Craft&Culture


    The Mongah Dance

      5-2-2018
     

    The Mongah Dance

    The Mongah is being constructed.

    The Mongah Dance

    The Mongah Dance

    The Mongah Dance

    The Mongah Dance

    The Baris dance is commenced before the Mongah dance.

    The Mongah Dance

    The Mongah Dance

    The Mongah dance performance.
    The Mongah Dance
    The Mongah is being constructed.

    The Mongah Dance

    The Mongah Dance

    The Mongah Dance

    The Mongah Dance
    The Baris dance is commenced before the Mongah dance.

    The Mongah Dance

    The Mongah Dance
    The Mongah dance performance.

    Watching a sacred Balinese dance to celebrate harvest time...

    Once every two years on the first day of the Sasih Kapat (the fourth month in the Balinese calendar), or a day after Tilem (dead moon) on the third month, the people of Bunutin Village hold the Wali Panguangan ceremony, a sacred tradition to celebrate harvest time. At the same time, they also host Nangluk Merana, a ritual where they pray for their farm to be free from pests and for all the villagers to be safe from any kind of catastrophe.

    Located about 600 to 960 meters above the sea level in Kintamani in the Bangli region, the Bunutin Village can be reached from the Bayung Gede intersection to the direction of Belancan or through the Payangan Village in Gianyar to the direction of Manik Liyu. According to the village chief, I Made Subrata, most of the villagers plant oranges, and that’s why this village is known as one of the biggest orange producers in the Kintamani area. Oranges from Bunutin Village are famous for their quality, as well as their juicy and sweet flavor. And just like the rest of the Balinese villages nestled on the foot of the mountain, the Bunutin Village also holds on to the “Ulu Apad” system, a traditional community structure with Jro Kubayan as the leader who will conduct the Wali Penguangan ceremony.

    Wayan Rungu, another key member of the village, also explained that the villagers hold two ceremonies that are similar to that of the Balinese Silent Day. The first one is the Nyepi Desa where the people must restrain from doing any kind of activities for a day, just like on the big Silent Day that is celebrated throughout Bali to commemorate the New Year of Saka. The second one is Nyepi Tegal where they are restricted from going to the farm or field. In the old days, Nyepi Tegal or also known as Nyepi Uma (farm) used to be held in almost every village in Bali when the rice grain began to bloom. But now, only a number of villages still host this tradition.

    The Big Day
    A day prior to the big ceremony, the villagers hand in hand prepare everything, including butchering beef meat for offerings and for food. On that day, the young men start to make Mongah – a kind of an effigy made of bamboo construction covered with leaves – at the front yard of the village temple. The bamboo constructions are created as big as the body of the young men that will pull the Mongah. Different kind of leaves, mostly ferns, are gathered from the nearby forest for decoration.

    The young men divided themselves into several groups, depending on the number of the Mongah that needs to be built. All of the bamboo constructions have to be covered with leaves, except for a small part at the front for the dancers to peek as they dance. The next morning, the women and the teen girls have to bring offerings of fruits and traditional light bites to the village temple where the ceremony takes place.

    It is almost afternoon when the village temple is full of the villagers as well as people from outside of Bunutin Village who have come to see the ceremony. The ritual starts with a prayer led by a local priest, and at about 12 p.m. the dancing performances commence. The Rejang Dance and Pependetan are performed by the village girls, followed by several Baris Dances that symbolize birds as farm pests and the villagers’ strive to frighten them away – the Baris Dance includes the Truna Baris, the Juntal Baris and the Jojor Baris. And just before the Jojor Baris dancers finish their performance, the Mongah dancers suddenly enter the temple area, taking over the ‘stage’ from the Baris dancers.

    The Mongah dancers keep on running around while dancing, and once in a while they try to approach and tease the audience, but the pecalang (the Balinese village officers) get in their way. After about 10 minutes, the dancers start to act tired and dance their way out of the temple area. To end the ritual, the villagers then hold another prayer at the temple.

    The Bunutin Villagers believe that Mongah is a part of “Nyomya”, a belief to neutralize negative impacts in their daily lives, including the ones caused by pests. And this is why it is important to preserve this dance from generation to generation.

     

     
    I Nengah Januartha

       Contributor : I Nengah Januartha


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