Siat Sampian – symbolic war

A few days before the ‘symbolic’ war, hundreds of women, carrying tall offerings (banten) on their heads, walk four kilometers to the temple.

Balinese women walking to the temple

Balinese women walking to the temple

The women are all dressed in the same coloured traditional clothing as they walk along roads closed to traffic.

Colourful traditional Balinese costumes

Colourful traditional Balinese costumes

They elegantly enter the temple gates at Samuan Tiga and walk down the steps, still balancing the heavy banten on their heads.

Entering the temple

Entering the temple

As the offerings get lined up inside the temple, you can clearly see the different fruit and pink and white cakes – the cakes also come in other bright colours too and the banten are laced with young coconut leaves and flowers for decoration.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese photos were taken over two days that I attended – of the eleven day festival!

The people kneel on the floor for the ceremony. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe temple is beautifully decorated with yellow and white material and umbrellas as well as black, white, yellow and red umul umuls (like tall flags).

Beautifully decorated temple

Beautifully decorated temple

Here a young boy is carrying the red umul umul.

Carrying the umul umuls

Carrying the umul umuls

Dressed in white, the women perform a sacred dance

Sacred dance

Sacred dance

And then, for Siat Sampian, they use arrangements of young coconut leaves.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASiat Sampian is hard to translate but effectively means symbolic fighting with coconut leaves and this only happens in this particular temple (although the Pandan Wars will happen later this month in the Bali Aga village of Tenganan – but that is different).Then the men, at least 300 of them, also dressed in white, start their performances/rituals…

300 men run around the temple

300 men run around the temple

After linking hands and running around the temple the 300+ men pick up the young coconut leaves and start the ‘symbolic war’.

Siat Sampian

Siat Sampian

Here they are using long poles in a warrior style dance format (similar to Baris Gede). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASamuan Tiga is where groups from different faiths gathered together a 1000 years ago and came up with the idea of the 3 village temples (Pura Puseh, Pura Desa and Pura Dalem) – that satisfied each group and are still in every village (Desa) of Bali today.

There was more… but you have to ask me about it if you’re interested.

Once again, I felt very privileged and grateful to be able to attend such a special event.

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2 Comments

  1. kuatarina mount

     /  19/06/2013

    Great pictures, Julie x

    Reply

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