Asam Garam
Essay
09 Jul 2022

Tumpeng : Aesthetic Value

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Andrea Hasan
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Alyandra Katya
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Physically, tumpeng is an artifact which has certain functions according to its maker. In the beginning, tumpeng was simply an offering to the mountains but there’s a beautiful philosophy behind it. According to some researchers, the overall shape of it is a representation of the relationship between God (macrocosmos), men (microcosmos) and mankind in general. The top of the tumpeng only has one single grain of rice, that is the symbol of God. Going further down is mankind with all different kinds of behavior, so the very bottom represents the people who don’t have good behavior while further up represents good people. That’s why according to Prof. Gardjito, the act of cutting the top part equates to eliminating God and the good people. On the other hand, others think that the meaning behind tumpeng is to surrender to God. The cone-shaped rice is a symbol of the spiritual journey of mankind from the bottom to the top where God stands. On a more pragmatic point of view, there is also another assumption that sees any object or food that is placed in a room in a pyramidal shape is more long-lasting or doesn’t spoil fast.

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