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Home » Arts & Culture, Dance, Drama & Music, Religion

Finally, The Real Sanghyang Dedari  

by on Monday, 26 May 2008One Comment | 1,128 views

Tomorrow evening, 05/27/08, the real Sanghyang dedari dance will be held in Bukit Buluh Temple, in Banjar Gunaksa (Gunaksa hamlet), Ababi village, Karangasem regency. When I say the “real Sanghyang Dedari” what I refer to is not the popular Sanghyang Dedari dance that is staged for tourist consumption in Batubulan or other tourism resort. The Sanghyang Dedari that will be performed tomorrow is a ritual that is performed to exorcise the plague or pestilence.

Here is some information in relation with Sanghyang Dedari: Sanghyang Dedari is a sacred dance which can be found Badung, Gianyar and Bangli regency. This sacred dance is used to ward the pestilence or plague which swept Bali when the fanged demon living on the little island of Nusa Penida comes to Bali. Two dancers are chosen from all the girls of the village for their psychic aptitudes by the temple priest, to receive the spirit of heavenly nymphs, Dedari Supraba and Tunjung Biru (Blue Lotus). At the death temple, the Sanghyang Dedari dancers in white skirts kneel before a brazier of smoking incense in front of the altar.

During a trance ceremony, the priest makes offerings to the temple deity, requesting protection for the village. A chorus of women is seated in a circle around them, singing the Sanghyang song, which asks the celestial nymphs to descend from heaven and dance before the people through the girls’ bodies and incense is wafted about them.

The girls rock back and forth in a trance until they fall, and the women remove their white skirts, replace them with gilt one, place holy head-dresses with fresh frangipani flowers decorations on their heads and gently lift them to the men’s shoulders. Then the Sanghyangs are carried to another temple or tour the village to ward the pestilence. The Sanghyangs stand and dance a kind of legong style with their eyes closed as if they were in a dream on the shoulder of the carriers.

Though their eyes are shut, their movements are in perfect unison. The temperamental Sanghyangs may suddenly decide that the dance is over. Then they must be taken out of trance with more songs and offerings. They distribute the flower from their headdresses as amulets and sprinkle the crowd with holy water. The ceremony last for two or three hours.

We plan to watch and take some pictures of this Sanghyang Dedari, tomorrow. Hopefully, we will get some nice pictures so we can share it with you in a day or two.

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  • One Comment »

    • Kendra said:

      hi there,

      i am very much (scientifically) interested in the sanghyang dedari, and actually this is the only one i heard of that was staged in the ritual context later then the 1970s… did it really take place? did you watch it? take photographs? if so, please share some more information! thanks!

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