Barefoot Ceremony Tradition, Aci Usaba Sambah, Sengkidu Traditional Village

Who doesn't know Bali? An island that presents natural beauty, art, traditions and religious ceremonies. One of the religious ceremonies in Bali is "Aci Usaba Sambah" in the Sengkidu Traditional Village, Karangasem. This ceremony not only depicts the beliefs and traditions of the Sengkidu Traditional Village community, but also shows the beauty and uniqueness of the rich Balinese culture.

Nov 30, 2023 - 06:17
Sep 27, 2023 - 13:23
Barefoot Ceremony Tradition, Aci Usaba Sambah, Sengkidu Traditional Village
Aci Usaba Sambah (Source : Editorial Collection)

Purnama sasih Kalima, the time when the Sengkidu Traditional Village residents, Karangasem held "Aci Usaba Sambah". This ceremony is one of the major ceremonies in the Sengkidu Traditional Village which takes place once a year, accompanied by the Keris (Daratan) dance for three days and ending with Ngelebar on the last day.

This sambah is exactly like a jempana, which is made from young coconut leaves decorated and shaped to resemble an asagan (banten place). Sambah is also believed to be the palace of Dewa Segara and Ida Bhatara Majapahit by the Sengkidu Traditional Village residents. In decorating Sambah there are palagantung (an element made from trees) and then there are several offerings. This ceremony is held every year and what is unique is that during the implementation of Aci Usaba Sambah, pemedek or people who are tangling are prohibited from wearing footwear. Because, wewalen (dance) and the Daratan there do not use footwear at all.

The location of Puseh Temple in Sengkidu Village is quite strategic on the side of the Amlapura – Klungkung highway and is in the Candidasa area and about 5 km from the Tenganan Pegringsingan tourist attraction. Many foreign tourists who happen to visit Candidasa enjoy this unique ritual process. Tourists are not allowed to wear footwear.

In the order of implementation of Aci Usaba Sambah, on the first day the Nedunang (descent) Ida Bhatara ceremony is held, which is filled with ngias (decorating) and Masuciang (cleaning) in the form of Pratima and Sesuhunan at Puseh Temple.

During Masuciang, all Pratima and Sesuhunan will be accompanied to the beach. In the Sengkidu traditional village, Masuciang will go to Segara Beach, where all of Pratima and Sesuhunan will be purified and at the same time to worship Ida Bhatara Majapahit.

Aci Usaba Sambah (Source: Editorial Collection)

On the second day, it was a moment where the residents offer their sesangi (paying off debts), as well as Nyujukang (establishing) Sambah in Jaba Tengah Puseh Temple. These krama (residents) who do sesangi (pay debts) will offer something when all their wishes and requests have been granted. Then that's when the residents offered all kinds of offerings as well as whatever they had promised.

Meanwhile, for the next three days, the Daratan (keris dance) is held. All pilgrims who want to go to the temple are required to remove their footwear. This only applies when implementing Aci Usaba Sambah. The third day is called Panyuud (completion), the last day of Aci Usaba Sambah.

Keris dancers, or what are usually called Daratan/walen, are people who are chosen based on their lineage. They were like people possessed who would spontaneously ask for keris from the pecalang and some of the residents tasked with guarding the land. The keris is used to cut his hands (usually the arms and chest). Generally, the keris dancers are men. They wore kamben clothes, poleng shawls, and were bare-chested, aka without clothes.

This land will be accompanied by a set of gamelan with a dynamic tempo to encourage the keris dancers to be more attractive in using their keris. At first glance, if seen from the audience's perspective, they didn't seem to feel any pain at all even though their hands and chests were dripping with blood.

In the midst of this Daratan dance, Teruna-teruni (youngsters) and several residents of the Sengkidu Traditional Village will take turns dancing the Pendet (Mendet) while carrying bowls containing canang in their hands. After all the processions, the prayers continued with Tri Sandya and Panca Sembah, not forgetting the tirta and it can given by Pemangku Desa (the village officials).

On the last day of the Aci Usaba Sambah Ceremony in Sengkidu Traditional Village, precisely at night a Ngelebar tradition is held. This ngelebar is carried out in the evening on the last day of the series of Aci Usaba Sambah ceremonies. This ngelebar is a procession taking Sang Hyang Sambah to the Pemanton field in Sengkidu Village. Apart from that, other Sang Hyang Sambah and Pratima from Segara Temple were also paraded to the same field.