Tajen, Wagers In Cock Blood

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We follow our guide as he shifts through the crowd, passing little makeshift warungs and babi guling stands to enter the arena where the action will take place: the topic of this article and the reason everyone came here with half-filled wallets and excitement.

As we shuffle inside and claim our seats, I scope out the area and grab a great view of all that is happening. A great platform is in the center of us all with a metal fence surrounding it. Inside, the coaches are comparing each others cocks before the fights, massaging and parading their champions about, whilst, outside the cage, throngs of people arrive and place themselves on the massive steps/seats that are all around. There must be well above 300 people here, smoking and chatting with one another, ready for the fights to begin.

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After a while, the coaches disperse and a man sitting crossed legged atop a separate higher platform has a tub of water, a wooden bowl and a gong beside him. He rings the gong that signifies it’s about to start. The audience stands up and together they raise their hands and start chanting “Cock Cock Cock Cock”. This is how the betting is established: they chant, they lock eyes and they use a combination of waving money and hand gestures to communicate.

The gong is heard once again, the metallic sound pierces through the noise and lingers. Everyone falls silent and we watch intently at the caged platform in the center of it all. Two coaches come from opposite sides and meet in the center, cocks in hand. They try to aggravate the cocks and get them aggressive and riled up by spanking and swatting, pulling of feathers and pinch.

The coaches throw them forward towards the ground and the cocks head for each other, prowling and pecking, testing the strength of their opponent. The arena is silent with the exception of the occasional cluck from the many other cocks held within their separate personal cages, and we’re all watching as the cocks below circle about. Then it happens, the crowd roars as they jump in the air pecking and clawing at each other in a flurry of loose feathers. The roar from us is deafening while the cock fight below rages on, up in the air or don on the floor the fighters are not willing to give up, their blades flashing and slicing through the skin and meat of the other. The sound of the gong appears once again. The coaches take their cut-up and blood stained fighters and stand next to each other while stroking and pinching their cocks who are still in attack mode. Meanwhile, someone comes over with a small wooden bucket-cage in which they’ll throw the cocks inside. Pinching the red fleshy combs atop their heads. The angry cocks are now writhing in the hands of their masters, squirming to get free and fight, each with a deadly blade firmly attached to one foot that will soon taste blood.

The cages rumbles about as feathers fly away, blades dig into skin, beaks bit into flesh, someone jumps and nicks the others neck. The close quarter combat ends abruptly and, as one, the crowd stands silent as the cage is lifted and we see two roosters bloodied and cut but only one is still standing. There stands the winner as he pecks the lifeless body of his foe again and again. Satisfied that his enemy is dead, he limps away, clucking and bleeding.

The audience is all in a different state of emotions ranging from ecstatic to downcast, some jumping in joy and others leaving in disgust. Crumpled money flies through the air to settle the agreed upon bets, hundreds of people throwing money. It really is a spectacle to be seen.

The gong hits once again, and we go through the same motions. The chanting, the betting, the fighting and the roaring; disappointment and euphoria, another dead cock. This process happens another 8 or 9 times before we leave.

Watching this cockfight was a unique experience for my fellow bloggers Achyuth, Becca, Pim and I (they also wrote articles covering different aspects of our experience). I recommend going to a cockfight at least once because that was something worth seeing.

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About Author

My name is Jeff Cardinale and I'm 17. Was born and raised in Bali, Indonesia. This is my first blog and I hope it goes well...

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