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Sanghyang Jaran Dance  

by on Tuesday, 22 September 20093 Comments | 2,274 views


Sanghyang Jaran is a kind of trance dance in which the entranced dancers imitate the the movement of soldier on horseback. It is said that in Sanghyang Jaran dance, the dancers are possessed by ancestral deity, a Gandarwa (celestial soldier) on horseback. The dancers for this sacred dance are usually the Pemangku (temple priest) or a group of chosen men, that are put into trance with wafted of incense and chorus of Sanghyang song. In the state of trance the dancer fall, convulsed to the ground and rush to grab hobby horses. During the pre-trance chanting, coconut shells have been lit, leaving red hot coals.

The entranced dancers leap into the red-hot coals, prancing on top of them, picking up the hot pieces and bathing themselves in fire. The Sanghyangs are accompanied only by a kecak chorus of chanting men. At the end of the dance, the entranced dancer is pacified by the sprinkle of holy water. Sanghyang Jaran is performed in a time of pestilence or disaster. This sacred dance can be found in Denpasar, Badung, Gianyar, and Bangli.

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