Bapang Mask's Symbolic Power in the Attempt to Break Muri's Record in Malang District


Bapang mask is one of the figures in Malang’s puppet show, which is unique compared to other masks. It has a long nose and a sharp, red-colored face with bulging eyes. It possesses a manly character and enjoys flattery, and is a symbol of the legitimacy of the Malang district government’s power. The symbol of the Bapang mask in MURI’s record-breaking attempt is a practice of power that legitimizes culture in dominating the domain of a discourse struggle (between politics and preserving culture). This study describes Bapang mask’s symbolic power in breaking the MURI’s record in Malang district. This qualitative study used interviews, document analysis, and observations, which were analyzed using a poststructuralist approach through Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of practice. The results of the study revealed that the symbolic system through the discourse of preserving Bapang masks in MURI’s record-breaking attempt is a representation of a symbolic system capable of producing power on political and cultural domination. This symbolic power forms the legitimacy of truth in the attempt to preserve traditional arts using Bapang mask.

Keywords: symbolic power, discourse, preserving

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