Makepung (Buffalo Race)
On Sunday, 10th August 2008, hundreds of people people thronged Babakan field, Kaliakah village, last Sunday. Some people screamed cheering when two couples of buffalo started to run. On the other side, the other people also screamed waiting for the winner from each couple. In this region of Jembrana, this event is still alive.
People call it makepung. This tradition which is a race for buffalos is originally from Jembrana. It is usually joined by the farmers since they absolutely have buffalos to plough their farm. However, other professions may take part in it, provided they have buffalos. Makepung is usually held once in two weeks when farmers have no schedule to plough.
On that day, hundreds couples of buffalo which each couple bounded together with a little carriage have been registered. They are divided into two groups, west and east. The division of the group is measured from the central place. For example, Ijo Gading Bridge is the central point. Then, participants from regions in west of Ijo Gading bridge belong to the west group and vice versa. Each group use different color for flag and t-shirt. For instance, west group wear green t-shirt and uses green flag and east group uses red.
Each of participants has been mated with another participant from another group. There will be two couples of buffalos; a west and an east which are released once in two minutes continually until all of buffalo couple race. Both east and west buffalo race in the same track but start in different position on one line since the track is narrow. Because of they in different position on the same line, they have their own finish position on the line. The winner is the couple of buffalo which get its finish line first. So, it is almost impossible that they pass each other and they don’t need to in order to be win just run as fast as possible; and that how buffalo race goes.
Although watching this race is interesting, you must be careful for several points. Sometimes, the jockey can not control the buffalo well so the s buffalos run to the audiences. It may hurt you so do not stand too close to the race line. Another point is you must prepare your self. This racing buffalo is held on a field it is needed wearing hat to protect you from blazing sun. The combination of dry season, blazing sun and buffalo race makes the field dusty. It is very good if you protect your eyes and nose from the dense dust. Is all ready? If you are ready, then you have to watch a tough buffalo race on the next two weeks at Delod Brawah field, Jembrana.