Gubang Dance of Anambas Regency, Riau Islands - Indonesia


It is, without a doubt, travelers have many reasons to visit Anambas Regency in Indonesia The most common reason is to explore all the stunning islands that scatter in such archipelago. What is more? Well, some visitors would like to enjoy interesting local cultures including Gubang / Gobang Dance! Even though it becomes a common performance in Anambas, the dance belongs to one of the islands – Jamaja. This is why tourists should choose Jemaja as their prime destination if they want to witness and learn the dance better. So, what is the dance about?

About Gubang Dance
In a nutshell, Gobang Dance focuses on the movements of feet and head. Not to mention it features unique and beautiful accompaniment, including traditional music instruments and a peculiar chant. As for the member of dancers, they are all males and they wear a creepy mask (symbolizing the presence of underworld creatures).What about the costume? Usually, they wear a dominant red costume, which represents both rage and fire. However, these days, the dancers have utilized numerous types of costumes as well during the performance.

Enjoying Gubang Dance
There are many reasons to get interested in Gobang Dance, for sure. For example, tourists are looking for information regarding the history of the performance. According to the locals, the dance was brought to the real world from the spiritual realm by a boy who got lost in the forest. Despite the popularity of the story, some locals have another version of it. They say the dance once belonged to Laut Tribe. These people performed the dance occasionally when they stayed over in Jemaja Island. Both versions of the story are indeed interesting, so make sure to learn them all from the locals!

As mentioned before, tourists can’t watch Gobang Dance anytime. It is because the locals only perform it during special events like weddings, performing arts, the Nation’s Independence Day celebration, etc. Another important fact is that the dance only happens at night. The purpose is indeed to bring up the sacred atmosphere of the spiritual realm. Knowing this fact, tourists must have gathered information regarding the schedule before visiting Jemaja Island.

Here is another important fact. Gobang Dance once belonged to Melayu People. In the past, they performed it as the part of rituals. The purpose was to eradicate diseases and prevent any types of misfortunes in the future. However, the dance develops and becomes an interesting attraction among people who live in Anambas, especially in Jemaja. The locals take a good care of the existence of the dance and often promote it to travelers, as well.

Nearby Attractions

  • Padang Malang Beach
  • Dewata Beach
  • Telaga Island

How to Get There
As mentioned before, the best location to watch Gobang Dance is Jemaja Island. For those coming from Jakarta, they need to take an airplane and head to Bintan first. From Tanjung Pinang (Bintan), tourists can take a ferry and head directly to Jemaja Island. This voyage may take around 7-8 hours, though.

Where to Stay

  • Sri Lakang Inn
  • Miranti Guesthouse
  • Seven island Hotel
  • Anugrah Guesthouse

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