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Pacu Jalur

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Festival of  Pacu Jalur of Taluk Kuantan was opened by the Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy/Head of the Tourism and Creative Economy Agency (Menparekraf/Kabaparekraf) Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno on 21 August 2022. He has conveyed that the 2022 Festival of  Pacu Jalur of Taluk Kuantan  is expected to be a good momentum for economic revival and job creation for the people of Riau, particularly in Kuantan Singingi Regency, Sumatra Island. In the local language, the word  ‘Jalur’ means “boat”. Pacu Jalur is a rowing race on the river by using a long boat made of wood. The excitement of this festival is a tourism attraction for nomads, local and international tourists and local residents.

Pacu Jalur is the local wisdom of the Kuantan Singingi community. This boat race uses boats with a length of 25 to 40 meters. The history of Pacu Jalur started in the 17th century. The boat was the main means of transportation for villagers in Rantau Kuantan, namely the area along the Kuantan River. At that time, land transportation had not  developed yet. As a result, the boat is used as an important means of transportation for the villagers, mainly used as a means of transporting agricultural products, as well as the main transportation. Afterwards,  the paths are given beautiful carvings, such as carving the heads of snakes, crocodiles, or tigers. This change also marks the development of the function of the pathway to show social identity. Only the figure of the region, and the aristocrats rode the ornate path. Then, time by time, the sea lanes are not only decorated, but also contested. The speed competition event between tracts were then known as Pacu Jalur.

In the Pacu Jalur race, there are about 50 to 60 rowers  in each boat. The number of rowers varies for each boat,  because it is based on the length of the boat. The number of rowers does not guarantee victory, because according to local myths, the victory is determined by the magical power found in the wooden boat and the magic of the handler in controlling the boat. Of the 50 or 60 rowers, there are team members with their own duties, such as the 'concang' who becomes the commander or signal giver, and the 'waistman' who becomes the helmsman. There is also an 'onjai man' who is in charge of giving the rhythm at the steering part and a ' dance worker ' who helps the 'onjai man' in applying pressure so that the boat is balanced. The Pacu Jalur uses a knockout system so that participants who have lost at the beginning are not allowed to play anymore. While the winners will be contested again to be a winner. Unlike other competitions, Paju Jalur starts with a quite unique sign, namely by ringing the cannon three times. This cannon is used so that the sound of the start of the race can be heard, because of the vastness of the runway and the noisy audience watching this typical Kuantan Singingi race.

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