November 30, 2018

Sanghyang Dedari Trance Dance in Karangasem - Bali

Sanghyang Dedari is one of the sacred dances (wali dance), an ancient ritual dedicated to Dewi Sri, goddess of fertility and prosperity. This dance is believed to be associated with animism and dynamism, and is thought to have existed since the Pre-Hindu. Currently, the Sanghyang Dedari performance is rare, but you can still find it in Geriana Kauh Village, North Duda, Karangasem Regency, Bali.

Sanghyang Dedari Trance Dance, Sang Hyang Dedari Dance, Tari Sanghyang Dedari Bali

Sanghyang Dedari along with Rejang and Baris Upacara are included in the Wali (sacred dance), one of the three genres recognized by UNESCO during the Intergovernmental Committee which took place on November 29 to December 4, 2015, in Windhoek, Namibia. UNESCO recognizes three genres (Wali, Bebali, and Balih-balihan) of traditional dance in Bali - Indonesia, as Intangible cultural heritage.

Sanghyang Dedari is one of the Sanghyang dance variants, including: Sanghyang Jaran, Sanghyang Sampat, Sanghyang Deling, Sanghyang Bojog, and more. Sanghyang Dedari Dance has a close relation with traditional Balinese agricultural culture. The area in Geriana Kauh Village is surrounded by vast agricultural land and unspoiled environment in the foothills of Mount Agung.

Sanghyang Dedari Trance Dance Bali

Here, people plant local rice seeds or "Padi Masa", seeds with a longer harvest period. When the rice starts to mature (around April) and is golden yellow, it is time to prepare for the sacred dance ritual, the Sanghyang Dedari.

The purpose of this ritual is to invoke for healthy of agricultural crops, not be attacked by pests, and successful and abundant harvest. This is a local wisdom in maintaining harmony between humans, nature and spirit. This sacred tradition is also believed to function as a protection against evil spirit (negative supernatural force).

The dance is performed by female dancers, accompanied by the song "Gending Sanghyang" and performed in the holy area of the temple. The dancers are chosen from the pre-pubescent girls by the temple priest. It is believed that the spirits possessed the girls and made them dance in trance conditions with complex movements.

This is based on the idea that a force enters the body of the performer. The force (Hyang) is important spiritual entities. These spiritual entities are believed to be the embodiment of Dewi Tunjung Biru and Dewi Supraba.

After the preparation done, incense was burned in "pasepan" or wierook, the dancer knelt in front of it and accompanied by holy songs and prayers. This stage is called, "nusdus" or "ngukup", to invoking the spirits (dedari) to enter their bodies and the dancers falling unconscious.

Then the dancers rise in a trance condition with their eyes closed. They are dancing while playing, walking, even climbing bamboo (which has been prepared) without fear. After the ritual is complete, the Holy Spirit is returned to its origin. The dancers are being sprinkled with holy water and regain back their consciousness as little girls.

Every resident actively participates in the performance and is carried away in the dance rhythm of the angel. This ritual provides healing from imbalances (un-harmonious) and strengthens relationships between them.

Dancers wear costumes that are dominated by white and yellow. Several layers of cloth covered the dancer's body. The patterned scarf coiled from the waist to the chest and plain white and yellow scarves tied to the waist. The makeup is simple and natural.

While at the top, the dancer's hair is arranged in such a way and is wearing a headdress. It is made from grapefruit peel (jerungga, muntis, jeroti). Then the flowers are beautiful arranged, sticks to the peel. The flowers used include: champaca, cananga, frangipani, marigold, etc.


  2. _ Balinese Dance _ on November 26, 2018
  3. Image : Original Collection

Searches on this site related to Sanghyang Dedari Dance :

1. Telek Dance
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3. Rejang Dewa Dance

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