Balitraveldiary.com – One of the unique traditions in Bali, especially in the village of Bali Aga Tenganan, is war pandan (mekare-kare) or mageret pandan. Mekare-kare is a ceremony in the form of war using thorny pandanus leaves as weapons and shields made from rattan.
Mecare-curry rituals are part of the ceremony of sambah, performed at the fifth sasih (5th month) according to the local village calendar. This ceremony is usually held in front of Bale Patemu, starting at 14.00. Residents who attended this traditional ceremony came wearing Tenganan traditional clothes.
Men wear traditional clothing, consisting of sarong, shawl, and headband, and without wearing clothes or only shirtless.
While the women wear typical clothes Tenganan in the form of woven fabric Pegringsingan. Before the top event began, all participants toured the village to beg for safety.
The men then fight one on one. As the name suggests, the weapon used in this war ritual is a thorny pandanus that is bound 25 to 30 cm long. This pandan is a symbol of a club. The participants also brought a shield made of rattan.
This “war” must be followed by all men who are considered adults in Tenganan Village. The implementation is carried out in rotation for approximately three hours. Each round lasts about 3 minutes. After one round is finished, the other pair will take turns entering to do the duel.
During the war, participants stood face to face one on one. Each participant carries a bunch of pandan leaves in his right hand and a shield in his left hand. A referee is in the middle of the two participants.
When on cue began, the two participants immediately attacked each other by hugging each other while hitting pandanus on the opponent’s back. While being beaten, the pandanus was also shaken. That is why this ritual is also called the mageret pandan ceremony.
I can’t imagine how painful it was when the pandan thorns hurt the participant’s back. However, herein lies the guts of each participant tested. Mekare-kare is accompanied by gamelan music to spur the spirit.
Although laden with violence, this duel is not just a champion event. There is no revenge between those who compete. After the fight is over, the people do megibung, the tradition of eating together. The pandanus war participants treat wounds that arise with traditional ingredients.
Wounds on the body affected by the pandanus leaf spines are treated with a liquid (boreh) made from a type of plant tuber, such as Lengkuwas (Isen) and turmeric (turmeric). Lengkuwas and turmeric are shredded. The results of the grater are mixed with vinegar.
The cut is then applied to the injured body part. At first it was very painful, but did not last long. After the medicinal herbs seep to dry, the scars from the war of pandanus become dry too. The wound will heal without any trace. The tradition that is still maintained today is a form of ritual worship of the Tenganan people to Indra, the god of war.