2 cats used in ‘Manten kucing’ rain making ritual of East Java

Everything on the internet about the Manten kucing rain making ritual is in Indonesian. This is the first page on the topic in English! 🙂 The problem: Google translate is not that good. It is difficult to understand the ritual from poorly translated Indonesian but here goes.

From what I can glean from these rather poor translations, this ritual involves parading in a public place with two cats carried by a man and a woman. Or perhaps the gender of the people is irrelevant but as this is a sort of wedding the man-woman combination may be important. The cats can be carried in a decorated carrier or not.

It is performed in the dry season in Tulungagung Regency. Tulungagung is a regency (kabupaten) of East Java Province, Indonesia. It covers an area of 1,055.65 square kilometers. I believe it is performed in Tulungagung, especially in Pelem Village.

‘Manten’ means ‘bride’ in English and ‘kucing’ means ‘cat’. The cats are involved in a wedding ceremony, as mentioned.

The cats are carried to a spring where they are bathed while a mantra is recited. One source says that the cats are bathed in ‘Coban Kram’. However, it is not clear what this is!

It should start raining immediately the ritual is concluded. The participants believe that washing the cats’ faces makes them youthful and blessed.

The ritual began in the 1930s during the Dutch colonial era. Apparently, a migrant named Eyang Sangkrah bathed two cats in a lake and it rained!

Manten kucing is one of five rain-making rituals of Indonesia


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