_PlaCEs oF IntEResT In BaLi_

Bali houses Pura Kehen, Bali's second largest temple. The temple has three courtyards connected by steps, and is decorated with carvings and statues. A large banyan tree shades the lowest and second courtyards.

Batubulan is home to a number of stone carvers. Divinities and demons carved from sandstone (Paras) decorate (and protect) houses and temples along the road that takes you from Denpasar. Batubulan also has excellent dance and theatrical performances.

The mountain resort of Bedugul is well known for its golf course and Ulun Danu, a temple which seems to rise out of the lake to present itself beautifully. Boats, water skiing, and parasailing are among the many watersports available in this area.

The sanctuary of Besakih on the slopes of Gunung Agung (Mount Holy) is over a thousand years old and is known as the Mother Temple of Bali, the biggest and holiest of all Balinese temples. Steps rise through split gates to the main courtyard where the Trinity shrines, dedicated to Shiva, Brahma, and Wishnu, are wrapped in cloth and decorated with flower offerings. Around them, stand eighteen separate sanctuaries, belonging to different regencies and castes.

Celuk is noted for silver and gold jewelry works. Their works are extremely meticulous and detailed.

The capital city of the Province of Bali, Denpasar houses government offices, banks, and many other offices. Yet it manages to retain its Balinese personality while its temples still mantain their presence and influence. Pura Jagatnatha, a temple dedicated to the Sang Hyang Widi (Supreme God), has been converted into a Musuem. The status of a turtle and two dragons in the temple signify the foundation of the world. The Pura's architecture resembles that of a Balinese palace. It houses a fine variety of early and modern art.
Sanggraha Kriya Hasta is a government-supervised art center, home to a wide variety of handicraft and works of art. Werdi Budaya presents a yearly art festival between June and July, with performances, exhibitions, art contest, and other artistic activities.

Goa Gajah
Dating back to the 11th century, Goa Gajah is a cave temple believed to be built as a monastery. Two statues flank a demon head over the entrance, and a statue of Ganesha (Elephant) sits inside the cave. Further excavations have uncovered a bathing place with six statues of nymphs holding water spouts.

Goa Lawah
Nine kilometers from Klungkung is Goa Lawah (Bat Cave). Thousands of bats make the roof of the cave their homes. Its entrances are guarded by a temple believed to be found by a sage nine centuries ago.

The villages of Kintamani and Penelokan give a view of the active Mount Batur and its lake. Seven miles in diameter and sixty feet deep, the caldera of Batur is pretty impressive. From Penelokan, a road lead to Kediasan on the shores of the lake where boats can be rented to cross over to Trunyan.

The Javanese Hindu Kingdom in Bali, where Balinese royalty draws its blood line, sat in Klungkung. It is the oldest kingdom on the island, and its Raja the most exalted.
The ceiling of Kertha Gosa (Royal Court of Justice), built in the 18th century, displays one of Bali's masterpieces. Much like Michelangelo's The Creation on the Sistine Chapel, the murals portray the punishment of hell and the rewards of heaven, elaborated in thousands of panels of wayang style. The floating pavillion, garden, and lotus ponds are a reminder of the former glory of this kingdom.

Once a lonely little village on the road from Denpasar to Bukit Peninsula, Kuta is now the tourist mecca of Bali, popular mainly among the young and adventurous. Coconut trees line the sand beach as far as the eyes can see towards the north stopped by the runway of Denpasar's airport far in the west.The Sunset in Kuta is most breathtaking.
Accommodations in Kuta range from a modest homestay for a few dollars a night to luxurious, five-star, international hotels costing several hundred to several thousand dollars a night. The street of Legian, situated directly behind the row of hotels that face the beach, is lined with shops of all varieties. You can find any Balinese handicrafts here, from the least expensive to the most exquisite; or unique stores such as the leather store staffed by two young Balinese men that will perfectly sculpt for you a leather jacket. (They are all extremely talented artists, remember?)
At night, Kuta is alive with night life. Western influences create discotheques, dance clubs, and pubs. Gastronomical demands inspire a multitude of restaurants, serving traditional Indonesian and Balinese food to various ethnic meals from Japan, Switzerland, etc. As if these were not enough, various Balinese dance performances are staged in Kuta every night. One of the best Kecak performances is to be found in Kuta.

