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The Makepung Buffalo Racing Tradition

By Trisna Putri Kusumawati in Culture

Oct 31, 2022

Indonesia not only looks like a country but a natural art paradise because of the number and diversity available. There are so many, and it’s impossible to learn or explore them in just one day.

Flying from the center of the capital city of DKI Jakarta to the island of Bali, in this article, we will invite you to explore one of the unique traditions in Bali, namely the tradition of buffalo racing called Makepung.

What is Makepung? Makepung is a cultural tradition which means chasing to the finish line, a buffalo racing attraction in Jembrana Regency, western Bali, which is about 2.5 hours from Denpasar City, which has been carried out by farmers during the rice harvest season since the 1930s.

This Makepung tradition only uses buffalo, not cows, because most Balinese people adhere to Hinduism, which considers cows to be sacred animals. In this tradition, people can only use buffalo. The creation of this tradition only started with the creativity of the farmers who wanted to fill their spare time in the fields by creating a pleasant working atmosphere. Buffalo, who participate in this tradition, will wear a crown called Rumbing with various colourful accessories.

This traditional activity has also reached the level of The Governor of Bali to be used as competitions and festivals while simultaneously preserving culture, culinary, and local wisdom to increase the development of The Bali tourism sector to attract more tourists close and work together. Makepung has become an icon of Jembrana which is already very well known, the enthusiasm of the community and the celebration of this tradition are welcomed by many people, and the warm atmosphere can unite the harmony of everyone involved in this event.

Makepung is not just any race that measures the speed between farmer’s buffaloes, but also patience and accuracy in preparing for the physical needs and speed and the mentality of farmers and buffaloes. Makepung cannot use just any buffalo, they must be trained first to adjust the event being held. The buffalo took days to train.

In this event, the buffalo became an animal icon that is very smart and very useful for a tradition in Bali. If one of the buffalo can win this competition, it will be a matter of pride for the owner. Makepung has become a significant cultural tradition in Bali. If you come to Bali, you should try to see for yourself the excitement that comes with holding this tradition in Jembrana.