Bleganjur gamelan music was played. Hundreds of villagers then threw tipat (rice bag) bantal (pillow-like cake) each other. Although, they seemed to mutually reciprocate, between the two camps (people in the north and south) did not keep any revenge. Their throw was not focused on particular person, but to the air above the opposite camp. Although this looked like a war, they cheered each other due to excitement.
It is the atmosphere of the Aci Tabuh Rah Pengangon ritual or often known as the Siat Tipat Bantal at Kapal customary village, Mengwi, Badung district, Thursday (Oct. 5). Hundreds of Kapal customary villagers were involved in the Aci Tabuh Rah Pengangon. In addition to the community, this unique tradition was also attended by the Regional Secretary of Badung district, Wayan Adi Arnawa.
The ritual was followed by all Kapal customary villagers. All the villagers were then divided into two camps, namely the northern camp and southern camp. At first, the two camps held a ceremony in the temple and were then resumed with worship at the outermost courtyard of the Desa/Puseh temple of Kapal. Thousands of tipat and bantal were prepared by the temple apparatus. After dividing them, they were thrown each other like a war accompanied with bleganjur gamelan music.
Chief of Kapal customary village, Ketut Sudarsana, said that Aci Tabuh Rah Pengangon formerly known as perang tipat (tipat war) is an annual ritual having been carried out for generations at Kapal customary village. This tradition is then preserved, so that it is always carried out by the Kapal customary village. “This activity aims to invoke prosperity for all customary villagers of Kapal,” he said.
Aci Tabuh Rah Pengangon has the meaning of offerings or an expression of gratitude before God in his manifestation as Lord Shiva. Aci means ‘offering,’ Tabuh means ‘echoing,’ Rah means ‘power’ and Pengangon is another name of Lord Shiva. “Mutual throw of tipat and bantal is aimed to bring together the symbol of pradhana (female) and purusha (male), resulting in fertility,” he explained.
Ketut Sudarsana asserted that Aci Tabuh Rah Pengangon is held by customary village because all the villages participated to enjoy the welfare. It is bringing together the tipat as symbol of ocean, pradhana (female) and bantal as symbol of mountain, purusha (male). Uniting the ocean and mountain is believed to be able to create life. “Two different things will present a life that can produce a good life,” he said.
Tipat and bantal thrown are not to target the opponent’s body but to make them both merge in the air and then fall to the ground. This symbolizes the rendezvous of purusha and pradhana which then produces a seed of life. Remnants of the scattered tipat and bantal are the collected again. Those remaining intact are distributed back to residents for consumption, while the infeasible ones are distributed to residents to be scattered in paddy fields and used as animal feed. It is meant to invoke a good life seed for residents, animals and plants.
Sudarsana explained the tradition was started to be implemented in 1339. It marked the arrival of prime minister of Singasari dynasty in Bali, namely Ki Kebo Waruya. He received a mandate from the Balinese King named Asta Sura Ratna Bumi Banten to renovate the Purusada Temple at Kapal village. When arriving at Kapal, his heart was touched when seeing the condition of local village experiencing famine season.
Seeing such condition, he then invoked to deity abiding at Purusada Temple in order to bestow his graces. After applying for it, he was given instructions to perform the aci or ritual dedicated to Lord Shiva by means of tipat and bantal followed by all the Kapal customary villagers.