There is a unique moment that only occurs once a year in Timbrah customary village, Karangasem, it is known by the inhabitants of this old village as usaba muhu-muhu. This caru ritual brings everyone together with the sharing of a meal known as megibung. This unique tradition involves setting up more than 100 portions of
There is a unique moment that only occurs once a year in Timbrah customary village, Karangasem, it is known by the inhabitants of this old village as usaba muhu-muhu. This caru ritual brings everyone together with the sharing of a meal known as megibung. This unique tradition involves setting up more than 100 portions of food for everyone in the village to partake in.
This year, the unique event took place on Friday (Jan. 27). Before the sacred meal, people from four of the villages hamlets had been busy since morning preparing and processing a wide range of spices. Every hamlet has its respective duties including processing seasonings, grating coconut, preparing caru oblations, and slicing and grilling beef.
Completing the caru oblations paraphernalia for the caru and other ceremonial needs is done by the undagi group. Throughout the day, the community of four hamlets and two sesabu hamlets are busy with the preparations before the implementation of the joint prayers at the main Dalem Temple.
Chief of Timbrah customary village, Wayan Sukerta, said that prior to the implementation of the shared meal, female villagers give pajegan offerings and pray together in the temple. Meawhile the male villagers carry drinking water from their homes for the shared meal.
“This tradition has been ongoing for generations and is a way to foster a sense of togetherness”, said Sukerta. This year however there was a slight change to the way the meal took olace. Whereas in previsou years, the shared meal took lace in four separate pavillions ( the meeting pavilion, the gamelan troue pavilion, the long pavilion and the studio pavilion, this year everyone was gathered together in the wantilan hall of the customary youth club.
These shared meals are processed from the leftover meat from the caru oblations. This event is eagerly awaited by local residents who still live in the village and those who have moved away bt come back especially so they can share a meal with their kinfolk.
More than 100 portions of this shared meal are prepared by residents serving as saya and malun saya in cooperation with the village apparatus. Each gibungan or portion of this shared meals is eaten by six to eight people. “We all eat together after praying together in the central Dalem Temple” said Sukerta.
What about residents who abstain from consuming beef? This is likelyhood is anticipated and so six portions of chicken gibungan are also prepared. “Everyone is expected to enjoy the food offerings called ngelungsur that have been presented. So chicken gibungan is also prepared”, he said.
The usaba muhu-muhu ritual is done as a form of village wide caru in order to transform bhuta kala into bhuta hita so that local residents can always live in harmony with the universe. This traditional event starts with the nyaga ritual. Three days before the usaba-muhu muhu, residents carry out this ritual to transform bhuta kala at a smaller level, so athat people’S courtyards will not be distrurbed. This ritual is also called metuun buah. During the usaba muhu-muhu, a nyomia ritual is performed at a higher level by the customary village using caru oblation made of buffalo as the sacrificial animal.
The Undagi procession that involves the slaughering of a cow for the caru, always draws great attention from surrounding residents. The cow is tied to a concrete pole and is pacified with the indangi procession. However when slaughtered the cow thrashes about makign everyine a little tense. This procession is however safer than a similar ritual known as usaba kaulu that takes place at Asak village, where the cow is released into the village.
The beast is then attacked with swords, machetes and other sharp weapons. Usaba Kaulu will be held on Wednesday (Feb. 1). Sources in the village say that the usaba muhu-muhu tradition is considered as the application of the Shiva Purana scripture, in which Dewi Dhurgha goes up against the demon Mahisasura in the form of cow or buffalo. In recent times, this ritual is commemorated as a moment to conduct introspection, exercise self-control and to avoide letting ones animal nature take over. (gik)