent of the ancient kingdoms of the region. The dance is unique and especially attractive for its magical contents, which may bring the audience fear as well as admiration.
The dances are usually performed in the company of Malay songs played by a band of musicians using guitars and percussion instruments. The Malay songs are mixed with traditional East Javanese rhythms.
The show culminates in a heart-throbbing attraction, where a trance dancer eats broken glass. In the beginning, the lead shaman of the group of dancers reads mantras to call on spirits to descend into one of his men. The man, after receiving the spirits, has been prepared before the show.
The trance dancer seems to lose his mind, eating the glass without feeling any pain or inflicting injury to his mouth. After eating all the broken glass, the dancer drinks water from a bucket.
The East Javanese kuda lumping is now so popular that it is often performed during national holidays.