Repel Calamities, Residents of Sema Agung Do Melasti with Tektekan

Repel Calamities, Residents of Sema Agung Do Melasti with Tektekan

There are always unique things under the skies of Bali Island. Melasti procession held by residents of Sema Agung customary village, Tusan, Banjarangkan, Klungkung, to Tegal Besar Beach, Negari Village, on Tuesday (Apr. 11), looked different from the usual. It happens because the residents carried tektekan (bamboo split drum) and put on a hat of

There are always unique things under the skies of Bali Island. Melasti procession held by residents of Sema Agung customary village, Tusan, Banjarangkan, Klungkung, to Tegal Besar Beach, Negari Village, on Tuesday (Apr. 11), looked different from the usual. It happens because the residents carried tektekan (bamboo split drum) and put on a hat of green coconut leaves with the aim of rejecting calamities. This procession was held in a series of ngusaba desa at local village.

While cheering, people hit the bamboo along the road leading to the beach so that generates tektekan sound believed by citizens as the gong of the gods. They also believe that tektekan is used to dismiss calamities or a kind of ritual to dismiss pest and diseases. But in keeping with the passage of time, the use of tektekan is equipped with bamboo fire blower and gamelan.

“Historically, this tradition has been indeed inherited from past time. According to our senior figures, in the past the tektekan was trusted to dismiss calamities like in the nangluk merana ritual,” said the priest of Dalem Penyarikan Puseh Bale Agung Temple of Sema Agung, Ketut Purna, not long ago. He told there are 75 pieces of tektekan brought by residents. They are created at people’s home. Once completed, they are collected at Dalem Penyarikan Temple to be ritually activated (pasupati).

The making of such bamboo split drum or tektekan is done in turn by customary villagers. Currently, the tektekan is made by residents of Kawan hamlet, while the ritual is organized by Kanginan hamlet. More specifically, Jro Mangku Purna said the melasti procession is started by residents by gathering at the intersection of Sema Agung. After that, the residents venerating the deities head to Ulunsuwi Temple and Dalem Setra.

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From Dalem Setra, they proceed to Dalem Penyarikan at Puseh Bale Agung Temple. At this temple, devotees say prayers together and invoke purificatory holy water. The procession is done to ward off pests or eliminate calamities or disaster at village such as diseases and epidemics.

Residents walk along five kilometers to the beach and resume the melasti procession to Tegal Besar Beach. A few people are in trance from the road to Tegal Besar Beach. After sprinkled with holy water, the devotees in trance then regained their consciousness. Arriving back from melasti procession to the beach, the deities spun clockwise at the boundaries of Sema Agung customary village. Next, the deities were enthroned at Melanting Temple.

“After the deities are enthroned at Melanting Temple, the following day, Wednesday (Apr. 12) the deities dance, and the ritual then comes to an end on the Penampahan Kuningan,” said Jro Mangku Purna.

According to Jro Mangku Purna, after carrying out melasti the tektekan is put at the temple. It is allowed to be taken home by residents after the closing ceremony at the Dalem Penyarikan. Tektekan can also be used for the next year in the same ceremony. But if broken, it can be replaced with the new one by the residents and activated. “In the 1970s, the deities of Dalem Penyarikan performed melasti procession to the beach, while the face of companion is smeared with char. However, it is rarely done today,” he said.

Jro Mangku Purna also recognized that melasti procession by using tektekan is once abolished due to coinciding with Nyepi celebration. As a result, it brought in plague. Many plants belonging to residents were attacked by pests. So, the use of tektekan in the melasti procession is held back abruptly and then regularly held every year coinciding with the full moon in the Balinese tenth month. “At that time, our residents immediately held a melasti procession by using tektekan. Thus, the ritual lasted till night,” added Jro Mangku Purna. (BTN/kmb)

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