Ujungan: Fight for Asking The Rain

A unique tradition in long dry season, for asking the rain.

Comments (34)|73 Liked It

Ujungan is tradition where 2 adult men fight each other. They hit each other by rattan stick while the audiences circle them to support. It’s the mystical ceremony for asking the rain from God. So it’s done only if long dry season happen. Ujungan is a tradition in Gumelem village, Banjarnegara, Center Java, Indonesia.  

Ujungan is usually done in Friday. The tradition is started by reading incantation. The fight is lead by a walandang (referee) while traditional music is played. The fight between 2 fighters only 1 round then followed by 2 other fighters and so on. The rule is the fighters only permitted to hit hip downward. They must use head protector. They also must use glove as shield in their left-hand, while right-hand hold rattan stick as weapon.

The ceremony is assumed success if there is bloody fighter. They assume that rain will come soon. Although the fighter bruise even bleeding because of rattan hit, but no vengeance among them. On the contrary, they will be proud because can present their blood for asking the rain. For public need.

Estimated, Ujungan has existed since 1830. At the past time, people from 2 villages, Gumelem Wetan (East Gumelem) and Gumelem Kulon (West Gumelem) often quarreled even fight each other for water. They needed water to irrigate their rice-field while water is very few in long dry season. Then Adat leaders agreed to commit Ujungan in order no quarreling or fighting anymore.

Ujungan is from word ‘mujung’, means asking the rain from God. Hopefully by doing Ujungan, the people from 2 villages will not quarrel for water and then live in harmony.

At era of Dutch colonialism, Ujungan was used as exercise of martial art for establishing the strugglers mentally and physically.

Ujungan is a mix of 3 arts. They are music (sempyong), dance-silat (uncul), and martial art of stick. Ujungan contains a moral message; in order the people must keep ties of relationship each other in achieving destination (asking the rain).

(Image from Google)

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34 Comments
  1. Posted October 13, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Good information. I like this post.

  2. Posted October 13, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    thanks for the advice.

  3. Posted October 13, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Another interesting culture of our country.

  4. Posted October 13, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    very different kind of ceremony to please rain gods. interesting share

  5. Posted October 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Fighting for the Rain !!!

  6. Posted October 13, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    @faizalhuda: thanks
    @ittechil: thanks
    @Eunice Tan: very nice comment :D
    @Sunjhini: thanks a lot
    @naruto 100: looks like title of song :D

  7. Posted October 14, 2011 at 4:32 am

    The work of another great

  8. Posted October 14, 2011 at 4:56 am

    It’s nice to know the culture of other people. I hope that it rains after the fight dance.

  9. Posted October 14, 2011 at 5:27 am

    That is so interesting Thank you for sharing it with us. I too hope it brings the rain.

  10. Posted October 14, 2011 at 5:36 am

    @aheed411: thanks
    @lapasan: hopefully rain will come soon :D
    @Christine Ramsay: thanks for your nice comment

  11. Posted October 14, 2011 at 5:55 am

    Very interesting. In our country there is also a traditional ritual for praying for rain after a long dry season, it is called “German and peperuda” (which means not German as in Germany, it is speeled exactly ['german] ) and butterfly.

  12. Posted October 14, 2011 at 6:59 am

    Nice share..

  13. Posted October 14, 2011 at 7:02 am

    I like it.

  14. Posted October 14, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Different cultures have different beliefs about praying for rain. And, your article is a good one. But, today, you don’t have to pray for rain…stopping the rain for flooded streets.

  15. Posted October 14, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    @iva75cpb: German and peperuda? sounds interesting. I hope you post it someday :)
    @binyumanyun: thanks
    @Aroosagloomy: thanks you like it
    @FX777222999: still dry season in my country. long dry season. so make some forests fired. Hopefully if rain come, will not result in flood. :)

  16. Posted October 14, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    An interesting tradition.

  17. Posted October 15, 2011 at 1:13 am

    @SharifaMcFarlane: thanks, Sharifa

  18. Posted October 15, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Its really very interesting piece.

  19. Posted October 15, 2011 at 2:58 am

    @lonelyplanet: thanks a lot

  20. Posted October 15, 2011 at 5:00 am

    Amazing story

  21. Posted October 15, 2011 at 7:57 am

    interesting share…thanks

  22. Posted October 15, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    @Elle64: thanks, Elle
    @foxpete88: thanks, fox

  23. Posted October 16, 2011 at 3:23 am

    I like it!

  24. Posted October 17, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    i like fighting short very interesting

  25. Posted October 17, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    @ittechil: glad you like it, ittechil
    @Hamada87: nice hearing it :)

  26. Posted October 18, 2011 at 3:35 am

    very helpful

  27. Posted October 25, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    interesting!!

  28. Posted October 27, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Strange mystic thought of fight for rain. Why don’t they pray to God for the rain?

  29. Posted October 28, 2011 at 5:11 am

    @ittechil: thanks for commenting
    @telma9999: thanks, telma
    @Muzammil196: of course they pray to God. Asking the rain from God = pray to God.

  30. Posted October 28, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    very interesting

  31. Posted October 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    It is interesting but looks queer. It could be just a fun too. :)

  32. Posted November 10, 2011 at 3:13 am

    You have a lot of interesting things happening in Indonesia!

  33. Posted November 18, 2011 at 4:59 am

    Thanks for the share.

  34. Posted March 18, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I’ve never heard of this tradition before. Thank you very much for sharing it ^_^

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