Coral Pond, Ritual Pedestal of Colored Rice – One of the unique traditional trinkets that can be found in the implementation of Erau is the use of coral ponds. A coral pond is a painting or colorful image that serves as the base for the implementation of certain sacred rituals in Erau. This picture or painting is made of rice which is given various colors. The rice is arranged in such a way as to form special motifs, each of which has a specific meaning and function.

Coral ponds can be found in a number of sacred rituals that take place during the Erau Festival. One of them is the ritual of erecting a ayu pole which marks the start of Erau. In this ritual, the coral ponds are used with the motif of four dragons and colored gold as the base of the yellow mattress which is the place for Sangkoh Piatu to reside. On the muzzle of each dragon are placed two bananas that symbolize fangs. Between the two bananas, a white native chicken egg is placed which symbolizes kemala (heirloom stone).

In the ritual of beluluh, a coral pond is used as a base for a hall made of bamboo with a number of poles that vary depending on the status of the person sitting on it. After the beluluh ceremony is over, the colorful rice from the coral pond is collected and brought to the crowd of people who fill the front court of the Keraton. This rice will be contested by residents because it is considered to bring blessings or luck to them.

On the seventh night of the Erau Festival, when the ritual of scaling the suana ox is held, a coral pond with the motif of the ox suana is used. This coral pond is made using rice with 37 types of colors. During the ritual, the Sultan’s relatives and guests will throw money at the image of the suana ox while making wishes / intentions. The money scattered over this painting will be handed over to the gods (ritual servant women) and belian (ritual servants) who devote themselves to carrying out the rituals of the Kutai Palace.

Broadly speaking, there are several types of coral pond motifs, namely sapi suana, genta coral, dungkul coral, indra geni coral, terate coral, daulan coral, and paoh coral.

According to Awang Imaluddin, one of the people in charge of sacred rituals in the Kutai Palace environment, since a long time ago the coral pond motif was made by a special officer among the palace servants, because it requires high skills in its manufacture. These skills and duties are passed down from generation to generation to their children and grandchildren. However, nowadays the making of coral ponds is done with the help of patterns or prints, because the quality of skills of the coral pond makers has changed over time. [Ardee / IndonesiaKaya]