Matekap, a Farming Activity Made into Tourist Attraction

Matekap, a Farming Activity Made into Tourist Attraction

For the people of the Island of Gods, matekap (plowing) by cattle may be an ordinary activity. However, it becomes a tremendous attraction for foreign tourists. They are not only satisfied with capturing through photos, but they also scramble to try it. They are willing to get in touch with mud when trying with local

For the people of the Island of Gods, matekap (plowing) by cattle may be an ordinary activity. However, it becomes a tremendous attraction for foreign tourists. They are not only satisfied with capturing through photos, but they also scramble to try it. They are willing to get in touch with mud when trying with local farmers.

Well, this is the atmosphere of plowing with foreign tourists at Baru village, Marga, Tabanan. In the green paddy field area, tourists can join in the plowing activities to experience the activities of farmers in Bali. When doing it, they are guided by a farmer, so that the cow can pull in accordance with the track. “I do not let them plow alone,” said Ni Putu Supasti, a women farmer offering the plowing attraction.

Tourists wishing to get involved in the plowing activities are firstly invited to sit relaxingly in a simple field hut. Subsequently, they are served with a stamina enhancer drink made of roasted young coconut mixed with egg. They are then given an explanation of the purpose, tools and methods of plowing. After that, tourists are given bamboo steamer-like hat.

At first, the cows are directed to the edge of paddy field, so that tourists can ride on the wooden plow. After sitting, Ni Putu Supasti then tells her cows to walk. The cows walk around the fields. Ni Putu Supasti who follows just keeps talking (sort of sign language) to her cows so as to keep going on the track. In mid-track, the cows stop based on the order of Ni Putu Supasti. Tourists are given the opportunity to capture the moment with their camera.

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With her husband I Made Suparta (Mr. Risa), she has a specialty to turn tourists into a farmer of her own way. After plowing, tourists are invited to start transplanting paddy traditionally. They are introduced how to the process making paddy grain into rice. Similarly, they are invited to catch fish in small pond, climbing coconut trees and picking fruits in paddy field.

Ultimately, tourists are taken to visit organic ornamental plants and Rumah Desa, a community activity of ancient Bali, such as ngelawar (preparing Balinese cuisine) and others. According to Supasti, in a day there are always tourists taking the plowing activity. Yet their amount is uncertain depending on the tourism condition. “There are always tourists wishing to plow every day. They are mostly European tourists as well as those from other countries. Of course, they come with tour guide,” said this mother of two sons.  (BTN/015)



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