The Lingsar Festival on Lombok, Indonesia: A Picture Story

By DORISEA researcher Volker Gottowik, University of Heidelberg

Lingsar is a rural community in West Lombok, situated at the foot of Gunung Rinjani. It is widely known for a temple complex (Pura Lingsar) that was built on extensive water springs and is jointly maintained by Hindu-Balinese and Muslim-Sasak. Their shared responsibility for this sacred site finds its symbolic expression in a festival (Pujawali Lingsar) that the two distinct ethnic and religious groups jointly organize every year.

The following pictures of this festival were taken between 2011 and 2013. They focus on ritual activities like, for example, processions, offerings and services that display concurrently commonalities and differences between Muslim-Sasak and Hindu-Balinese. The undisputed climax of the festival is a mock battle between the participants in the festival (Perang Topat) that is staged with rice cakes.

I would like to thank Pemangku Sasak Soeparman Taufik, Jero Mangku Putra and I Ketut Toya for the support they have given me. I am grateful in particular to Mohammed Azmy, who assisted my research on Lombok.