Getting to Know the History of the Origin of the Platter Dance and the Meaning of Each
Movement – Do you know about plate dance? This time the author will explain
the history of the dance to the meaning in each of its movements. As we know, Indonesia has
many beautiful cultures that should be preserved. One of them is the dance culture.
There are more than 17,000 islands spread across Indonesia and within the islands there are 34 provinces
inhabited by various tribes. There are approximately 1,340 tribes spread across the islands in
Indonesia. Each tribe must have its own customs, uniqueness and culture, such as regional
songs, regional dances and many more. The existence of these diverse tribes is what makes
Indonesia rich in culture. This cultural wealth must be maintained and preserved so that it is
not lost and forgotten.
Each region must have cultural performances that are held regularly, this is done so that the younger
generation or today’s generation do not forget about their own identity and culture. They must
know that their country is a country rich in culture. Therefore, they should be proud and learn
about the culture in their area.
They can do performances such as their regional dance performances. Regional dance
performances are always the main attraction for a region. There are many types of regional
dances in Indonesia, one of which is the typical dance of West Sumatra province, the plate dance.
Origin of Plate Dance
The plate dance is a traditional dance originating from Minangkabau, traditionally it can be said that the plate
dance originates from Solok, West Sumatra
Definition of Plate Dance
The plate dance is a traditional dance originating from Minangkabau, traditionally it can be said that the
plate dance originates from Solok, West Sumatra. This dance displays the action of dancing
attractions using plates. The dancers will swing the plates in their palms in sync with the
accompaniment music and move quickly and regularly without letting go or letting any plates fall.
The plate dance movement is taken from the Minangkabau silat movement or commonly called
Plate dance was popularized by Huriah Adam. In modern times, the plate dance is usually used
as a greeting to welcome honored guests or is also usually used for the opening of a traditional ceremony.
The plate dance is very popular in Indonesia, along with other dances, such as the saman, jaipong,
and pendet dances which are often used as dances to welcome distinguished guests at several events and are
used as a means of promoting tourism and culture in Indonesia.
History of Plate Dance
As stated above, it is said that the traditional plate dance came from Solok, West Sumatra. We
quote this history from the Ministry of Education and Culture that it is estimated that plate dance has
existed since the 12th century. Very long isn’t it? In the past, Minangkabau
people still believed in gods. At first, the plate dance was used as a dance for worship by the
community to the Goddess of Rice every harvest season, the community did this as a thank you for the success
of their harvest.
The plate dance is also a form of traditional dance that is rich in high aesthetic values and also has deep
ancestral cultural values so that dance can be a form of thanksgiving and a picture of the people’s deep
gratitude to the gods who have fertilized and produced results. their harvest will not fail.
The ritual is usually carried out by the local community by bringing several offerings, usually the offerings are
brought in the form of food and then the offerings will be placed on a plate while taking steps with regular,
synchronous and dynamic movements.
However, since the arrival of Arab traders in Indonesia who brought Islam to Indonesia, the local people’s
belief in this plate dance slowly began to change. Not only the public’s belief in the dance,
but also the dance concept of this plate dance has also changed. Currently, plate dance is used
as a medium of entertainment such as for weddings, traditional events or even performances to receive
guests, as well as a means of education for the younger generation to get to know and learn about their
The plate dance has succeeded in breaking a world record, they danced the plate dance with more than 2,000
dancers dancing it. Everyone with various types of professions participated in breaking the
Every movement contained in the plate dance has a different meaning. The plate dance dancers
usually carry two plates placed on their palms. Then, the plates will be swayed to follow the
dance movements which are getting faster and faster.
Usually, at the end of the dance, the dancer will slam the plate on the floor until it breaks and scatters,
then the dancer will continue to dance on the broken plate. It is said that these plates have
been given a prayer so as not to hurt the feet of the dancers.
A dance without music seems like something is missing, so that it is more lively. The Plate Dance is
accompanied by typical musical instruments from West Sumatra, namely Saluang and Talempong. The
combination of the typical music of West Sumatra with the agile movements of the dancers makes the plate
dance even more amazing.
The Meaning of Plate Dance Movement
At least the plate dance has 20 movements performed by the dancers. The 20 movements have
different meanings, here are the names and meanings of each plate dance movement:
1. Pasambahan Movement
This movement is a movement to start the dance performed by male dancers. The Pasambahan
movement is interpreted as a form of gratitude to God and a form of request by the dancers to everyone
watching not to disturb the dance.
2. Singajuo Lalai Movement
The movements of the negligent singanjuo are performed by female dancers, the movements created from this
dance are gentle and graceful movements. This is because the movement of singajuo neglects to
be interpreted to symbolize the atmosphere in the cool morning.
As can be seen from the name, this movement symbolizes the movement of the dancers when cultivating their fields
in the plate dance.
4. Afternoon Movement
This movement is also taken from the activities of farmers in the fields, namely weeding.
Weeding itself is an activity of cleaning the fields from weeds or weeds. The dancers
also use these activities in plate dance movements.
5. Throwing Garbage Movement
This movement is a continuation of the farmer’s activities in the weeding movement, namely removing grass or
6. Sowing Movement
Furthermore, the sowing movement is also taken from agricultural activities in the fields. The
movement of sowing the plate dance is like sowing rice seeds to be planted.
