March 3, 2021

Sanghyang Penyalin Dance Bali

Tari Sanghyang Penyalin is performed by the community in one of the oldest villages in the eastern part of Bali, namely Bugbug Village in Karangasem Regency. The dance is said to have originated from the pre-Hindu culture.

The community believes this sacred dance has a function as a repellent reinforcement (pengeruwat mala) against the plague that attacks residents and diseases in livestock and agricultural plants. The ritual is also intended to invoke for rain so that the land becomes fertile. Therefore, the Sanghyang Penyalin dance has a close relationship with Dewi Sri as the goddess of fertility.

This dance uses a medium in the form of rattan or "penyalin". Two rattan sticks are used, representing male and female aspects. This medium is then decorated with sugar-palm leaves, flowers, and is equipped with bells (kerincingan).

A special ritual led by the temple priest is performed before the dance performance to ask permission and safety. This dance is usually danced by two adult males.

The dancers unfold the rolled rattan and bring the rattan-head closer to the smoke of incense (nusdus). The choir group began to sing Gending Sanghyang Penyalin as accompaniment to the dance. Holy spirits (widyadara and widyadari) were invited to enter the medium.

Sometime later the rattan began to vibrate. The dancers hold the tail, while the rattan-head moves and twists on its own (trance).

Mystical melodious chants accompanied by the jingling of bells were heard during the performance. At the end, the dancer and medium are sprinkled with holy water by the priest. The holy spirit is released, and the rattan is rolled back, returned to its original place.


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