Wed, 22 Mar 2000

Denpasar installs traditional guards

DENPASAR, Bali: Denpasar Mayor A.A. Puspayoga officiated on Monday afternoon a ceremony installing Pecalang (traditional security guards) in Adat Sumerta village, east of here.

East Denpasar district chief I.B. Brahma Putra said it was the first time the guards were grouped in a formal organization on the island.

"They used to be a temporary force without regular members," Brahma said.

Among the guards' responsibilities is safeguarding various public functions held in the village. The group, called the Pecalang Desa Adat Sumerta, comprises 94 members from 17 hamlets.

Later in the day, the security guards attended a prayer in Pura Puseh at the village. Attired in traditional poleng (black- and-white checkered sarong) and armed with kris (a curved blade), they prayed for protection and peace for the village. (zen/edt)