Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I had the chance to see Karapan Sapi (Bull Race) in Madura last February 2011. Karapan Sapi is very prestigious for Madurese. Bull Race is not about winning the race but about prestige for the bull owner. The best Bull for race is known to be from Sapudi Island original.

The race event started by parade of the couple of Bulls that participate on the race. Bulls are dress in ornamented decoration that makes them look pretty. Also madurese traditional music, Seronen, will make the parade more excited.

These are the typical of race bulls (sapi kerap): chest is smaller from upper to lower part, long back,tight nails, long tail and big fleshly body type.
To win the match, the Bulls are treated specially. From massage, herb, honey, also eggs. 1 bull can be gived more than 20 eggs in the morning before the race. The cost for bulls treatment can be millions rupiah a month.

Before the race, the ownner of race bulls should prepare for; the jokey (tukang tongko), man releasing the stranglehold (tukang ambeng),person that gnash the bull (tukang ambeng), also they need someone to shout at the side of the race track (tukang gubra), to stop the bulls at finish line (tukang nyandak), and to lead the bulls after the race (tukang tonja)

It said that this tradition appeared in the 13th century and popularized by Prince Katandur from Sumenep. He had an idea to harness the bull's strength to plow the fields that finally yield good result for the crops of local people. Then after that, post-harvest-time, they celebrated by holding bull race. This race is still conserved untill today and there is national race to win President Cup annually.






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