Mageret Pandan Tradition

Untitled-3-war.jpgExplore The East Bali!!! Bali has various unique traditions, all tradition still keep by the Balinese people until now. One of the tradition is Mekare – Kare or Famous name Perang Pandan ( Pandan War ). This tradition still keep by people who stay at Tenganan, Manggis district, Karangasem regency. This event is carried out during the “Ngusaba” ceremony of the temple. The purpose of this ceremony is to request a good rice harvest.

Trust adopted Tenganan villagers are different from Balinese people in general. Tenganan Villagers have written rules or awig-awig that hereditary bequeathed by their ancestors, also did not recognize caste and believed to be the god Indra is the god of all gods. Lord Indra is the god of war. Historically Tenganan was a gift from God Indra to wong peneges, the ancestral village of Tenganan. While the Balinese Hindus in general makes the Tri Murti Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva as the supreme god.

Untitled-1-war.jpgPerang Pandan or Mekare – kare is a regular ceremony is based on Çaka year calendar and this dance perform in the village temple area. Çaka year is a lunar calendar created 78 years after Christian Era. Since this ceremony is based on Çaka year and Hindu-Java calendar, so it is hardly able to know the exact International Calendar date within which this ceremony will fall. We can only know the exact date around 6 months ahead of the date. While Hindu-Java calendar is consist of 210 days. Balinese use these two systems at the same time, and mixed it up. So you can find a ceremony coming every 210 days, and every 365 days. You will able to see the preparation process of this tradition. To get this village from Ngurah Rai Airport you will need about 3 hour by driving.

Untitled-2-war.jpgThere are some writing say perang pandan is related to the ceremony which is basically a scarification of blood. First of this, I really realize that this assumption might based on the wrong informant and wrong source. As you might have read that religion for Balinese is not a social institution, instead like water flowing to various soil, whenever it flows on red soil the color become red, and on a black soil it become black. So to know the real ideas we have to screen it in a minutes detail. It seems that in the past the religious leaders just left the religion flowing uncertainly, and developed according the local paradigm.

There is a ceremony in Bali using blood called ” Tabuh Rah ” but they used chicken blood or some time egg just as a symbol of underworld being ( a strong influence of ancient Buddhist left hand path ). The understanding of underworld was inspired by the animistic belief that this world is divided into 3 levels :

  • The highest level is the abode of gods
  • The medium level is the abode of human being
  • The lowest level ( netherworld/underworld) is the abode of inferior being such as invisible being of the animals, dead spirits, and natures spirits.”

“Tabuh Rah” ceremony is offered for this netherworld which was at the beginning of Tantrayana sect of Buddhist in Bali the ritual was offered to the goddess of death. Since Tantrayana school in Indonesia and Bali also used blood as the symbol to provoke strength and power to their opponent and enemies. But this is merely symbol, and it is not specifically mentions that is human blood.

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