Brace your­self for a bumpy ride run­ning with the bulls.

No need to go to Spain – Bali has its own tra­di­tion of run­ning with the bulls.

The Jakarta Post - Magazine - - Contents - Words & Pho­tos Agung Parameswara

Makepung in Ba­hasa In­done­sia means to chase around. It is the tra­di­tion of buf­falo rac­ing in Ba­li­nese so­ci­ety, es­pe­cially for those who live in Jem­brana re­gency. The tra­di­tion was ini­tially a form of en­ter­tain­ment for the farm­ers, while they were plow­ing their fields, be­fore plant­ing the rice. The race takes place in the mid­dle of a wet field, where two buf­fa­los have lampit, a farm­ing tool used to level the soil, at­tached to them.

Thus the name Makepung Lampit be­came pop­u­lar in the 1940s in Jem­brana.

To­day, the muddy en­ter­tain­ment has been slowly di­min­ish­ing, along with the emer­gence of Makepung Cikar, which refers to a type of cart that trans­ports sun-hulled rice.

The ir­ri­ga­tion or­ga­ni­za­tion of Peh ham­let in Kali­akah vil­lage plays an im­por­tant role in pre­serv­ing the al­most-van­ished tra­di­tion of Makepung Lampit.

“Makepung Lampit has been a tra­di­tion in this vil­lage since the 1920s. It is a rou­tine en­ter­tain­ment be­fore plant­ing the rice,” said farmer Ke­tut Lega from Peh.

On a 60 x 20 me­ter plot of wet farm land, farm­ers make ready four pairs of male buf­fa­los that have been dec­o­rated with var­i­ous or­na­ments.

The jock­eys’ ex­pres­sions, the muddy race and the dec­o­rated buf­fa­los are all part of the main at­trac­tion, which is a tu­mul­tuous burst of en­ergy and com­pet­i­tive spirit.

“Al­though I am arthritic, I re­ally love to com­pete in this race,” said 60-year-old Wayan Sam­pun, who, de­spite his age, is one of the buf­falo jock­eys.

Lega said that the tra­di­tion could only be per­formed twice a year, de­pend­ing on the soil con­di­tions and the wa­ter avail­abil­ity.

“We will try to con­tinue pre­serv­ing this tra­di­tion and in­tro­duce it to a wider au­di­ence,” said Lega.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Indonesia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.