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The Centenary of the Badung Puputan of 1906

Plans Announced for Events to Mark the 100th Anniversary of the Puputan Badung War of 1906.


Plans are reportedly well advanced for a series of major events in September and November 2006 to commemorate the historic Puputan Badung War of 1906.

The Badung Puputan

Puputan, or a Balinese ritualistic fight to the death, once formed a cornerstone of Bali's Kings ultimate sacrifice on behalf of their subjects; the ultimate refusal to surrender in the face of a foe. With a literal meaning of 'ending' or 'finish,' it was incumbent on every Balinese King to display the necessary courage to die rather than be taken prisoner and be forced to leave his beloved island home.

In a series of puputan between 1894 and 1908, hundreds of Balinese, led by their kings in Bali and Lombok, died in the face of advancing Dutch colonial forces.

On September 20, 1906, on the pretext that the people of Badung (modern day Denpasar) had looted a Chinese merchant ship that washed ashore on Sanur Beach 4 months earlier, Dutch troops marched into Denpasar ostensibly to arrest and punish Raja Gede Ngurah Denpasar at his palace. Anticipating the Dutch assault and certain of any battles any eventual outcome, the Raja set fire to the palace and led his entire royal household and over 300 followers down the road for the ultimate confrontation with the Dutch. In an area known today at Puputan Field, the Balinese - men, women and children - armed largely only with traditional swords and spears met the Dutch invaders. The men, dressed splendidly in white cremation garments and ritual jewelry, and the women, in white cloaks and with their hair let down, stopped just meters before the heavily armed soldiers.

Against the ominously distracting and incessant beating of Balinese war drums, the incredulous foreign soldiers saw the Raja, carried by four men on a state palanquin, die instantly as one of his priests suddenly plunged a dagger into his heart. Sparking a frenzy of death, others in the Raja's entourage then began turning their weapons upon themselves and each other. Meanwhile, women mocked and scorned the foreign soldiers, throwing money and jewels in their faces, insisting the soldiers impale them. Panicked by the scene before them or, by some reports, the historically ubiquitous stray gunshots from "an unknown source," the Dutch forces then turned their rifles and artillery on the crowd - creating helter-skelter mounds of corpses; royalty on the bottom with, even in death, their subjects provding a protective layer on the top.

In keeping with the sordid but time-honored tradition of conquering hordes everywhere, the Dutch soldiers wasted little time stripping the jewels from the corpses of the Balinese and looting the palace ruins.

Later that same day in nearby Pemacutan, the scene was repeated. The aging and frail co-ruler of Badung, Gusti Gede Ngurah Pemacutan, led hundreds of men, women and children onto the swords of waiting Dutch troops, failing which they died at their own hands.

Puputan Badung 100 Year Later

Organizers of the 2006 Centenary Commemoration of the Puputan Badung have expressed their desire to honor Bali's fallen heroes while at the same time creating an event that will help foster greater mutual understanding with the rest of the world, particularly the people of Holland.

The highlight of the commemoration will take place between September 20 -28, 2006 at the Catur Muka, Puputan Badung Park.A series of religious rituals, cultural and art presentations, exhibits of historical artifacts and documents, seminars and a special musical performance presented by students from the University of Leiden have all been scheduled during that 8 day period. Organizers also report that Queen Beatrice of The Netherlands has been invited to attend and participate in the event.

Mabhiseka Ratu Ida Tjokorda Denpasar IX - 25 November 2005

As a closing event for the commemoration of the Centenary of the Puputan Badung and to ensure perpetuation of royal household of Denpasar, the coronation of Ida Tjokorda Ngurah Mayun Samirana, SH will take place on November 25, 2006, installing him as the Ida Tjokorda Denpasar IX – Penglingsir Puri Agung Denpasar.

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