Two Balinese males fight using thorny pandanus leaves and rattan shields during a pandanus fighting as part of a Makare-Kare ritual at Tenganan Penggringsingan village, Karangasem. Bali, Indonesia.
Thorny Pandanus Fighting are one of the most important traditional ceremonies for the ethnic community of Tenganan, to honor the God Indra, the Hindu God of War.
Pandanus fighting is also known as pandanus war or pandanus battle tradition or what is often called mekare-kare tradition is a tradition made by the youth to wear a custom cloth Tenganan, bare-chested armed with a bundle of thorny pandan leaves and bamboo shields to protect themselves.
This tradition takes place every year around June, usually for 2 days. Pandanus fighting begins with a ritual ceremony to invoke the safety of surrounding villages, after the war started and then closed pandanus praying at the local temple is equipped with a deliver to dance Rejang.
Mekare-kare usually held in Sasih Kelima ( Balinese calendar ), it is around June and July. The participant could be young, old, or children. No preparation for fighting just one thing, courage. Before the fight begins they drink Tuak, Balinese alcohol drink with sweet taste and sour sensation using the banana leaves. This sacred fight use pandanus, green leaves full of sharp thorns on both side and shield from rattan. No cloths covering the body, they only using sarong. Body injuries but no anger no grudge its part of holy ritual. The Balinese medicine made from turmeric, galangal and vinegar to treat the wounds. After the fighting they sit down together enjoy Balinese food and drink as symbol of togetherness and chumminess or called ” Megibung “.The inhabitants of Tenganan are known as Bali Aga, the natives of Bali, which are believed to have lived in Bali since well before the arrival of the second wave of immigrants. The people of Bali Aga strictly preserves their ancient rituals and traditions as they can not be affected by the hustle bustle of Bali today. The blood shed during the battle ritual symbolizes the people's gratitude toward Indra and to their respected ancestors.
Even the performances are able to attract residents and tourists both local and foreign tourists, especially for photographers. Traditions such as these exist only in the village of Tenganan, Pegringsingan, Karangasem, Bali. The tradition is carried out every once a year is believed to be tradition to do every years.