For the tradition keeper

It was a sunny morning in Singaraja city. It was also a special day for the Krama Tridatu family, a group of people entrusted with keeping the tradition in Buleleng customary village, Buleleng regency, North Bali. A mass nawur pelebuh ceremony was being held that day, a ceremony dedicated for those Krama Tridatu who had died. In the past, the Tridatu was believed to be the elite military force of the legendary Buleleng king, Ki Barak Panji Sakti. Their descendants continue the task of keeping all the old traditions of the Buleleng village.

The position of chief of Buleleng customary village should always fall onto the shoulders of one of the Tridatu. Candidates for village chief are always only Tridatu members. There should be 40 members of the Krama Tridatu. However, as some families do not have a male heir, the number has dwindled to 33. “Nawur Pelebuh is obligatory for all members of Tridatu who have died. However, the high cost of the ceremony has made many families delay their obligation. That’s why we decided to conduct the mass ceremony,” Nyoman Sutrisna, Buleleng customary village head, said.

Made Witana’s family was one of those involved in the first-ever mass ceremony. His family had two generations that had yet to have the nawur pelebuh conducted for them, Witana’s brother and his father. The procession started from the family temple, where the family purified the daksina that symbolizes the ancestors in a family temple prior to the mass nawur pelebuh ceremony, itself held at the Desa temple of Buleleng customary village, in Singaraja. The family then brought the daksina to the Desa temple. As many as 32 pigs were also carried to the temple. For each Tridatu being honored in the ceremony, one pig should be sacrificed.

Witana’s family brought two pigs as two family members were being honored. At the temple, hundreds of Hindu devotees performed a joint prayer to ask for blessings from God. “We are very grateful for this first mass ceremony. The ceremony is too expensive now. It could cost more than Rp 30 million [US$2,530] per person. With the mass ceremony, we only had to pay Rp 1 million per person and provide the pigs,” Witana said.

source : bali daily

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