Tenganan is one of several ancient villages in Bali, which is usually called “Bali Aga”. There are some versions of story telling us the history of Tenganan village. Some say that the word Tenganan was derived from the word “tengah” or “ngatengahang” which means “move to the inner area”.
This derivation of word was having a relation with the movement of the villagers from the seaside to a rural area, in which the position of this village is in the middle of hills, that are western hill (Bukit Kauh) and eastern hill (Bukit Kangin).
Another version reveals that the people of Tenganan came from Peneges village, located in Gianyar, precisely near Bedahulu. Based on the folklore, once upon a time Bedahulu King lost one of his horses.
The people looked for it to the east and the horse was finally found dead by Ki Patih Tunjung Biru, the King’s right hand. For his loyalty, the King finally gave Ki Patih Tunjung Biru an authority to govern the land as far as the aroma of the carrion of the horse can be smelled.
Ki Patih was an intelligent person, so he cut the carrion into pieces and spread it as far as he could. Thus he received a quite large area.
Tenganan is charming and has some very fascinating authentic traditional festival (ritual dances and gladiator) like Bali Aga of Tenganan often holds the battle between local youths.
The people of Tenganan are skilled in the unique technique of weaving, called the ‘double ikat’, where the belief in the magical power of the fabric is essential in bringing out the beauty of the ikat cloth.
Tenganan Village presenting the unique traditional culture
The specification of tourism object at Tenganan Village is consisted of:
- Countrified pattern of rural having the character of Linear
- The structure of bilateral society orientation at seniority collective
- Special Ritual System in high frequency by serving the religion solidarity, artistically and social mechanical solidarity
- The tradition of Mekare-Kare on every June is a faith tradition as the screw pine in ritual context, religion value, spirit of struggle and test of physical delaying accompanied by traditional gamelan of Selonding
- The Art Crafting Weave of cloth fastens which is famous called by Ikat Pangringsingan that is designed and arranged by the typical color.
Tenganan Pegeringsingan is situated at Manggis district, approximately 65 km from Denpasar (the International Airport of Bali). It is near Candidasa and can be easily reached by public or private vehicles.
As an ancient village, Tenganan Pegeringsingan is identical with religious activities. Many temple festivals performed in this village that attract visitors to come. The most famous one is “Mekare-kare” or “Perang Pandan”. This is a ceremonial fight or war using thorny pandanous leaves as the weapon. This festival usually takes place in relation to the celebration of “Sasih Kelima” or the fifth Balinese month. Many other uniqueness of custom and
Perang Pandan originally was a war dance or practice of self-defense which is also introduced by the rest of the world’s ethnics in its different form and fashion. The only thing in Bali is that almost all dances are considered as the requirement of a ritual.
For makare-karean war dance there is no rule of fighting, except the dance is given more to younger generation.
The term “ fighters “ may more appropriate name to designate perang pandan instead of a dancer. The fighters bring in hand sharp edged pandanus leaves, while the other hand holds bamboo or rattan woven body shield to protect the body from the provocation of opponent. One person acts only as a referee.
The fight resulted the scratch on the skin by thorny pandanus leaves and caused the bleeding. No one is safe from the scratch of the pandanus leaves after the fighting, the only smaller or wider scratches. After the fighting the ritual leader gives the scratch oil made from herbal medicine, and spread holy water to the fighters. No heart feeling among fighters, and they all sit together to have meals on banana leaves.
It is a very famous village throughout Bali where most of the local people knows where it is located. It is located in Karangasem Regency and close to Candidasa. You can find many travel agencies serve the tour to visit this village and you may join Karangasem Tour which you will discover places of interest in east part of Bali including this village.