Mekotekan Ritual

Munggu village in the afternoon, hundreds of men–young and old, walking to the pura Desa (temple of the village). They carry a lumber of Pulet tree with approximately length 3.5 meters. Today is Kuningan holy day, people from 12 sub village in Munggu will carry out Mekotekan, an avert evil ritual tradition. All participants begin with sprinkle of holy water by the temple priest which pray for smooth process of Mekotekan ritual ceremony which will perform in next few minutes.

A group of men who wear traditional Bali clothing then formed a small group and make a circle formation. The top edge of lumber affixed to one another to form a conical mound. One of the men then climb up the triangular mound of the lumber, stand up on it, meanwhile other group do the same. These two groups then try to get closer to each other as they seem do the “battle”. The battle did not last long as formation of the lumber cannot be keep too long. The battle over as lumber formation falls down and the triangular mound disunited. Even though the man on top may get injured, he seems enjoy this ritual as Mekotekan has been exist since 1934 and became tradition of Munggu village since 1946.

There are two version about the history of Mekotekan. According to Ida Pedanda Gede Sidemen Pemaron, Mekotekan ritual related to Raja (king) IV Cokorda Nyoman Munggu from Puri Agung (palace of) Munggu who govern Mengwiraja territory. One day in the past, Yeh Penet river was flooding and floot off a shrine which then be stuck fast at the root of Jepun Sudamala tree. The king heard about this and order his men to retrieve it.

At the same time, one of the villagers was in trance and declared himself as a represent of Ida Betari (goddess of) Ulun Danu Beratan  and told people to build a temple dedicated to Ida Betara (god) Luhur Sapu Jagat, guardian god of Mengwiraja.  He also told that they will find chunks of iron to make kingdom’s weapons and holy stones which should be keep in the temple.

All words from the man comes true when the ground had dug. They found tamiang (guard) shape stone and  iron weapons. The king ordered his blacksmith to make keris and spear.

Three months later after all weapons had been blessed, on Kuningan holy day, all men from Munggu village had performed a battle scene and since then this Mekotekan have been performing on Kuningan day  and became tradition in Munggu village.

Other version as told by Ketut Kormi—custom leader of Munggu village, is Mekotekan which have been performing by community in Munggu village from generation to generation, is related with the expansion trip of the King of Munggu to Blambangan. On the way back to the village, the kingdom troops had merrily celebrate victory from the battle field by lifting the spear upwards. As they were too excited, some of their body got pierced by the spears and get injured.

In his meditation,  the king got instructions to perform Mekotekan ritual in order he can heal his troops wounds quickly and also to chase away the plague which may come in Munggu village.

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