Ujungan: Fight for Asking The Rain
A unique tradition in long dry season, for asking the rain.
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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)