February 11, 2021

Sanghyang Jaran Dance (Tari Sanghyang Jaran Bali)

Sanghyang Jaran Dance is considered as "wali" or sacred dance. The dancer, in a trance, walks barefoot and kicking the embers made of coconut shells. The dance is accompanied by choral singing and invocation of trance. This sacred dance is performed as a repellent reinforcement, when disease or disaster strikes the community.

Sanghyang or Hyang is an important type of spirit entity in ancient mythology (Bali and Indonesia). When this spirit or unseen force is invited to enter the dancer's body, the Balinese call it Sanghyang Dance. Then, when the spirit of “jaran” or horse enters the dancer's body and performs a horse-like behavior, people call it Sanghyang Jaran Dance (Tari Sanghyang Jaran).

Sanghyang dance originated from the pre-date the Balinese/Hindu tradition. People believe that everything in nature has a spirit/soul. Sanghyang dance was started as a response to the spirit invading the village.

Oddities in the form of objects and animals appear in the village. The effect of the spirit's presence is manifested in the form of illness and crop plant diseases.

This sacred dance is intended as a way to pacify the spirits by inviting them to dance with the villagers and be happy. People hope that these sacred spirits can feel the joy by dancing, then leave the village feeling satisfied, and the bad effects (disease) caused by their presence will gradually subside.

The sacred spirit is invited to enter the body of the dancers and put them into trance. As the dance progresses, the dancers walk around the fire and stamp their bare feet on glowing embers. The flames were scattered, but did not hurt the dancers who were trance.

Balinese people believe that Tari Sanghyang Jaran can bring healing from diseases and disasters that disturb the community. At the end of the performance, the dancer is awakened and holy water is sprinkled. Meanwhile, the previously invited spirit was released back to its origin.

This fire-walking dance has its own beauty that involves the presence of holy spirits and supernatural powers. This sacred dance is usually danced by the temple priest ("pemangku") or a group of selected men. Dancers are put into trance with wafting of burning incense and vocal music (Gending Sanghyang). Dancers usually carry a property that resembles a horse (hobbyhorse) decorated with coconut leaves.


  1. google.co.id
  2. wikipedia.org _ Sanghyang _ on February 9, 2021
  3. Rubin, Leon; Sedana, I Nyoman (2007). "Performance in Bali". Routledge. ISBN 1134324219, 9781134324217. Retrieved February 9, 2021.

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