August 14, 2017

3122 INDONESIA (Sumatra) - Bull race in Padang

The bull racing festival (Pacu Jawi in the local language, which means "push-ahead bull") was created more than 400 years ago as a way to celebrate the end of rice harvesting season by the Minangkabau people in West Sumatra, more exactly in Padang. While the race has become part of Indonesian culture, its main purpose is for sellers to exhibit the strength of their bulls to potential buyers. A good race performance can lead to generating a higher price for those farmers that plan to sell breeding stock.

This event, which involves more then 700 bulls, is held in a muddy rice field. The jockeys taking part in the race hang on to the tail of two bulls and drive the cattle with their bare feet resting on a lightweight wooden plow. The bulls run in pairs, and are loosely tied together to make it more difficult to maintain a long consistent run. The idea is that the person who can get the bulls to race in a straight line is the winner, with riders biting the bulls' tails to make the animals go faster, steering them with their hands and feet.

After each run the bulls are cleaned and herded into a display pen for the buyers to make their choice. Although health and safety during the races leaves a lot to be desired, the rate of injury during the mud filled event is surprisingly low. The rice field is used as an arena runway which is about 60 metres wide, and the field is also smoothed to prevent accidents. Instead it is notoriously difficult for photographers to safely take pictures of the event.

About the stamps
The first stamp is a greeting one issued in 2001.

The following four stamps form the series Traditional Ceremonies, issued on February 24, 2011. All the stamps have the same face value (1.500 IDR).
1/4 Grebeg Syawal, Yogyakarta - It's on the postcard 3121
2/4 Ngaben, Bali - It's on the postcard 3121
3/4 Pasola Sumba, Nusa Tenggara Timur - It's on the postcard 3121
4/4 Tiwah - Dayak, Kalimantan Tengah - It's on the postcard 3121

You think this Sumatran cow race looks deadly… try taking the photos!, by Anthony Bond - Daily Mail online
Cash cow: Farmers compete in traditional plough race, by Bunmi Adigun - Barcroft TV online

Sender: Zenuri Ismawan (direct swap)
Sent from Semarang (Java / Indonesia), on 05.06.2017

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