Pecalang, Balinese Customary Security Guard

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Illustration of Pecalang
Illustration of Pecalang,a customary security guard of Bali.

WHEN a religious activity like temple festival is held on the Island of Bali, you may encounter some typical people helping pilgrims cross the road around the temple area. In other occasion, they are also involved in securing cultural parades.

They are also frequently involved in maintaining security with police in large customary and non-customary events so the event can run smoothly. Their characteristic is clearly observed because they usually put on black-white checkered sarong, dark-colored shirts and headdress. As the weapon, they affix kris dagger in the back.

This officer is known as pecalang, namely security guard of customary village. Basically, its task is to keep security and orderliness in the territory of customary village, uphold customary village law and Hinduism.

In particular occasion, they are also involved to help secure the territory outside its village chiefly in larger event. Surely, it has been through coordination with local pecalang and police authority.

Pecalang is appointed and dismissed by customary village through its meeting. It is the apparatus under customary village as determined in regional bylaw (Perda) on customary village.

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