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Metatah Ceremony







Balinese have many purification rituals, whether for temple, or personally.Metatah is one of the religious ceremonies that must be done by the Balinese Hindus (Hindu Dharma) adherent. Metatah is a ceremony to smooth six upper teeth of teenager by using the tight-fisted. This is a ceremony to mark a teenager who has grown up into an adult. This teeth-filing ceremony is a must for parents in Bali to be hold for their children, because this is one of the most important ceremonies that based on Hindu’s belief. Metatah is held to ease the ‘Sad Ripu’ factors inside of human. Sad Ripu means the six enemies or evils inside human being, they are anger, jealously, stupidity, unbridled lust, greed, and dipsomania.



This ritual ceremony is handled by ’Sangging’, a special Metatah expert, who knows about its procedures. It started with the Sangging offering mantras and then ritual participant prays to the God and the ancestor, for safety and that the ritual would run smoothly.  In the main ritual, the participants are asked to lie down, open their mouth and showing their teeth. The feeling ceremony of the six teeth is a symbol of filing six human natures which are considered as enemy of human being.As a symbol of protection, the Sangging then touched his ruby ring to the teeth, from black magic that can attack during the ritual. The matatah ritual then begun when Sangging filed the six front teeth. Those teeth are leveled including the eyetooth. Then the Metatah participants should put their saliva to a small coconut fruit which is hold by the participants’ mother. Those six enemies are: Kama (uncontrollable desire); loba (greed, always want to get more); krodha (unmanageable anger); mada (intoxication that brings dark thoughts); moha (confusion that lead to someone unable to finish tasks perfectly); matsarya (jealousy that caused hostility). Those Six natures that are enemies of human are called sad ripu.



  Then something is given to be bitten by the ritual participants as symbol of Sad Rasa (Six Taste), symbolizing that he/she is ready to face the world. The ritual takes about 10 to 15 minutes. The Metatah series then finished by praying for thanks, and then followed with ‘Melukat’ or self purification. At the end of the ceremony, they pray for the new life, safely, and to be spared from the six enemies or evils. ‘Metatah’ ceremony is a symbol that someone should be wiser when stepping as an adult.

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