A line of trucks carrying hundreds of cows descended to a muddy paddy field in Nagari Sungai Tarab, Tanah Datar, West Sumatra, on Jan. 4.
On the side of the paddy field, jockeys started to unload and prepare their cows for a race, locally known as Pacu Jawi.
In Pacu Jawi, two cows are fitted with a bamboo frame that a jockey attempts to balance during the race.
For more than 400 years, Pacu Jawi has been held to mark the end of the rice harvest season.
“Before I reached my school age, I followed my father to take our cattle to such competitions,” Kalis, a 75-year-old jockey, said.
Pacu Jawi, Kalis said, provided a chance for the locals to gather and enjoy the race together.
Another jockey, Asril, said that the fastest cows were not always the winners in Pacu Jawi.
“We’re looking for the ones that can run straight with good balance,” he said.
The Pacu Jawi race moves from one subdistrict to another every week. And anywhere it is held, Pacu Jawi always attracts a huge crowd. [yps]