Barong Brutuk - The Mystic Dance was Given the Fertility

Barong is a lion-like creature and character in the mythology of Bali, Indonesia. He is the king of the spirits, leader of the hosts of good. Bali has many kind of Barong, one of them is Barong Brutuk. This is unique Barong performed that must you know.

Barong Brutuk is a rarely performed ritual and then only in the Bali Aga village of Trunyan. This rarely dance is performed in Purnamaning Sasih Kapat (one day before full moon on October) and conducting at Pancerin Jagat Temple. The local people believe that they are the original Balinese as they were there before Majapahit migration from Java began in 1340.

Only youths are allowed to participate in the dance and they have to be chosen, then purified and spend 42 days in quarantine. The dancers wear a mask made from a coconut shell and ‘coats’ of keraras or banana leaves that have been dried and bring the whips. Each wears two or three sets of clothing from banana leaves, some hung on the waist and others partly on the shoulder, under the neck. There are 21 masks of Barong Brutuk that represent a king, a queen, a knight, the queen's brother and other members of the household.

The Barong Brutuk ceremony usually lasts for three consecutive days beginning at noon and ends around 5 pm Poultry was abundant in the area around Trunyan so the dancers mimic the behavior of wild partridge. They duck their heads, swooping, pecking and moving their hips, clawing the ground and making as if to attack each other while flapping their wings.

Some people run around the temple around passers-by attempt to steal the leaves while the young men carry whips to beat off their ‘assailants’. If we are exposed to whip it means we have a non-medical illness. As each day ends the dancers lay down in the shade of the temple. They are offered gifts of fruits, flowers, and sweet pastries which remain uneaten. Spectators suggest swapping the offerings for cigarettes and when they get close enough they try to steal a leaf. Banana leaves that are stolen are believed to be a lucky charm and aid fertility.
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