Caci – A Traditional Whip Fight

Caci is a ritual whip fighting performance, a major element in the lives of the Manggaraian people and their cultural identity. Due to the fact that it is so unique, it is a real spectacle to behold and therefore, a truly authentic tourist attraction for both local and foreign visitors. Participants are exclusively two males from different villages and spectators for both parties will come to watch the fight and cheer for their favourite which makes it a lively event.

The equipment used during those fight consist of a whip, shield, masks and sticks. The sticks symbolise male, the phallic element, the father, and the sky and are made of special material namely rattan and a leather covered handle. The other stick represents the female, the womb and the earth and is made of bamboo, rattan and leather from Buffalo. The first stick is used by the aggressor while the second stick is being used by the defender.

The men wear traditional clothes called Songket, which are made of woven cloth and a pair of pants. Around the ankles and hips, special bells are tied to give off a special sound during the fight. The upper body remains free of clothes so that whip lashes and sometimes blood can be visible. After the starting signal the fight begins, it is important to hit the opponent well. Depending on where they hit the opponent, it is decided whether next year’s harvests will be good.

Caci used to be performed during Penti, a festival held after the harvests but now is performed more often as an attraction for foreigners; both domestic as well as international.

FloresPlus Magazine

Photo courtesy: http://www.wildland.com/trips/asia/indonesia/indonesian-adventure-cruise–col—voyage-on-katharina/itinerary.aspx

Travel tips

  • Make sure you enjoy an ice cold Bintang
  • Try the local Moke
  • Read about Caci whip fights
  • Make sure to attend one of those fights and cheer for your favourite!

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