Pengerebongan: The Mass Trance Ritual
On 2/10/08, the biggest mass ritual trance ritual which is known as Pengerebongan was held in Petilan temple, in Kesiman village Denpasar. Here are some snapshots from the most famous trance dance in the island.
Petilan temple is situated near the palace of Kesiman many people calls this temple, Pengerebongan temple due to the popularity of the pengerebongan trance ritual that is held in this temple. There are many speculations on the origin of the word “Pengerebongan”; the widely accepted origin of this word is the phrase “ngerehang barong” or “recharging the magical power of the Barong” (protective deities in form of mythological beast). This speculation is supported by the fact that many Barong and Rangda from Kesiman and surrounding villages come to participate in the ceremony.
The ritual is held in the morning around 9 am. The ritual is started with tabuh rah ceremony or shedding some blood through a three cockfight matches. After the cockfight is over the temple congregation come to the temple with their Barong and Rangda, the visiting Barongs and Rangdas from surrounding village also come at this stage of ritual. Then the actual Pengerebongan ceremony is started.
The ritual is started in the inner courtyard of the temple with nuwur (summoning the deities) ceremony. During this summoning ceremony dozens of temple congregation will fall into a state of trance. Each tranced congregations is given a kris dagger and led into the middle courtyard to perform encircling the wantilan (prasawia) ritual. During the parade of encircling the wantilan, the tranced congregations stab their chest, throat or stomach with the kris daggers. The kris daggers are bending under the extraordinary strength of the tranced congregations.
After the encircling wantilan ritual is over the tranced congregation are led to the inner courtyard of the temple and brought back into conscious state with the splash of holy water.
Another interesting sight in this ceremony is the presence of priests and priestess in black-and-white checker-patterned (poleng) cloth. They carry sword, spiked wooden club, shield and other weapon. These priests and priestess symbolize the brave Poleng Warriors of Kesiman.
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