Trunyan is a village located in the crater area of Mount Batur that is inhabited by the Bali Mula. The Bali Mula are the original inhabitants of Bali who believe their ancestors descended directly from heaven, while the ancestors of the mainland Balinese migrated from Java bringing Majapahit Hindusim to the island.
October 2014 was an auspicious time for the Bali Mula to hold the Saba Gede temple ceremony for their gods. The celebration was held for one month, ending with the Barong Brutuk performance. Brutuk is derived from the words baru tuwuk, meaning ‘to meet.’ This performance symbolizes the meeting between Ratu Ayu Pingit Dalem Dasar and Ratu Sakti Pancering Jagat, who are believed to be the ancestors of the Trunyan people.
In Trunyan mythology, Ratu Ayu Pingit Dalem Dasar was the daughter of a goddess who had descended to the earth and was impregnated by the god of the sun. She married Ratu Sakti Pancering Jagat (or Betara Da Tonta), the eldest son of King Dalem Solo. Betara Da Tonta is considered to be a manifestation of Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa (God Almighty).
The Barong Brutuk performance is a form of worship to their supreme god Betara Da Tonta and is also dedicated to increasing fertility in the Trunyan village.
The holy Barong Brutuk performance is a dance by adolescent Trunyan boys who are first quarantined for 42 days, during which time they are not allowed to consume alcoholic drinks, gamble or date. They stay in quarters called bangsal pekemitan that are built specifically for the Kapat Lanang ceremony.
Whip Lashes as a ‘Cure’
When the dancers enter the open stage in the outer part of the Pancering Jagat Village Temple (built in 10th century AD or 833 Çaka according to the Balinese calendar), the audience shouts out, “Meriki Tu, meriki” meaning “Come here please, come here,” which is then answered by the Betara Brutuk with whipping.
The whipping is believed to be a method to ensure fertility. Some women make offerings in the form of sesari (donation money), cigarettes or energy drinks for the Barong Brutuk, and then tear a little piece off of the keraras leaves worn by the Betara Brutuk to be used as a talisman.
At the end of the performance the Betara Brutuk dancers perform the metambak procession, which is a love scene between Betara Da Tonta and Ratu Ayu Pingit Dalem Dasar. This final scene is considered to be very important because it determines the fertility of the universe and all its contents. If this scene fails, it is believed that the dancers will suffer the unfortunate fate of remaining unmarried for the rest of their lives.
At the end of the performance both characters embrace, then dressed only in their loincloths, they run into the lake to bathe and purify themselves. Before leaving the lake there is a small selamatan ceremony done to return the masks into their large bamboo basket.
Words by: Dewa Ayu Eka Putri