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Home » Arts & Culture, Religion

A Little Mountain of Rice called Tumpeng  

by on Thursday, 29 May 2008No Comment | 2,274 views

In the paradise island of Bali, when it comes to offering (banten) for the ceremony the Balinese women holds the sway. Balinese women prepare all the offerings (banten) that is needed for the ceremony. If you look at glance you can see that the stuffs called banten consists of various parts and hard to remember all in a few minutes. Each stuff has its own role and function. Sometimes if banten is not complete then traditional ceremony can not be held. There is a stuff named tumpeng which is need in several ceremonies.


Tumpeng is made from rice. Balinese women usually form the rice with their hands and with help of shaper. This shaper is usually created by their hands using coconut leaves. Its shape like cone then obviously rice which is put into it will have the same form and Balinese call it tumpeng. In order to produce tight and firm tumpeng Balinese women should press the rice to the cone using their thumb. Their thumb will be tired when they have to make 100 until 300 tumpeng in each Galungan and Kuningan day.


The small and big tumpeng are different in use. A little tumpeng usually complete the stuff in Galungan day named banten nik-nik. A bigger tumpeng usually use in peras, sesayut, pengambian, and dapetan (this is a set of banten for ceremony named Odalan)


The colors of tumpeng are in accordance with the color of the gods to whom it is offered. When Balinese want to dedicate tumpeng to gods named Wisnu then tumpeng must be black color. White tumpeng is for Siwa or Iswara. Yellow tumpeng is offered to Mahadewa, red tumpeng for Brahma, etc.


Tumpeng is a symbol of prosperity. Then, that is why Balinese use rice to make it since rice is a measurement of prosperity in Bali. Its shape is like mountain which is also a symbol of prosperity. The core of using tumpeng is to thank God for the prosperity given.

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