The History Cockfighting in Bali – Tradition

In the life of people in Indonesia, gambling of cockfighting is well known and quite popular with some people in some areas. In Bali, cockfighting known as Tajen, which comes from the word taji which means sharp objects and has grown quite rooted in the life of the people of Bali.

At first “Tajen” is part of religious rituals percussion or prang sata in the Balinese Hindu community.

The Balinese cockfighting or popularly called as Adu Tajen is a cultural shift where the first one is the two coconut fight, where the celebration is available to Hindus in Indonesia, especially in Bali. Head-shoots generally have chicken eggs and cloves as well as the media when holding the ceremony.

Because citizens of Bali are very fond of chicken cockfighting is finally now been widely practiced in any place and not just at the time of the ceremony took place. Even until now the cockfighting ritual again famous among the entire population of Indonesia.

  1. The myth of cockfighting history

In the past, the cockfights were never known by Hindus in Bali. Cockfighting is a cultural shift where originally a ceremony between two coconuts, where the ceremony was present in Hindus in Indonesia, especially in Bali. In the coconut shoot usually have chicken eggs and cloves as a means of ceremony. The origin of this coconut ritual is actually derived from the Mahabharata story, where Kunti’s mother sacrificed one of her children, Bima, to kill the giant who troubled the society at that time.

To commemorate the event, then she sacrificed coconut (coconut shoot) which symbolized the fight between the truth against the crime. On the one hand, Sadewa was also sacrificed by Mother Kunti to kill giants in another place. However, along with the development of the times, there was a change of the ceremony. The coconut shootout is replaced with chicken fight (cockfighting). Because Kunti used lovely son Bima and Sadewa, so if the Balinese want to join the cockfighting they must use their lovely pet.

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  1. During Hindus Kingdom Era

Cockfighting was called ‘Tajen’ which derived from the word of “tabuh rah” which is one of the traditional ceremonies of Hindu society. This ceremony aimed to glorify and harmonize the relationship of human relations with the great Buddha. In this ceremony use some pets to sacrifice the buffalo, pigs, ducks, chickens, and other livestock.

How to sacrifice these animals is by slaughtering the neck of the animal after the mantra recited by the religious leaders. The traditional ceremony that uses the cockfight of Yadnya Prakerti’s cock, the cockfight in this traditional ceremony aims to hold a holy battle and it turns out this tradition has been done since ancient. It is based on Batur inscription and rock inscription in 944 Saka year.

  1. Cockfighting has been used in Tabuh Rah and Tajen since long time a go

In the span of Balinese history, cockfighting has been practiced in Balinese society since the 10th century. Sukawana inscription contains the information of the religious ritual (yadnya) underlying the tajen. Furthermore, in the Inscription Batur Abang (1011) translated pertinent information tajen.

According to Andrik Hendrianto in “Gambling Cockfighting in Bali”, a thesis at the University of Indonesia, the chicken fight does not require permission from the authorities like the king. But this ritual should not be done haphazardly.

At that time, the community put a spur (tajen) or sharp object at the foot of one of the pitted chicken. For other chickens only paired bamboo or wood on his legs. The fight of the chicken in the ritual is called warfare.

The goal is that there is a chicken that died so that his blood soaked the earth. The blood is then mixed with three kinds of colored liquid: white (tuak), yellow (wine), and black (berem). This mixing is a symbol of a reminder that mankind keeps the balance of bhuwana alit (human) with the great bhuwana (universe). This religious ritual is called tabuh rah.

Chicken cockfighting in Tabuh Rah is not the main goal. Chicks just become one way to pour (pour) chicken blood. Thus, the true chicken is not pitted seriously. Tabuh rah can be done without pitting chicken. Instead, one can immediately slaughter his chicken. This information is contained in the Stone Inscription (1022).

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  1. Tajen was not softly legalized in Indonesia

Tajen used to be done in a special place which was an arena equipped with a spectator stage made of bamboo. But since the government’s ban on all forms of gambling in 1981, the tajen is no longer done in that particular place.

The cockfighting of cocks was done clandestinely in the groves of coffee gardens, coconut fields, corn fields, haystacks after harvest, even the most important cemetery angle from the police.

  1. Tajen is abused as gambling

In the past decade the position and role of the tajen have been increasingly prominent and seem to have legitimacy from various societies. Some unscrupulous people beragurmentasi that tajen that was held solely intended for the benefit of development or development of socio-economic life of indigenous peoples.

From the anthropological perspective of law this social phenomenon is the process of decriminalizing the tajen as gambling. Although viewed from the point of religion, especially Hinduism, in a holy book called Wedha never writes to justify the existence of various forms and types of gambling activities.

Those are the history of cockfighting. Although some people misused cockfighting as a gambling, actually it is a holy ritualism in Bali as a form of scarification. Once you visit Bali, it is okay to see the event of cockfighting in Bali. It is a tradition that now still be maintained by some people n Bali. If not, you could also become one of participants in Bali. It would be such a different experience ever.  However, don’t try to make it as a gambling unless you would be arrested by the police in Indonesia.

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