Mekare-kare Tradition, Pandan War in Bali

Photo Source: Baligateway - The island of Bali, Indonesia, which is famous for its tourist objects, also has unique and extreme traditions, one of which is called Mekare-kare.

Mekare-kare or the Pandan War Ceremony is an offering ceremony performed to honor the God Indra or the God of War and also the ancestors.

The Mekare-kare tradition is held for 2 days in Tenganan Village or Bali Aga, one of the old villages in Bali and becomes an agenda every year in June.

The implementation of the Mekare-kare ceremony, according to Dapobas.kemdikbud, was held in front of the meeting hall in the village courtyard.

The implementation time usually starts at 2 pm, where all residents wear Tenganan traditional clothes (Pegringsingan woven cloth).

Men only use sarongs (kamen), shawls (saput), and headbands (udeng) without clothes, bare-chested.

The Pandan War ceremony is part of the Sasih Sembah ceremony, which is the largest religious ceremony in Tenganan Village.

In this tradition, men from the village will perform a war show by using thorny pandan leaves as weapons and rattan shields to fend off enemy attacks.

Before the Mekare-kare begins, a pair of men face each other with a bundle of pandan leaves in their right hand and a shield made of woven rattan in their left hand.

An arbiter like a referee stood between the two men. Meanwhile, a pair of men prepared for the attack.

After the traditional leader in Tenganan Village gave the signal, followed by the mediator raising his hands high, the two men who were face to face immediately attacked each other.

In carrying out the attack, they hit the opponent's back by embracing him first.

In an embracing position they hit each other on the back of the opponent with pandan leaves and drag him.

Not infrequently, in a match that took place not long ago when attacking each other there were opponents who fell and were injured by pandan leaves.

Finished one match one on one immediately continued another match in rotation and in pairs.

To heal scratches, match participants are usually treated with traditional ingredients made from turmeric.

After the Pandan War match was closed by praying at the local temple and complemented by presenting the Rejan dance. (*)

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