Gedog Paper from Ponorogo Attracts Foreign Enthusiast

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Daluang paper production. (Source: Google)

UNAIR NEWS – To preserve and maintain the culture as national identity is the job of every Indonesian. With more spirit of patriotism, the youth should do more for the matter. Students of Indonesian Literature of Faculty of Humanities Universitas Airlangga in Philology major had a field work on Sunday, May 21 in Tegalsari Village, Jetis Regency of Ponorogo. They wanted to learn the local culture of gedog paper production.

In this village, gedog paper production is still produced with no supports from any parties. According to Cipto, who preserve this culture from his ancestors, he paper production was started in 19000. His grandfather, Kyai Jaelani of Tegalsari, is the first man who came with the idea of producing daluang paper (gedog) made of skin of glugu tree.

“Gedog paper production was quite easy, we just need to get the tree skin as wide as we want then we soak it for a night. After that the skin tree then beaten with a tool until it is flat. The drying process should be done on banana trunk so the result can be really soft,” said Cipto on the production process.

This PKL activity has been annual agenda of Indonesian Literature students who take Manuscript Preservation course. According to  Dr. Trisna Kumala Satya Dewi, M.S as the lecturer, this activity is very useful for the youth who must give active contribution to preserve the nation’s culture.

Foreign Enthusiast

To UNAIR NEWS Trisna said that there was an enthusiast interested to Cipto’s work. He was expected to give some old manuscripts belong to Kyai Jaelani preserved in Tegalsari. The foreign enthusiast was willing to pay a lot for it.

Cipto confirmed Trisna statement. A foundation from Japan has sent their representative to Cipto’s residence and offered a car for some manuscipts Cipto possess.

“The Japanese representative offered me a car for a trade with this one manuscript,” said Cipto.

With this phenomenon, it is important for the students to know that East Java has a great traditional tradition.

Trisna said some regret that the production is still self-managed. If this production is supported by an institution, the tradition will be better managed and preserved well.

Furthermore, the beater tool for the production is left only one set. Cipto does not know the mechanism to get support from the cultural agency for the beater.

“I hope the production of this paper is supported by the government so our next generation can still learn about this tradition,” said Trisna.

There is a connection between Cipto’s statement and the officials of Museum Radya Pustaka, Surakarta. After visiting Cipto personally, the foreign enthusiast visited the museum for the manuscripts. His expertise in predicting the manuscript’s age is undoubted. Japanese Manuscript Lover Foundation’s official,  Prof. Sakamoto, can read the age of the manuscript only from feeling and see the line from the manuscript.

“If we just let it be, we will be left behind and daluang paper can be owned by the Japanese,” said Trisna.

This activity hopefully can awaken the sense of belonging from the students on Indonesian Literature, that daluang paper must be preserved and patented as national heritage. (*)

Author  : Ainul Fitriyah

Editor    : Binti Q. Masruroh

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