Jantra Swing Specifically Dedicated to Young Girls of Tenganan

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Jantra swing at Tenganan village
Jantra swing is operated in relation to Usabha Sambah ritual at Tenganan Village, Manggis, Karangasem. (Image: Agung Atmaja on Pixabay)

Today’s youth can enjoy a variety of challenging and amusing games such as roller coasters, carousels or the like, while Tenganan Pegringsingan Village has a unique swing having been preserved by their predecessors since ancient times. This traditional game is no less fun, named Jantra swing.

This ancient village, located in Manggis Subdistrict, Karangasem, has a number of unique traditions that are not found in other villages in Bali. In addition to the jantra swing above, there is also the typical geringsing woven cloth which is made sacred and the pandanus war or Mekare-kare tradition usually held around June each year.

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The implementation of the pandanus war is truly unique because this event coincides with the holding of the Usabha Sambah ritual or the rising of youth ceremony for young people at the local village. This ritual takes place for 30 days and during which the pandanus war may be held 3-4 times.

The young man will be involved in a pandanus war procession using weapons from a bunch of pandanus leaves along with a rattan shield, while the girl will join the procession of riding a jantra swing made of wood.

Teenage girls

By and large, this jantra swing will be performed for 18 days by young men in connection with the implementation of the Usaba Sambah ritual. To keep users and operators safe, these activities are still supervised by parents and adult villagers.

What is the age limit for being said to be a young girl here? Their age is not determined biologically, such as having to be 17 years old or already menstruating. However, the main requirement is that they have gone through the stages of the traditional ritual procession, and there are even teenagers who are only 12 years old who have been included.

Jantra swing

This jantra swing has a capacity of 8 seats which is designed in such a way that it resembles a chair with a handle as well as a hanger on the left and right. Above each seat contains a small roof.

Only young women are allowed to ride this jantra swing. Children are not allowed, including sons and daughters. Young women who ride this swing are required to dress in traditional Tenganan attires. They enjoy it with great joy. Then, a pair of young men are in charge of rotating this swing by standing on the pedestal of the swing axis.

The philosophical meaning of this jantra swing tradition is that when these young women grow up, they must be prepared to face life’s journey where there are times when they are up, and sometimes they are down.

Tourist attractions

This jantra swing tradition is so unique because it only exists at Tenganan Village and is operated in conjunction with the Usaba Sambah ceremony. This annual ritual means asking for safety, cleaning the village area to avoid disasters and paying homage to the god Indra.

Well, because of its uniqueness, this ritual has become a tourist attraction that can attract tourists to witness this unique and rare Balinese tradition.

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