Dancers from the Batin ethnic group carrying baskets containing sekapur sirih.

Tari Sekapur Sirih (Sekapur Sirih Dance)

In the Jambi Province, and in many other areas of Sumatra, there is a famous dance that is used to welcome honored guests into a village or city. The name of the dance is “Sekapur Sirih.” The dance is often accompanied by Pencat Silat fighters who ceremonially cleanse the area of evil spirits prior to the guests entry. After the dance the guests are offered a betel nut wrapped in a sirih leaf, which also has several other ingredients added to the package. It is considered an honor to be given one of these nuts to chew on.

Dancer in the center of picture is carrying a basket containing several betel nuts for honored guests.

The City of Jambi has two monuments that depicts Sekapur Sirih dancers. One will be noticed after arrival at the airport, on the road toward the city. A satellite location of this monument can be found by clicking this link.

Another Sekapur Sirih monument can be found on the west side of the Makalam Bridge, in the center of a roundabout. It’s location can be found by clicking this link.

We have seen this dance and have “enjoyed” chewing the betel leaf several times. One instance of this can be read by clicking on this link.

Tari Sekapur Sirih Monument, found after one leaves the airport and travels towards the center of the City of Jambi.