While fighting, the men wear a traditional songket (woven cloth) over a pair of regular pants.
A belt of bells worn on the hip and a string of bells strapped on the ankles create a peculiar sound.
The upper body remains bare and uncovered, leaving it exposed to the whips’ lashes.
After a starting signal, the whip and shield duel begins. The fighters shuffle their feet and raise spectators’ tension by running back and forth towards each other. The aggressor tries to hit his opponent’s body with the whip.
However being hit does not automatically mean losing the game – it is more important which part of the body is hit in deciding the winner.
A hit in the face or on the head means losing the game; a hit on the back, though, is a good sign, promising that next year’s harvest will be prosperous.
The roles of aggressor and defender are reversed after every whip strike, and, after four trials, a new pair of opponents will take their chance.
Even though it is a playful event, caci also has a sacrificial function: the blood that is shed from the wounds caused by the whips is an offering to the ancestors, who, in return, will ensure the fertility of the land.