Makepung Buffalo race is an annual event that takes place in Jembrana Regency, situated in west of Bali. The name makepung derived from the word “kepung” which means to “chase.” Pairs of buffaloes are teamed up with their jockeys riding in traditional wooden ploughing carts which is modified to suit the race.
The makepung buffalo race is a cultural tradition that encourages people of the regency to breed the healthiest buffaloes not only for the race but also to improve the impact on the agriculture. Moreover, the traditions was born out of the agrarian based of the island. There are 7 circuits in the Jembrana regency. Leading up to the finals, the buffaloes and the jockeys compete in several races around the area, and eventually the winners compete in the final governor’s cup called the “Jembrana Regent’s cup.”
The race is held annually from July through November and lasts for around five hours. It is open to public, both local and international tourist are usually present on the day of the race to watch this unique spectacle.
In addition to the category of the fastest riders, there is also a prize for the best dressed buffalo. It is sometimes refer to as the ‘buffalo fashion show.’ Decorations are beautifully put on the buffalo from its body to the horn. Furthermore, entertainment such as art performances also adds the fun to the day.
If you are around during the race month, you definitely want to check this exciting cultural event!