Ritual and Power: A Case Study of the Muludan Ritual in The Kanoman Sultanate

Title: Ritual and Power: A Case Study of the Muludan Ritual in The Kanoman Sultanate

Author: Mohamad Yusuf (CRCS, 2005)

Keywords: the Muludan ritual, political power, traditional power, religious power and the Kanoman Sultanate

Abstract:


This thesis is based on a fundamental question, is there any relationship between practicing the Muludan ritual and seeking power by the Kanoman Sultanate? The Muludan ritual has a uniqueness not exhibited by the other rituals. It is a ritual that is conducted by the Sultan’s family, and over one thousand people are involved in it. I assume that the Muludan ritual is used to regain power for the Sultan over the lay people.

 

This research requires two steps: literature research and field research. I conducted field research after completing the literature study. I interviewed several people with different backgrounds and dissimilar relationships to the ritual, these included the family of the Sultan in order to know their motives for conducting the ritual and their vision of the role of the Kraton in taking part in the development of Indonesian society. I also interviewed several Islamic scholars (Ulama) in order to know the influence of the Islamic tradition in the Cirebon Sultanate and its rituals, and how Islamic teachings view the Muludan ritual.

 

The Muludan tradition can be understood as the Islamic cultural system because the ceremony is done based on the knowledge, the belief, norm and the moral value of Islamic teachings. People believe that by following the ritual, they will get the God blessing (Ngalap Berkah) and Shafa’at as it is appointed in the Quran and the Hadith. In the context of Muludan ritual in the Kanoman Sultanate, however, the theories that are used in this thesis can be effectively implemented in terms of socio-cultural relationship between the Sultan and the people during the event of the Muludan ritual.

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