Shamans in East Java plan to hold witchcraft festival after forming association

Photo illustration of a voodoo doll. Photo: BeatrixBelibaste/Wikimedia Commons
Photo illustration of a voodoo doll. Photo: BeatrixBelibaste/Wikimedia Commons

We didn’t see it coming, but Indonesian shamans and psychics have formally established the Indonesian Shaman Association (Perdunu) in Banyuwangi, East Java. And they foresee a festival celebrating the union. 

A formal ceremony, where the group announced its declaration, was held on Wednesday in a village in Songgon district. Perdunu seeks to redeem trust towards legitimate shamans, so that people “won’t be deceived by fake shamans,” which in the past have led to fraud cases. 

Dozens of shamans from various expertise have already joined the association, according to Perdunu’s Chairman Abdul Fatah Hasan. They’ve reportedly established several programs as well, such as mass prayers and free treatments, which are scheduled to take place at the end of the month. 

Perdunu also plans on introducing various mystical destinations in Banyuwangi (the regency is known for supernatural encounters among horror enthusiasts), along with what might be their most interesting event yet: a santet festival. 

Santet, or witchcraft in Indonesian, is widely understood to be an effort to harm another person from a distance by using black magic. Most of the time, it is executed at the request of someone who holds a grudge towards the target, which can be done by themselves or with the help of a shaman.

“We will hold a black magic festival. There are many [kinds of santet] we will hold in the festival. There will be an introduction to recognize if someone gets affected by witchcraft or magic. We will also introduce the mystical destinations in Banyuwangi, there are already suggested places if I’m not mistaken: Alas Purwo, Rowo Bayu, and Antaboga,” Abdul said.

Yeah, count us out of attending the festival lest we offend some shamans.

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