7 Bizarre Rituals in Indonesia That Will Make You Cringe

7 Bizarre Rituals in Indonesia That Will Make You Cringe

From eerie death ceremonies, to strange harvest traditions and unbelievable sexual practices - Indonesia has it all; the weird, the wacky, and the wonderful! Have a look below at our list of some of the country's craziest rituals and traditions.

From eerie death ceremonies, to strange harvest traditions and unbelievable sexual practices – Indonesia has it all; the weird, the wacky, and the wonderful! Have a look below at our list of some of the country’s most bizarre rituals and traditions.

1) Goyang Madura And Tongkat Madura

On this little island found northeast of Java, the women of Madura are particularly well known for their sexual prowess.
Using a technique called ‘Goyang Madura’ or the Madura motions, which involves a series of rhythmic vaginal clenching (similar to Kegel exercises), the Madurese women’s sexual abilities are apparently enhanced. The use of Madurese ‘love potions’, which are in actual fact juiced herbs, is said to make a woman’s private areas beautifully fragrant as well as help it return to its original “form”. The ‘Tongkat Madura’ or Madurese stick, is used to achieve the same goal.


Image Credit: Tongkatramuanmadura.com

2) Ma’Nene, Sulawesi

In Tana Toraja, renowned for its strange rituals, there exists a strange ceremony to honor departed loved ones. Ma’Nene, which takes place in August each year, is a ritual that involves the bodies of the deceased being exhumed, washed, groomed and dressed in new clothes, before being walked around the village.


Image Credit: Associated Press

3) Debus Martial Arts, Banten, West Java

This remarkable Muslim martial art form, introduced to the area in the 16th century, requires participants to show their faith in the form of self-harm. The idea is that if you fully trust God with your life, he will not let you be harmed. Participants are sliced with knives, eat fire, insert needles into their cheeks, chew glass, but somehow manage to walk away unharmed!


Image Credit: DaniPicture / Neupic.com

4) Ikipalin, Papua

Taking place in Papua, a somewhat sad ritual exists amongst the Dani People of Wamena. To express grief in life, especially when a loved one dies, instead of crying, the Dani people cut off their fingers. This is done in any method possible, be it slicing, chopping or even gnawing them off!


Image Credit: News.kitook.co.id

5) Pasola, Sumba

The villages of Sumba have a ritual of bloodshed and battle. Twice a year, the different villages get together and their ‘warriors’ get on horseback to throw large wooden spears at each other. The idea is that blood spilled on the soil ensures a good harvest. Sometimes, if not enough blood has been drawn from the spears, the villagers go on foot and begin brawling with stones.


Image Credits: Roughguides.com

6) Tau Tau, Sulawesi

The second weird aspect about the funeral rites in Tana Toraja involves their burials. The corpses are put into coffins and then placed in small holes in caves, or if they are small enough, even in trees. Then, wooden effigies called Tau Tau are made to look like the deceased and are placed at or near the burial site.


Image Credit: Elmonomudo.com

7) Kebo-Keboan, Banyuwangi

Banyuwangi, located at the easternmost end of Java, is home to a unique ritual of appreciation performed by farmers in the area. They thank the Earth and the buffalo for a good harvest. The Kebo, meaning buffalo, is the focus of the ceremony, where local farmers dress up as buffaloes and ‘plough’ through the streets – some say possessed by souls.


Image Credit: GaedeGambarist.blogspot.com

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