Hamdolok dance or also known as ‘masadeka’ is a famous dance in Johor. The dance is performed during halls, parties, art shows and in wedding ceremony.
Hamdolok when performed contains elements of singing, dance and music. Each member of the group consists of fifteen to twenty people, playing their respective roles according to the type of character, clothes and musical instruments they play. Hamdolok is said to have been founded under the inspiration of an original Malay musician, Encik Rahmat or better known in his area as ‘Rahmat Wayang’. He was born in Singapore, then migrated and settled directly at Parit Besar, Bagan, Batu Pahat, Johor.
Wak Rahmat (Encik Rahmat) was inspired to create this hamdolok dance based on the story that Haji Osman Jahit had told him. Haji Osman, from Singapore, went to study in Mecca, but his intention had to be cancelled as he was short of spending.
Then he settled there and made his own job, being a tailor. While Haji Osman stayed there he saw how the Bedouins celebrated the Birthday of Prophet Muhammad. After a long stay in Mecca, Haji Osman returned to Singapore, then he moved to Batu Pahat, Johor. This is where he often meets and tells Encik Rahmat about how the Bedouin customs are.
It is said that Bedouins when celebrating the day, they will come out together in mass. Then take a walk with a stick. In the meantime they will sing, dancing while jumping. The sticks they carry are punched on whatever they find like stones, pillars, wood, buildings, walls or anything that can produce sound. These Bedouin people also play musical instruments such as drums, sing in poetic form.
Hamdolok originated from the exposure of Middle Eastern culture introduced by Arabs in Johor. It is a traditional theatre performed during weddings and festivals. It is a blend of artistic characters of both the Middle East and local Malay communities.
Instruments used include the gambus, tambourine, maracas and conga drums. It was also inspired by the Bedouin celebrating the birth of Islamic prophet Muhammad playing musical instruments and reciting poetry.