Siat Sampian – war of sampian

In bali there is a sacred and unique ceremony known as Siat Sampian (war of sampian) was held in Samuan Tiga temple as a part of series of rituals to commemorate the temple anniversary. As its name suggests, Siat Sampian (war of sampian) is a ritual in which the participants armed with a sampian (a decoration made of woven coconut leaves) attack each other accompanied by hysterical shouts and the smile of joy. As a matter of fact, Siat Sampian is a ritual dance in which the dancers enact a battle of good and evil.

As this dance the Siat Sampian dance is performed by two groups of dancers, each group consists of hundreds of dancers, the female group known as permas (female servants of the deities) with white cloth and black sarong and parekan (male servant of the deities) with all white attires. Most of the dancers of Siat Sampian are the people that have been saved by the deities of the Samuan Tiga temple.

In the bygone days they or their parents or their grand parents or maybe their ancestors suffered from illnesses, plagues, or serious bad luck, or other calamities and they asked the deities of Samuantiga temple to cure them or to take the calamities away in return they and their descendants will serve the deities of Samuantiga as permas or parekan; they will help the preparation of ceremony, offer the best offering and participate in Siat Sampian.

There is no specific requirement needed to be the participants of the Siat Sampian, once you or your ancestors or parents participates in this dance all your descendants can participate. The descendants of the dancers of Siat Sampian obey this rule with ironclad obedience : no one ever refuses to obey the pact that their ancestors have sealed since disobedience means asking for trouble, inciting the wrath of the deities which my result in serious illness or calamities.

Siat Sampian is a joyful ritual dance, more and more people join the dance every year, no wonder the deities have not punish anyone yet since everyone is eager to dance.

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