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Behind Pagerebongan Ceremony  

by on Saturday, 23 February 20082 Comments | 2,061 views

Pangerebongan is a traditional ceremony that aims to protect people especially for them who live around of Kesiman village from disease, disasters, and others bad things. Most people of Kesiman pu much faith in the efficacy of Pegerebongan ceremony that is the reason why Pangerebongan is held. Other people do not know this reason. Surprisingly, they, who do not know the reason, keep this ritual alive by come and join to this ritual.

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Rangda

Some people who know the myth clearly enough said that the story began from a long time ago. Once upon a time “Ratu Gede Mecaling” with his followers which are formed as Rangda, Barong, and others form came to Kesiman Village. Ratu Gede who is described as big, with dark skin and canines commanded his followers to spread pestilence to this village.

On that time many people of Kesiman died. They were really suffered. Even more one banjar (a ward or hamlet), named Cerancam, suffered most from the plague. Denpasar was so mess up.

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Barong

Then, one of Hindus cleric asked people of Kesiman to create the replicas of the Ratu Gede’s followers. The purpose is Ratu Gede and his followers would be afraid come to the Kesiman and went back to the place where they came from.

Those replicas are treated well and a time for them to dance is settled and Pengerebongan is the time. In the afternoon, first of all Barong and Rangda are adorned. Next, people who animate the Barong and Rangda get trance. In the meantime, dozens of the followers of the Barong and Rangda also fall into trance. They, the entranced people, are provided with the keris dagger and directed by the priest to encircle bale wantilan (a building which is located in centre of Pura Dalem Pangrebongan-where pangrebongan take place) from two direction, right and left.

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The entranced people, are provided with the keris dagger.

Taking two directions in encircling the wantilan shows the Balinese concept that there are always two sides in this world named rwa-bhineda. Encircling from right described that they respect of the positive power that bring goodness, in contrast walking from left indicate they also respect of the negative power that cause damage. They try to harmonize those two sides.

Meanwhile, tajen (Cockfighting) is held. Ni Wayan Nambrig, one of women in Kesiman, said that government had ever tried to forbid tajen because according to the government tajen is a gambling activity. Three times police forbade tajen three times they got calamities. As a result tajen is held until now. Well, people of Kesiman really put so much faith in Pagerebongan and they keep taking care the ceremony as a binder of the society. No wonder, the integrity of these people tight up.

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Material for this writing are taken from I Gusti Kt. Gde Arsana’s thesis “ Fungsi Upacara Ngerebong Bagi Masyarakat Desa Kesiman”
Interview with Ni Wayan Nambrig, 83 years old.

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