The Sexual Orientation of Panji : Cultural Construction in Intermediation


  • Seno Gumira Ajidarma Faculty of Film and Television, Jakarta Institute of Art, Jl. Cikini Raya No. 73, Jakarta Pusat.



The Panji love scenes from (1) Br. 126 manuscript in Jawi characters of Hikayat Panji Kuda Semirang, (2) Sastrawinata’s story book Panji Semirang published by Balai Pustaka, and (3) the comic book Panji Semirang by R. A. Kosasih, chronologically shows intermediation as a non-direct adaptation that represents the cultural construction that shifts the meaning, from a hidden signs of transgenderism to the domination of heterosexual orientation. The phenomena is connected with the fact that from early modern times (15th to 18th century) to second half of early modern period (17th to 18th century) in the region, there is the process where gender pluralism met the domination of mainstream religions and modern science, which marginalized and suppressed the former to the edge of normality. As transgender subculture still exists as an ideological struggle, the study of local genius should be done with a consciousness to contest the hegemonic discourse.


Budi Wahyono, Ahmad. (2018), Hikayat Panji Kuda Semirang, Perpustakaan Nasional Republik Indonesia, Jakarta.

Kieven, Lydia. (2003), “Loving Couples Depicted in Temple Reliefs in East Java of the Majapahit Time”, in Anna Karlström and Anna Källén (eds.), Fishbones and Glittering Emblems, Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm.

Kieven, Lydia. (2013), Following the Cap-Figure in Majapahit Temple Reliefs, Brill, Leiden.

Kieven, Lydia. (2017), Menelusuri Panji di Candi-Candi, Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia, Jakarta.

Kieven, Lydia. (2019), “Pemakai Tekes Rakyat dan Raden Panji pada Relief Candi Jago dan Candi Penataran”, Pusat Konservasi Budaya Panji, Malang.

Peletz, Michael G. (2006), “Transgenderism and Gender Pluralism in Southeast Asia since Early Modern Times”, in Current Anthropology, Vol. 47, No. 2 (April 2006), pp. 309-340, The University of Chicago Press on behalf of Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Chicago.

Poerbatjaraka. (1968), Tjeritera Panji dalam Perbandingan. Jakarta: Gunung Agung.

Sastrawinata, S. (1996), Panji Semirang, Balai Pustaka, Jakarta.

Storey, John. (1993), An Introduction to Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: Second edition, Prentice Hall, London.

Supriyanto, Henri (peny). (2019), Panji Pahlawan Nusantara, Komunitas Seni Budaya Brangwetan, Sidoarjo.

Whelehan, Imelda. (1999), “Adaptations: The contemporary dilemmas”, in Deborah Cartmell and Imelda Whelehan, Adaptations: From Text to Screen, Screen to Texts, Routledge, London and New York.




How to Cite

Ajidarma, S. G. (2020). The Sexual Orientation of Panji : Cultural Construction in Intermediation. Lekesan: Interdisciplinary Journal of Asia Pacific Arts, 3(2), 31–40.