As explained earlier, there are 20 movements in the plate dance that are exhibited when performing the plate
dance, then 14 movements, in addition to the six movements above in the plate dance, namely:
- Fencing movement
- The movement of removing the seed
- Resentment movement
- The movement of delivering prayers
- Paddy mowing movement
- Movement to take rice
- Paddy paddy movement
- Movement of aerating rice
- Paddy threshing movement
- The movement of pounding rice
- Mutual cooperation movement
- Rice winnowing movement
- The movement of stepping on broken glass
Properties used in the Plate Dance
The interesting thing about the plate dance is, of course, its main property, which is the plate, but of course
there are other properties that make the plate dance more attractive to many people, the following are the
properties in the plate dance:
As the name suggests, the main property of this dance is definitely the plate. The plate is
placed on top of the dancer’s pliers, each dancer carries two plates in his right and left hands.
2. Musical Instruments
Each dance must be accompanied by music, the musical instruments used are drums and are equipped with saluang and
talempong, namely natural music made of metal.
Another property of plate dance is resin. Damar is used by giving a hole so that the tips of
the middle fingers of the right and left hands can be inserted into the hole.
while dancing, damar is tapped on the plate according to the music. This was done to make
the plate dance more lively.
The final property is of course the costume, the ancient plate dance costume such as the pencak silat
costume with black pants. However, to make it even more festive, the plate dance costumes are
colorful. This special costume has the name baju kuning made of velvet or satin with floral
motifs. The plate dance also uses a codek cloth similar to a sarong.
Thus the article about plate dance. Starting from its history to the meaning in every
movement. It is hoped that this article will make the reader aware of the plate dance movements
which have a different meaning from the movements which are mostly taken from the activities of farmers in
the fields, as well as the various properties that are added to enliven the plate dance.
Characteristics of Plate Dance
When talking about the culture that Indonesia has, it will never end. Including this one
culture, namely the plate dance or piriang dance. Every culture and art in Indonesia must have
its own characteristics. Where these characteristics will distinguish between one culture to
As previously explained, the distinctive features of the plate dance are in the movements, costumes,
clothing, and also the music used. So that you understand more about the characteristics of
this dance dadi, let’s see the explanation below:
Each dance in various regions has a distinctive dress or costume when the dance is performed.
Well, the clothes on the plate dance are divided into two kinds. The first is clothing
for female dancers and the second is clothing for male dancers.
Below is the clothing or costumes worn by plate dancers.
Male Dancer Clothing
The costumes worn by male dancers have different characteristics from the clothing worn by female dancers.
However, it still does not leave the characteristics of Minangkabau customs and culture.
For male dancer costumes, usually wear clothes that have long sleeves or can be called Rang Mudo clothes.
The clothes for male dancers are also equipped with accessories and gold lace decorations or commonly known
as missia decorations. While the lower area of clothes uses pants which are referred to as
wave sizes. These pants are quite large in the middle.
The color of the pants is also adjusted to the top clothes. So that it looks harmonious and
Not only that, male dancers also wear a number of additional accessories such as cawek waist and sisimpek.
The waist cawek is a cloth that is shaped like a songket cloth and is tied at the waist.
This accessory is from waist to knee and is decorated with tassels. During the
performance, male dancers will wear head coverings. This headband or head covering is made of
songket cloth which is formed into a triangular shape.
Female Dancer Clothing
Usually, the costume worn by female dancers is the clothes of the brackets. This shirt is a
typical Minangkabau dress made of velvet and satin. Female dancers will also use decorations or
accessories in the form of scarves made of songket cloth and placed on the left shoulder.
Not only male dancers, female dancers also wear horn-shaped head coverings. This head cover is
usually also known as tikuluak horns Balapak. This head cover is made of songket cloth.
For additional decorations used in plate dance clothing, namely kaling gadang, earring, and tassel
necklaces. Subang is a typical Minang earring worn by female dancers. So that the
dancers will look more attractive, beautiful, and unique.
2. Dishes As Main Media
One characteristic of this dance is the use of plates as the main medium or property for dancing.
The plates used in this dance have their own meaning or philosophy. In addition, there
is an amazing thing about using this property, namely the plate that is brought for dancing never falls even
though it is swung.
Initially, the plates used as props in this dance used plates that came from China. The use of
plates originating from China is not without reason. So, the plate dance uses dishes from China
because these plates have their own aesthetics and are of good quality.
3. Dancing on Broken Plates
This is one of the characteristics of the plate dance that you may not know about. In the
performance, usually the dancers will perform attractions by dancing on broken plates. This
will generally be done at the end of the performance. The dancers will throw the plate on the
floor until it breaks. Then, the dancers will walk and step on and dance on the broken
Surely you are wondering, are the dancers not injured? Well, this is the hallmark of
Indonesian culture. There is always something amazing and beyond reason. So when
the dancers step on and dance on broken glass. They won’t be hurt at all. Even
their legs would look fine.
4. Ring Clink
In addition to using plates as the main medium in dancing. The dancers will also use the ring
to make a ringing sound which is the hallmark of this dance. The sound produced from rings and
plates will give a special impression. Where the tones and strains of music from rings, plates,
and other music will blend together.
5. Accompanied by Traditional Musical Instruments.
In addition to using the tone of the ring and plate clink. This dance also uses traditional
musical instruments as its accompaniment. Various musical instruments such as gongs, fiddle,
saluang, tambourine, talempong, and many other musical instruments make the musical accompaniment sound more
unique and have its own characteristics.
Each musical instrument used to accompany the dance has its own function. For example, the
gong serves as a guide for movement and determines the steps that need to be taken by the dancers.
Then the tambourine instrument will give a lively impression and increase the enthusiasm of the
dancers. Meanwhile, you can see saluang and talempong musical instruments in
Those are some explanations about the plate dance along with its history and characteristics of the dance.
As good citizens, of course we must preserve all the culture that we have from ancient times.
As the next generation of the nation, we must not neglect and forget the culture of our own