Two Manuscript Collections from Garut Preserved

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DREAMSEA, Garut – DREAMSEA has preserved two collections of manuscripts from Garut regency, West Java, Indonesia. This activity has been carried out on July 26-28, 2022. The manuscripts that have been successfully digitized include Islamic texts of Sufism, genealogy, and local history.

The digitization team this time was led by Aditia Gunawan as an academic expert, Salfia Rahmawati as an assistant academic expert, Benedictus Satrio as a photographer, and Evi Fuji as an assistant photographer.

In this mission, the Dreamsea team successfully carried out the digital preservation of two manuscript collections. The first collection belongs to Ani Suhartini who is an art and culture activist in the Cianten area, Garut. She is also the self-manager of the Rumah Budaya Bumi Nyai Tangulun museum which holds various historical and prehistoric artifacts from around. The manuscripts in this collection are obtained from donations from people who are no longer able to store and maintain the manuscripts.

Manuscripts from private collection of Ani Suhartini

Ani Suhartini expects participation from various parties to be able to preserve and utilize the manuscripts of his collection for the wider community. “I hope that the government, the community, and traditional leaders, can support this manuscript to be maintained, also the contents can be reappointed and published to the community. So that there is an appreciation for manuscripts and the values contained in them,” she explained.

The second collection comes from the private property of Hidayatul Sibyan or better known as Ustadz Aang, a Muslim cleric, and Cigawiran traditional song artist. The manuscripts in Ustadz Aang’s collection are in the form of tembang pupuh, with Pegon script in Sundanese. The manuscripts of the collection are not only stored, but also still used, namely read on certain occasions by singing with a distinctive rhythm and tone called Cigawiran.

“Of course, I as the family representative of the heir to the Cigawiran art hope that one day the next generation of the family can know that they have ancestors who are so great at creating song art that is commonly used to advise the people. In addition, I hope that with this digitization, many artists will be motivated to learn Cigawiran through the text in the manuscript,” he said.

Ustadz Aang’s manuscripts collection

Aditia Gunawan, the academic expert stated that some of the manuscripts in this mission are unique and become significant characteristics in the local cultural context. This uniqueness can be seen, among others, from the findings of the genealogy of the Syattariyah order which refers to the Limbangan Muslim scholars, and the history of Cigawiran tembang art in manuscripts written by K.H. R. Iyet Dimyati.

“In Ani Suhartini’s collection, there is one manuscript that contains the Syattariyah order silsilah with a distinctive Limbangan pattern. Where the scientific history of the order is mentioned and continued to the local Muslim scholars in Limbangan. In addition, the collection of manuscripts belonging to Ustadz Aang, is the work of the scholar K.H. R. Iyet Dimyati, who is the initiator of the cigawiran tembang art.”

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