As a precursor to Music for Lombok's final concert, the village of Sesela - Gunung Sari stepped it up a notch by introducing MFL volunteers Lucas "Lukeman Hakim" MacRoberts and Andrew "Kitch-a-Prek" Delneky to the ancient art of stick fighting.
It was explained to us that stick fighting derives from an ancient exercise once used to train Sesak warriors. It helped them build reflexive skills and physical endurance, which was necessary in order to defend their island from invading kingdoms.
Today, stick fighting demonstrations are referred to as "Presian Dance". They are considered an art form and cultural tradition on the island of Lombok, located in the region of West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. The stick fights were accompanied by traditional percussion based Sesak music.
Stick fighting is also a competitive sport on the island of Lombok. In a competitive setting, the objective is to aim for the opponent's head. Money is thrown to the center of the tournament, and the first fighter to bleed loses the fight.
Luckily, our demonstration was noncompetitive and there was no bloodshed - just a lot of fun had by Music for Lombok volunteers and students! It was a great way for Music for Lombok volunteers to learn more about Sesak culture and enjoy one last great Lombok experience before the conclusion of our program.
When they weren't stick fighting, Music for Lombok volunteers were helping underprivileged children learn English through the creative medium of music education. Music for Lombok volunteers were trained musicians who spent four weeks in the village of Sesela - Gunung Sari teaching guitar, piano, voice, and basic theory ("bahasa musik"). In fact, following the stick fights, the students performed English songs "In the Jungle", "Yoshime", and "Stand by Me".
-Kat Vallera, founder of Music for Lombok
Photos & Video by Kat Vallera