Abstract: Barongsai is one of traditional performing arts of Tionghoa community that is most popular and often performed in public. This performing art has characteristic that is often assumed as the cultural signifier of Tionghoa ethnicity and it has lived with Minangkabau people for a long time. The aims of this research are to reveal the art concept of barongsai performance as cultural signifier and to explain why this performing art becomes the signifier of Tionghoa ethnicity in Padang City. Method used in this research is qualitative method with etic and emic approaches. The performing art of Barongsai has the elements of performing arts too. These elements have signs and these signs are explained by using Ferdinand de Saussures theory of Semiology that is in the scope of non-linguistic signs that have arbitrary and conventional characteristics. Sign has two inseparable sides that are signifier and signified. Signifier has material characteristic while signified has abstract one. The performing art of Barongsai is stated as the cultural signifier of Tionghoa ethnicity of Padang City based on signs found in this performing art. The existences of this art are as a tool, the form of self-declaration and the media of social acculturation. Non-Tionghoa ethnicities admit that Barongsai is a signifier that refers to Tionghoa ethnicity with all of its characteristics. In Tionghoa ethnicity, Barongsai acts as the signifier while repelling negative aura, rejecting calamity and incurring fortune act as the signified.
Ediwar , Fredrik Tirtosuryo Esoputra and Erman Har, 2017. The Performing Art of Barongsai as the Cultural Signifier of Tionghoa Community in Padang City. The Social Sciences, 12: 1048-1055.