Transformation of Ondel-ondel Function as the Icon of the Capital and Busker in Jakarta


  • Ade A.S. Fajarwati Bina Nusantara University
  • A.F Choiril Anam Fathoni Bina Nusantara University


ondel-ondel, urban, transformation, city icon, busker


Ondel-ondel as one of the Betawi arts, is an image icon of the city of Jakarta. It is a couple of giant doll characters that has distinctive shapes with bright colors and placed in several municipal government agencies as well as government-owned public spaces such as stations, city parks, meetinghouses, urban village offices and so on. This form of a pair of male and female dolls is also often used to mark the wedding ceremony of the Betawi people in Jakarta. Ondel-ondel is the representation of the Jakarta that symbolizing the identity of the Republic of Indonesian capital city. Ironically, instead of just as an icon of the capital city of Jakarta, currently Ondel-ondel has transformed its function as busking medium in urban spaces. This busker character, that according to some people, are considered as "beggars in disguise" are very different from the sanctity of Ondel-ondel in its origin. Although in the same physical form, when Ondel-ondel is placed in different spaces and activities, the meaning changes. Multi-perspectives that emerge from the transformation of the Ondel-ondel function as capital icon but also as buskers, are discussed in this paper. The purpose of this study is to examine urban phenomena and the meaning of the transformation of the Ondel-ondel character function in Jakarta. The qualitative method that used in this paper is the literature study and observation with the subject of Ondel-ondel as a city icon and also as a busker.


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How to Cite

Fajarwati , A. A. ., & Fathoni, A. C. A. (2019). Transformation of Ondel-ondel Function as the Icon of the Capital and Busker in Jakarta. Proceeding of International Conference on Visual Culture and Urban Life, 28–37. Retrieved from