Cricket Fighting is a traditional game that has long been known by Javanese people. The origin of this game is still uncertain, but i can be traced on the story of Raffles’ journey in Java in 19 century, adu jangkrik or cricket fighting is the one of people’s favorite animal fighting games that are usually held in the market (Raffles, 1817). This game is usually played seasonally during “gadon”, the second rice planting season.
In Yogyakarta, the popularity of this game was reached the wall of the Royal Palace. During the reign of Sultan Hamengku Buwono VII, cricket fighting games became a performance held in the Royal Square every Tuesday or Friday. Crickets owners will take care of their crickets, starting from feeding, hiring spend workers to care their crickets, giving certain poisons to make their crickets can win the game. This game is was normally to show power and status.
According to the articel of Tjan Tjoe Siem (1940 : 255), before doing the game, boys usually sang a song. The lyrics of the song are about ‘jantur’ (mantra), which has hope that crickets will become stronger and be able to win the game. In this cricket battle, the cricket had to be selected of male with a long antenna, a strong jaw and a wide mouth with a type and color.
To play this game, a cricket who will be battle are put on the arena. In the past, some rich people in Java used a wooden box with 4 legs as an arena, called ‘tulang’. During the game, the cricket will be stimulated to use ‘kili’ (feathers) or grass to lure then to attack their opponent. Losing crickets are crickets that jump out of the ring, crickets that are injured or lose their body, or dead crickets. During the game, audiences who watched the games must be quiet, so not disturb the battle.
Let’s found this cricket fighting on Abhinaya Karya Kembara Gembira : Ayo Dolan Ayo Cerita exhibition, in Temporer building of Sonobudoyo Museum. More information, let’s checked on Sonobudoyo social media.