From our very first night in Ubud, to Nusa Penida and still in Gili Trawangan, we were greeted the sound of roosters. From rooftops, to beaches and the street there was no getting away from them. Every day, a few hours before sun up until sundown a steady outpouring of chatter reigns across the islands from rooster, referred to as cocks, to the next.
Apparently we arrived during the time they would soon be having the cockfights in the temple. We could see the men and boys with their chickens on the streets in the evening. This was apparently the preparation, or “training” according to locals. One man would bring his rooster before another as they were sitting on the ground and place the roosters face-to-face. Then both men would stand and put the roosters on the ground. It was then they would then began to attack one another. This is what we witnessed and has been apart of the culture for quite some time.
During the big contest occurring every six months, it’s rooster versus rooster to the death. The owner of the victor is given the dead chicken to bring home to eat.This continues on until there is one cock standing.
Accoring to https://factsofindonesia.com/history-cockfighting-in-bali
“The goal is that there is a chicken that died so that his blood soaked the earth. The blood is then mixed with three kinds of colored liquid: white (tuak), yellow (wine), and black (berem). This mixing is a symbol of a reminder that mankind keeps the balance of bhuwana alit (human) with the great bhuwana (universe). This religious ritual is called tabuh rah. Chicken cockfighting in Tabuh Rah is not the main goal. Chicks just become one way to pour (pour) chicken blood. Thus, the true chicken is not pitted seriously. Tabuh rah can be done without pitting chicken. Instead, one can immediately slaughter his chicken."
The winner lives another day apparently. Historically, gambling was not to be part of this tradition. The government has made it illegal but somethings can apparently be over looked. What can't be overlooked, are these annoying, yet somewhat majestic creatures which live cage-free and somehow seem to know, they rule the roost.
Tony Liz Grace
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