Getting to Know the Lego-Lego Dance: History, Properties, and Their Functions

Lego-Lego dance is a typical traditional dance from East Nusa Tenggara, more precisely in the Alor area.
In general, this traditional dance is presented to welcome guests, cultural events and wedding
ceremonies and so on.

As a traditional dance art, Lego-Lego Dance has been passed down from generation to generation by ancestors
from generation to generation.
Even today, the Lego-Lego Dance is still being preserved and is
still routinely performed in various events.

The Lego-Lego dance is usually performed by male and female dancers in a circle by holding hands with each other
while dancing the Lego-Lego Dance without regard to differences in social or religious status between one dancer
and another.

Because of this, the Lego-Lego Dance has earned the nickname as a multi-ethnic dance, where every ethnic
group, language, clan, religion, gender or social status come together in a performance.
More
about the traditional Lego-lego dance that is typical of East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), here is the
explanation.

The History of the Lego-Lego Dance

Alur Regency, NTT is known as Negeri 1000 Moko because of the musical instrument from Alor which is quite
legendary.
This musical instrument, not only functions as a musical instrument, Moko is a
musical instrument made of bronze and is often used as a dowry and pays a number of fines.

The Moko musical instrument is also used by the people of Alor as an accompaniment to traditional dance,
namely the Lego-Lego Dance.
If Sinaumed’s hears the word Lego, maybe Sinaumed’s will immediately
imagine children’s games.

Even though it has the same name, the lego in this dance has a different meaning. This Alor
regional dance from NTT is played en masse by both men and women.

Therefore, the Lego-Lego Dance performance will be very lively. The special formation that can
be seen from the Lego-Lego Dance is the position of holding hands and forming a big circle.

This art from Alor has been passed down from generation to generation, so that until now the people of Alor
still often perform the Lego-Lego Dance.
At first, the emergence of the Lego-Lego Dance was
used as a dance in traditional ceremonies, as a form of gratitude for the local community.

This form of gratitude is displayed by the community by holding hands and circling the altar.
The dancers will also sing songs of praise to God in unison when dancing.

The altar is a special object whose existence is sacred by the people of Alor. With the altar
in the middle of the Lego-lego dancers, this altar is also a special feature that distinguishes the
Lego-Lego Dance from traditional dances from other regions.

Lego-Lego dance is not only played together with the accompaniment of musical instruments, sometimes this
traditional dance is only accompanied by the singing of the dancers with the addition of clattering sounds from
the dancer’s anklets.

The implementation of the Lego-Lego Dance in each region may be different. Depends on the
traditions of the area.

Lego-Lego dance is also referred to as a multi-ethnic dance, because it is danced by many people regardless of
gender, religion, social status, clan and language, all dancers unite and dance in an oral tradition performance
called Lego-lego.

When doing this Lego-Lego Dance, the dancers will be guided by one or even two helpers or pantun
interpreters.
The support worker in the Lego-Lego Dance is a man who is the elder of the
community and is considered to have mastered the most songs in the Lego-Lego Dance performance.

The number of members of the Lego-lego dancers can usually reach tens or even hundreds of people.

This traditional NTT dance is quite unique, because there is a process of transferring knowledge orally to the
Alor-Pantar community and not just a dance performance.

In every Lego-lego poem read or sung by the Juru Pukong, it usually contains a teaching delivered by the
community and the aim is to respect each other between tribes, clans and maintain harmony between religious
communities.

Syar Lego-lego also conveyed about the history of ancestors, tribal history and about migration between
tribes.
The Lego-Lego dance originating from Alor Pantar Island also has differences in the
musical instruments used, between the Alor Pantar people who live in coastal areas and the Alor Pantar
people who live in mountainous areas.

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The Lego-Lego Dance performed by people living in the coastal areas of Alor Pantar or Nuh Atinang, is generally
accompanied by musical instruments such as gongs and drums.

Meanwhile, people who are in the mountainous region of Alor Pantar or Nuh Mate, usually only use musical
accompaniment that comes from the stomping feet of male dancers and the anklets used by female dancers.

The Lego-Lego Alor Pantar dance generally has the same characteristics when making movements. The musical
instruments used are not only bells and whistles, but there are several types such as fong, maal or moko, long
drum or tubbi and others.

Lego-Lego Dance props

As with other traditional dances, the Lego-Lego Dance also requires special properties that are used to
support the performance of the Lego-Lego Dance.
Some of the properties used are such as
accessories, clothing and musical instruments.

All the properties of the Lego-Lego Dance are not mandatory. Sometimes there are also
Lego-Lego Dance performances that only use part of the property.
Here are some commonly used
Lego-Lego Dance properties.

1. Gongs

When performing the Lego-Lego Dance, the dancers will be accompanied by musical instruments such as a gong.
The gong is in the form of a circle which is sounded by being hit with a special hammer.

The sizes of the gongs used also vary, some are large so that two people need to lift them, but there are
also small gongs.
Even so, there is also the Lego-Lego Dance which is played without the use of
any musical instruments, only with the rhythm of the dancers’ stomping feet and clattering anklets.

2. Moko

Moko is a traditional musical instrument typical of Alor. This one musical instrument is
almost shaped like a drum and has different sizes.
In general, Moko is made of copper, brass or
even bronze.

Since ancient times, the Moko musical instrument has often been used by the people of Alor as a barter tool, a
tool to pay fines or even dowry.

Ownership of the Moko musical instrument for the people of Alor can show the social status of that person.
Therefore, the Moko musical instrument is also often used as a wedding dowry which is quite
valuable for the community.

