Makepung, Buffalo Racing

Makepung, Buffalo Racing at Jembrana Bali – Makepung or buffalo racing is a unique tradition that only exists in Jembrana Regency which is located on the western tip of Bali Island. This tradition is similar to the bull race in Madura. The difference is that the animal used in Makepung is not a cow, but a buffalo. In Bali, a cow which is a vehicle of Lord Shiva is considered a sacred animal.

Makepung, Buffalo Racing
Makepung, Buffalo Racing

This tradition was originally just a fraudulent activity of the farmers who carried out on the sidelines of the activity of plowing the fields in the harvest season. At that time, the farmers competed quickly by spurring buffalo which was attached to a cart and controlled by a jockey.

This habit is then much in demand by various groups and then develops into a very interesting cultural tradition. Many local and foreign tourists come to see Makepung. This buffalo fast race became a routine tourist agenda and was professionally managed.

Unique Tradition

The tradition of Makepung buffalo racing which has been growing and developing in Jembrana since the 1930s is somewhat unique. The male buffalo which will be used in the race is bathed and decorated in very attractive colors. In pairs, the buffalo pulls a ring and is controlled by a jockey.

The track used in a U-shaped race is about 2 kilometers long. The track is muddy like a rice field area.

Makepung is usually held from July to October or coincides with the main harvest. This buffalo race is not an individual race but a group. There are 2 groups clashing. Each group consists of 10 to 20 pairs of buffalo. Two pairs of buffalo from 2 groups that competed will compete quickly in the race track.

To determine participants who are considered to have won a unique criterion. The winner of the race is not only determined by which participant reaches the finish line, but is also determined by the distance between participants. This is because the start is not done in one line, but different distances, for example 10 meters.

If the participant who starts at the front is able to increase the distance when finished, he wins. Conversely, the participant who starts behind will win the race if he succeeds in shortening the distance with the opponent in front of him when finishing.

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