Knowing Bara Suwen, The Crazy Bamboo From Mollucas, Indonesia

Knowing Bara Suwen, The Crazy Bamboo from Mollucas, Indonesia.

Have you ever gone to Ambon or the Moluccas? There can be found in traditional games that take advantage of bamboo and charging media spirits. The name of this rare game that is “Buluh Gila” or “Bara Suwen”, that the people of Maluku to call.

This game uses the media a piece of bamboo which is roughly about 2.5 meters long with a diameter of 80-10 centimeters. This game will test the resilience and strength of his players. How not, about seven people will be holding a bamboo that has been infiltrated by evil spirits and insist on not bounced, because bamboo is rebellious and move craze.

Bamboo is a type of bamboo is used locally. The process of selecting and cutting the bamboo is reputedly not arbitrary, because it needed special treatment. The handler who will pick, first obtaining permission from the spirits that inhabit the bamboo forest around the village. Bamboo then cut by performing traditional rituals. Bamboo is cleaned and washed with coconut oil and then decorated with fabric on each end.


To start the show, the handler will burn incense bamboo crazy placed in a coconut shell which must have been prepared previously. Then the handler to read a spell in the language yamg soil is one of the traditional languages ​​of Maluku. The next process is to fumigate the bamboo that has been held by his players. And the last stage, the handler will chew ginger while accompanied by a reading of the spell and then sprayed into the bamboo rod.

Not long ago, the ancestral spirits would enter into the bamboo and bamboo sticks as if the craze or shake, the longer the movement that produced increasingly uncontrollable. Maluku people believe ginger chewed by the handler and then sprayed into the bamboo that’s guardian spirits called village where bamboo game is executed.


Those who participated in this  “Buluh gila” game  try out all strength to control the shock strength of bamboo. Usually in this game accompanied by traditional music of Maluku. So when the music started to be accelerated, bamboo will gain weight and be more visible ‘dancing’ with a growing strength.

This game is not over when all the participants have not bounced down to the ground because of exhaustion. Interestingly, if the game is done near the shore, then Reed will lead participants Mad towards the sea, as if the bamboo took a bath in the sea. Uniquely mystical power crazy bamboo will not go away before being fed the fire that burned through the paper.


Bamboo crazy dance tradition is believed to have begun long before the time of Islam and Christianity into these islands. Perhaps the story in ancient times, bamboo is used is taken directly from the Mount Gamalama, the volcano in Ternate, North Maluku. Currently, bamboo dance crazy studied and played in the outer islands of Maluku and can be found in several small villages. As in the two villages is the village of Liang, Salahatu district, and village of Mamala, Leihitu district, Central Maluku. Meanwhile, if a visit to North Maluku province, the nuances of this mystical attraction can also be found in some areas in the city of Ternate and its surroundings.

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