Almost all of Jakarta’s people know or at least ever heard about “ondel-ondel”, but there isn’t a little of non-Jakarta people who don’t know exactly what is “ondel-ondel”. Ondel-ondel is a native art of Jakarta that comes from Betawi ethnic group, the native inhabitant of jakarta. It made from bamboo and specially formed so it’s easy to lift from inside, has a measurement of 2 x 3 m2 with ± 80 cm radius, and decorated well so it looks like a Betawi’s handsome man or a betawi’s pretty woman. Face of Ondel-ondel is a red mask (male) or white mask (female), and its hair is made from palm fiber. Ondel-ondel is played by one person inside, so the big ondel-ondel may looks alive when dancing with special betawi’s music which is consisted of “tanjidor” (kind of trumpet) and “gendang” (kind of percussion).
In history, Ondel-ondels were firstly used to represent betawi’s ancestors that loyally protected their offspring or the villagers. Villagers believed that ondel-ondel was an amulet and preventing from wandering wicked ghost.
Nowadays, ondel-ondel is commonly used to adorn a party or to welcome honored guest, for example in the opening of a new building that just has been finished. Besides that, ondel-ondel is also commonly used to pimp Jakarta, especially in Jakarta’s anniversary, June 22th. All Main streets, hotels, and the center of city decorated with ondel-ondel, even there is an 6 m height of ondel-ondel at town square.
Jakarta fair, an event that consisted of exhibition and bazaar that only exists in Jakarta’s anniversary always decorated of Ondel-ondel, even ondel-ondel not only be decoration but also played here. Ondel-ondel becomes a special attractive thing in this event.