3. Typical Alor woven fabrics

Unlike traditional dances typical of Java or other regions which have special costumes, in the Lego-Lego
Dance, the dancers generally do not need to wear special costumes.
However, in general, the
dancers will wear clothes made of woven fabrics typical of Alor.

This typical Alor woven fabric has a distinctive feature, namely the use of walnut motifs.
Because Alor Island is also known as Kenari Island. Alor woven cloth craftsmen are
very numerous in Kupang and other areas of NTT, so it is not difficult to find this typical Alor woven
fabric.

4. Custom clothing

Lego-lego dancers generally only wear traditional clothes when art events are held. For male
dancers, the traditional clothes worn will be combined with head coverings, so the dancers will look
neater.

Meanwhile, female dancers generally let their hair loose when performing the Lego-Lego Dance.
Of course, traditional clothing from Alor will be combined with various other accessories.

5. Headband

The accessories used in the first Lego-Lego Dance performance are accessories worn by male dancers, namely
headbands.
However, these headband accessories can also be worn by female dancers.
Even so, the design of the men’s and women’s headbands is different.

For female dancers, the headband used is V-shaped and consists of a combination of white, black and red.
To make the headband look more attractive, it is usually added with other accessories such as
necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

Meanwhile, the headband used by male dancers is shaped almost like a crown. To make it look
more eccentric, in general, a headband will be added with a tie and jewelry worn on the arm.

For making headbands for men, usually using red cloth, carpet, wax glue and a few strands of bird feathers.
The combination of these properties will make the Lego-Lego Dance that is displayed even more
attractive and harmonious.

6. Anklet

The final property used in the Lego-Lego Dance is the anklet. The anklet property will be used
in the Lego-Lego Dance with or without musical accompaniment.

This anklet has the benefit of producing a jingling sound when the dancer walks or dances. Of
course, the sound from the anklets will make it easier for the dancers to match each step and make the dance
more harmonious.
Given that the Lego-Lego Dance is usually danced in large groups.

Functions of Lego-Lego Dance

The staging of the Lego-Lego Dance, of course, will be eagerly awaited by the local community and visitors.
Because the Lego-Lego Dance has meaning and uniqueness that makes this dance more interesting to
watch.
Apart from that, the Lego-Lego Dance does not only function as entertainment.

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There are many functions of the Lego-Lego Dance which make this traditional dance from NTT still
sustainable today.
The following is an explanation of the function of the Lego-Lego
Dance.

1. As a dance to welcome guests

Lego-Lego Dance is often performed when there are festivals or even big events. The aim is to
welcome guests or visitors who attend the event or festival.

This traditional dance typical of NTT is performed when there is a big event to introduce the culture of
the Alot people to foreigners visiting from other parts of Indonesia or from abroad.
In
addition, the Lego-Lego Dance also shows that the people of Alor, NTT are friendly when welcoming
guests.

2. As a form of joy,
after successfully achieving certain things

The Lego-Lego dance is also often performed as a form of gratitude after the community has achieved
success.
For example, when the community receives smoothness and success when harvesting crops
that have been cared for for a long time and painstakingly.

Not only that, the Lego-Lego Dance will also be performed when there are people who are carrying out a
wedding ceremony.
Apart from weddings, the Lego-Lego dance was also performed to welcome the
arrival of war troops.

The dancers will dance in a circle in unison while singing praises to God. This Lego-Lego
Dance performance is a form of expression of joy from the people of Alor for all forms of success received
by the community.
Therefore, people will also feel the joy by dancing Lego-lego.

3. Actualization of community togetherness

The hand-in-hand movement performed by the Lego-lego dancers is a manifestation of the actualization of the
unity of all Alor people.
This one movement is also a reflection of the people who have a
mutual cooperation spirit, in accordance with the meaning of the Lego-Lego Dance.
So in that
way, preserving the Lego-Lego Dance is included as one of the efforts in preserving the culture of mutual
cooperation from the community.

4. Welcoming at the Sunna Hada Event

The next function of the Lego-Lego Dance is to welcome the Sunna Hada event. The Sunna Hada
event is one of the cultures that is still being preserved and carried out by the people of Alor.

Sunna Hada is a mass circumcision tradition that is held based on a certain period. There are
also children who may follow Sunna Hada, namely boys with an age range of 4 to 10 years.

The implementation of Sunna Hada also involves several tribes at once. At the event, the community will also
dance Lego-lego simultaneously as a welcome from the Sunna Hada event.

5. Expression of gratitude for the harvest

The majority of Alor people have their main occupation as farmers. Many Alor residents focus
on managing their fields by cultivating fields with rice, sweet potatoes, beans, sorghum and corn,

When the harvest season has arrived, the gratitude of the farmers in Alor will be poured out with praise to God
Almighty and this praise will be carried out in the Lego-Lego Dance performance.

In addition to the five functions of the Lego-Lego Dance that make this traditional dance must be preserved,
there are also several uniqueness of the Lego-Lego Dance that are able to attract the interest of local and
foreign tourists.

According to historical records, since time immemorial the people of Alor have often carried out work by
mutual cooperation.
After the work is completed, the community will surround the altar and give
thanks and sing praises to God.

This custom is then known as the Lego-Lego Dance tradition to this day. Therefore, every local
community feels happy for something, then the form of their joy will be expressed in the form of
dance.

The uniqueness of the Lego-Lego Dance can be seen from the large number of dancers who participate in the dance
with or without musical accompaniment, even the dancers in this dance do not look at gender, everyone can
participate in the dance.

To produce harmonious movements, dancers need to practice and concentrate fully. So, you will
see a compact dance that describes the function or meaning of this dance, namely togetherness and mutual
cooperation.

That is an explanation of the Lego-Lego Dance, which is a traditional dance typical of the Alor region, East Nusa
Tenggara.