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Jakarta Post

Foreigners brave age-old pandanus battle ritual

  • Anton Muhajir


Karangasem   /   Mon, June 28 2010   /  10:00 am

Maurizio Rosenberg Colorni was trapped in a fierce battle, but showed no fear in facing his enemy in the centuries-old ritual of pandanus battle, held during a special ceremony in the Tenganan Indigenous community in Karangasem, East Bali, recently.Despite a wound in his neck and back, Colorni was brave enough to answer a local boy’s challenge to finish the duel. Armed with a long and thorny pandanus leaf in his right hand and a rattan shield, the Italian-born writer headed into the middle of the battle arena (bale Temu Tengah) to face his opponent.Like Roman gladiators the two opponents fought a fierce and bloody battle, hitting each other using pandanus leaves. Spectators watched eagerly, clapped and shouted out to support their heroes. After a minute the two men embraced each other affectionately.“This was my fourth battle. I have always enjoyed it,” said Colorni, who has reside...