Traditional Rowing Race (Pacu Jalur)

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Riau, Riau, Indonesia

Traditional Rowing Race (Pacu Jalur) Riau Reviews

cicie cicie
61 reviews
What is the story behind the winner of the traditional rowing race (Pacu Jalur)? Aug 17, 2013
Jalur is a traditional rowing canoe in the Kuantan River, Riau Province, Indonesia. In the 17th century the Jalur was an important means of transport for exploration and trade with villages along the Kuantan River. The Canoe (Jalur) carries many passengers and is decorated with various ornaments showing the social identity of the owner. In the 19th century the canoe transitioned purpose to recreational, sporting and commemoration of the Muslims day celebrations.

After the Independence of Indonesia, this event was listed as a traditional festival held annually on the anniversary of Indonesia's Independence Day. The Festival is called “Pacu Jalur” and is a traditional rowing race festival in the Kuantan River, Riau Province, Indonesia. It's a traditional sport of rowing a canoe that encompasses the elements of power, speed, synchronization and endurance, in a bid to reach the destination first. It also shows the culture and distinctive artwork that is a blend of elements art, and magic power. Today , traditional canoe racing (Pacu Jalur) is a more cheerful spectacle. There is a beautiful decoration in canoes and we also witness a whole range of ancient rites performed before the race.

The most interesting is the tale behind the festival of Pacu Jalur. There are many legends and rituals . Local people believe the elements about Pacu Jalur do not absolutely determine the winner of the race. They assume that a winner is determined by magical powers that exist in the canoe (jalur) and the "magic power" of a shaman to the control of the canoe (jalur). This magical power can be seen from the entire event, from the selection of wood , making the canoe until the show starts the race, which is always accompanied by magical rituals.

A canoe (Jalur) is a long narrow boat about 25 to 40 meters, typically pointed at both ends and open on top, propelled by 40 to 60 seated or kneeling paddlers. They make the canoe (jalur) using a big tree. The paddlers are men from 15 years till 40 years old. They are dressed in gorgeous traditional costumes. The members of the canoe (jalur) called " Anak Pacu " consisting of carpenters of canoe maker, the commander will command the paddler, helmsman of the canoe, and dancers regulate movement , speed and synchronization of the paddlers. In the front and back of the boat is dancers whose dance help the paddlers to provide a balanced pressure to follow the canoe's direction. At the rear a shaman guide and blesses the paddlers and the canoe. The dancers play traditional music and shouts from the onlookers make an unforgettable scene.

I am so lucky as i saw this festival some years ago. It is a spectacular competition of traditional canoe rowing. Seeing paddlers moving their oars in one motion while the dancers and traditional music entertain us . Along the riverbanks hundreds of people, both locals and tourists come and to see the festival. I felt enthusiasm .. Crowds the peoples cheering on the racers.
12 / 12 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
joehobo says:
Congrats on the feature...dear Cicie. We in the South of India also have a traditional snake boat festival in Cochin every year and the tradition has been recognised by our Indian goverment by the trophy in the name of our late prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru since 1964.
Posted on: Nov 06, 2013
cotton_foam says:
Many congrats my dear sis!!!
Posted on: Nov 01, 2013
ilserita says:
Congrats on the feature, Cicie
Posted on: Nov 01, 2013
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