Debus, Art that challenges death.

Wading through the richness of Indonesian culture, there will never be an end. The various types of rituals and traditions from west to east, have never failed to impress anyone. Clusters of islands that extend at the equator, it turns out to save a million world gems with all its uniqueness. Each tribe in Indonesia has their own customs and culture. The uniqueness of traditions, ceremonies, clothing, even to touch the structure of the building. Each inch of the region has its own characteristics.  Regardless of the cultural differences that are mushrooming, Indonesia remains a country that has a national identity, and is attached to the harmony of its people.

If you want to discuss the unique traditions in Indonesia that make you haunted by wonder, then hundreds of articles will not be able to explain it. But Java Private Tour will be happy to show one by one the uniqueness of every corner in Indonesia, with all it's presentation. One of the rare traditions that always manages to make tourists confused and clap in awe is Debus.

This martial art originated from Banten Province, since the 14th century, during the reign of Maulana Hasanuddin, this art used to be used as a medium to spread Islam, as well as to spur the spirit of the people of Banten to fight against the Dutch. This art is a combination of dance, sound and "kebatinan" (spiritual), which is usually used for welcoming ceremonies or other large events.  Debus is an extreme art that demonstrates extraordinary human abilities. If you are only accustomed to seeing Superman on a TV screen in your home, then Indonesia will bring you to the real thrill attractions like your super human idol.

Debus players are even required to undergo a series of ritual stages if they wish to become debus experts. Some of the rituals referred to are fasting for 40 days, conducting austerities (meditation) on Mount Julang Pandeglang, West Java, slaughtering black chickens (chicken cemani), and bathing in the middle of the night in 7 wells that have been purified, and they must perform a series of rituals in sequence. However, many failed in carrying out these rituals, eventually leading to psychiatric disorders.

To become a debus player, mental and physical strength must be fully prepared, this is where the beauty of the art is, and the players cannot be careless in showing their actions. You will be presented with some extreme attractions such as jabbing the body into the stomach using 50-60 cm long iron, cutting the tongue with a "Golok" (in english means machete) the traditional Indonesian sharp weapon, you can read the article about "Golok" (Machete) in here, consuming and chewing hot embers, pouring hard water on HCL (hydrochloric acid), HNO3 (nitric acid), H3PO4 (phosphoric acid), and H2SO4 (sulfuric acid) throughout the body until clothing is destroyed, rolling on glass flakes and eating broken glass, and other extreme things without leaving any scars on the body.

This attraction is usually accompanied by music, which is guided by the Debus leader who is usually called "Syech". Debus players in an average of one attraction have a total of 12-15 players. Before performing the attraction, a chairperson of the Debus Society will recite songs in the form of prayers and mantras with a relatively long duration.

After the reading of mantras, the teacher (guru) / chairman of the debus association and other debus actors gradually lost consciousness. During the performance, there was one person who was assigned to perform the dzikir (pray) asking for protection from God so that the attraction of Debus went smoothly.

Debus is not just a series of attractions without meaning. In it, stored values that can be taken for anyone who witnesses. This aspect of hard work also radiates from this art, where the players try hard to showcase their attractions as best they can through the preparation of the best possible ritual. Debus teaches us the values of cooperation, which are shown by the players in their efforts to work together to try to provide the best for the audience. Religious values embedded in this art, where prayers continue to be chanted along the way to the show to ask for protection from God Almighty.  Debus is one of the many arts in Indonesia with high value, and deserves international attention.


Written by : Annisa - Java Private Tour
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