Buffalo races, locally called Makepung in West Bali are a thrilling spectacle that captivates both locals and tourists alike. These races showcase the unique cultural heritage of the region and the special bond between the farmers and their buffaloes. The thunderous sound of hooves pounding the ground and the adrenaline-filled atmosphere make for an unforgettable experience. Witnessing these majestic creatures galloping with grace and power is a testament to the rich traditions of Bali. Not to be missed next time you visit us. They are at only 30 mn drive from Dajuma.
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If you haven’t seen this incredible show yet, be sure to do so the next time you visit us, because it’s so worth it. 25 km from Dajuma, in a verdant setting of rice paddies by the sea at Delod Berawah, imagine a gathering of specially bred – one should rather say pampered – buffaloes ready to compete in a race led by fearless jockeys encouraged by a joyful and colorful crowd. It is this typical tradition of West Bali that our clients Henning and Inez have chosen to discover this last Sunday. A nice souvenir of holidays to immortalize in unforgettable photos.
Would you like to live an amazing experience with Dajuma? It is about the famous buffalo races called Mekepung, typical of West Bali. Jembrana and some other areas in Bali try to develop tourism from their village potential attractions. This is what the community do in Manistutu Village (one of the village in West Bali, Jembrana). They decided to promote a new version of Mekepung called Mekepung Lampit, where the race takes place not on a special track made of sand but in the mud, in the rice field exactly. It aims to show that Mekepung was originally inspired by the farmer activity in the rice field. This new event is planned to be held regularly next year.
We already announced the 2019 schedule in our February post. Since then, 2 major competitions took place. The last one will be on November 17th, crowned by the Jembrana Regent’s Cup. Imagine a circular 500 meters circuit in the middle of the rice fields where especially trained buffalos are driven by local farmers riding traditional wooden ploughs just slightly modified. Each event last around 5 hours from the preparation up to the bathing of the buffalos in the sea (or river) after the competition. This is what is shown on the picture where our guests, family Cummings from the USA, shared this rare moment with the local villagers. The next season will start in the middle of July 2020 but in between, there will be some training sessions. Welcome anytime!
Sunday, July 28th, particularly appreciated by our guests, was the second championship of Makepung (Buffalo Race) of this season (the first was held on July 14th). Makepung races become a tradition for Jembrana, the regency of West Bali. There are some unique facts behind it: 1) Only selected Buffalos which are strong and healthy can participate. They get special training and care by the owner such as special herbs drinks (Jamu). Buffaloes cannot be used to plow ricefields or other activities, 2) Championship or training cannot be held on full moon or new moon, 3) A special ceremony for the buffaloes is held before the championship, 4) The winner is not determined by the participant who reaches the finish line the fastest but by the distance that was successfully made.
A unique event not to be missed next time you visit us!
The competition calendar of this picturesque attraction of West Bali has just been published by the authorities of the regency of Jembrana. Called Makepung, the buffalo races take place in the rice fields on a course of about 500 m. Hundreds of pairs of buffaloes are teamed up together with their jockeys who ride the traditional wooden ploughs that are slightly modified for the competition. The Makepung races usually start early mornings at 07:30 with dozens of pairs of buffaloes participating. Another hundred or so take part in the ‘fashion’ parade. The races last for five hours, with the buffaloes divided into three racing divisions. This year they lead up to 3 finals, known as the Governor Cup (14 Jul 2019), the Bupati Cup (22 Sept 2019) and finally the Jembrana Regent’s Cup (17 Nov 2019).
Our guests love participating in these events because it is a rare moment of sharing with the local villagers and farmers. The bath of the buffaloes in the sea after the competition is really something to see. A unique opportunity to take very nice pictures.
Jembrana, the West Bali Regency, is now famous with the Jegog music (Bamboo Orchestra) and the Mekepung (Buffalo Races). But it also has some dances that were originally created by local Jembrana’s artists. These original dances are Luihing Paksi Dance, Mekepung Dance and Cempaka Putih Dance.
Luihing Paksi Dance is inspired by the white starling bird (Jalak Bali), that can only be found in West Bali. It stories about the wildlife of starling bird in the jungle, which plays and flies from one tree to another. This dance is accompanied by Jegog and vocal instruments from the musicians.
Jembrana also has Mekepung Dance which is inspired by the Buffalo Race attractions. This is a new dance creation that reflects the process of the buffalo race, from its preparation and race itself. This dance also accompanied by Jegog Instrument.
The icon of Jembrana’s dance is Cempaka Putih Dance, Cempaka (Magnolia) is one of the flower in Bali. This dance depicts the beauty and fragrant of the white cempaka flower which become one of the means of ceremony or worship of Hindu people. Cempaka Putih dance is accompanied by Jegog music, mixed with metal music instrument (gamelan) and vocal instrument as well. Don’t miss to discover these 3 pearls of West Bali culture on the occasion of your next stay with us!
This emblematic animal from Bali is used to take a bath every day in the river close to Dajuma. Driven to the river by our neighbor farmer they spend quite a long time in the water with their babies. Just by looking at them, we can see how good they feel. The farmer says that « it is a tradition in Bali to bath the buffalos because they like it and feel good after. And a buffalo feeling good is a buffalo who works well ». Next time you go strolling on the West beach in the direction of Medewi surfing spot just before sunset, don’t miss this spectacle : it is really something to see !
Last week was the final championship of Mekepung “Buffalo Race” for this season. To end up the buffalo race season last sunday, the government invited the competitors to something new: the “Mekepung Lampit” or buffalo race in the mud. The one and only in 2017 has been gathering 38 participants. Next year the government will hold Mekepung Lampit in several times. On the picture a “Young Jockey » looks like the guardian of the culture and tradition of West Bali by learning the spirit of buffalo race.
Jembrana’s Buffalo races are one of the major attractions in West Bali. This tradition takes place only during dry season. The racing buffaloes, called Kerbau Pepadu, and their carts have been carefully decorated for weeks by farmers. Wearing silk banners and wooden bells, and having their horns painted, buffaloes will have to face a 2 kilometers race. Competitors are divided in two groups coming from opposite sides of the river. They are easily recognizable: North river group wearing red colors and South river group wearing green ones. Farmers come to race for honor, pride and the trophy, rather than for money. Thus it is both a colorful show and an exciting competition that can gather more than 250 pairs of buffaloes. The opening race will take place on July 17th!
|1||July 17th, 2016||Awen|
|2||July 31th, 2016||Berawah|
|3||August 14th, 2016||Kaliakah|
|4||August 28th, 2016||Mertasari|
|5||September 11th, 2016||Pangkung Dalem|
|6||Septembre 25th, 2016||Delod Berawah|
|7||October 9th, 2016||Tuwed|
|8||Octobre 23th, 2016||Mertasari|
|9||November 6th, 2016||Awen|
|10||November 20th, 2016||Delod Berawah (Jembrana Cup)|
Puri Dajuma is ideally located to enjoy a specific entertainment from the Jembrana regency: the buffalo races, called « Mekepung ».
On a basis of two races a week during the dry season, it is great to attend this beautiful and colorful show, after getting up early as it is over at 10.30.
Every team, from the driver in balance on the painted wooden yoke, to the buffaloe harnesses, is finely decorated.
Yesterday took place the final race, the most important of the year with one hundred competitors after selection.
The winner received the cup and awards including money from the Jembrana Bupati’s hands.
As the track is close to the sea, it is also great to see the buffaloes pampered by the farmers, then bathing in the shining ocean of the west coast.
A genuine popular atmosphere all along, where the photographers are used to shoot memorable pictures.