The village of woodcarvers, Mas is still the house of Bali's old masters. A number of art galleries exhibit some of their best works. Mas is also known for its masks.

Menjangan Island
Located on Terima Bay, off the northwest tip of Bali, Menjangan Island offers beautiful scenery. The water surrounding it is known for beautiful coral reefs and its wealth of tropical fish.

Nusa Dua
Part of the Bukut Peninsula in southern Bali, Nusa Dua has some of the most beautiful and luxurious hotels on this planet, gracefully integrating the beauty of the white beaches and clear water into the landscape of the hotels. Ronald Reagan stayed here when he visited Bali. The beaches of Nusa Dua allow you to gently surf along the northern side of the peninsula. If you care for bigger waves, the southern part of the peninsula can give you a challenge.

Located between Ubud and Mas, Peliatan is the center of traditional music and dance of Bali.

The ten acres of nutmeg trees in the Sangeh forest are considered sacred. Two temples stand in the middle of the forest, and another at the edge. Monkeys heavily inhabit this forest, and are also held sacred. They will come to you when you visit the temples. Make sure you protect your handbags, etc as the monkeys will steal them.

Palm-lined beach, curving from the Grand Bali Beach Hotel to the south and facing the Indian Ocean towards the east, Sanur is an excellent place to see the sun rise in the morning. I suspect this is where Nehru experienced Bali to utter "Bali is the morning of the world." Offshore reefs protect the beach agains the waves, and makes it popular for windsurfing, boating, and other watersports.
Sanur is only a short distance from Denpasar, with public transportation readily available. It is one of the first areas where one can find good hotels, restaurants, shops, and other tourist facilities.

Tampak Siring
Pura Tirta Empul is the temple of Tampak Siring, built around a sacred spring. The temple and its two bathing places have been used by the Balinese for over 1000 years for good health and prosperity; the spring water has curative powers. Regular purification ceremonies take place here. Additionally, the people of Tampak Siring produce artistic bone and ivory carvings.

Tanah Lot
One of Bali's most important sea temples, Tanah Lot temple is built atop a huge rock, surrounded by the sea. Build in the 16th century, Tanah Lot's rituals include paying of homage to the guardian spirits of the sea. Poisonous sea snakes found in the little caves at the base of the rocky island are believed to guard the temple from evil spirits and intruders.

The village of Tenganan maintains its ancient pre-Hindu customs through a strong code of nonfraternization with outsiders, helped by the protection of its surrounding walls. Unique offering ritual dances and gladiator-like battles between youths take place. Tenganan develops a unique technique of weaving, called the 'double ikat.' The people believe in the magical power of the fabric.

Trunyan is an ancient village in Bali, inhabited by people who call themselves "Bali Aga" or old Bali. They live in ways that are much different from other Balinese. In Trunyan, the temple Puser Jagat (Navel of the Universe) has an unusual architecture and stands under a massive banyan tree. Instead of cremating their corpses, the Bali Aga simply place them under this banyan tree. The odor of death is mysteriously masked by a special arboreal fragrance emitted by the banyan tree.

Ubud is the art center of Bali, which maybe a hard concept to understand, given the artistic nature of the entire living in Bali. But the Raja of Ubud, historically, strongly encouraged artistic development, especially in painting. Ubud's Museum "Puri Lukisan" houses a permanent collection of Balinese paintings, dating from the turn of the century. Dutchborn Hans Snel and American Atonio Blanco, among other internationally prominent artists, had both called Ubud their home. The Neka Museum is another excellent museum, with marvelous collections of traditional Balinese paintings by local artists as well as foreign artists who lived in Bali.
Ubud today expands to other arts. You should not be surprised to run into a foreigner who happens to be living in Ubud, meditating or soul searching for his next book or poetry collection. Most hotels in Ubud are small, homely hotels and homestays that will provide you with a room that faces the ricefields with bird sonatas togently wake you in the morning.

Yeh Saneh
Few people know of this idyllic spot a little further east on the coastal road. A few meters from the splash of the surf is a cool freshwater spring around which a large pool and gardens have been built.



* BaLineSE TrADiTioNal clOtHes *

Balinese Dress and Balinese Textiles

Balinese temple dress, which is called adat dress, is not a matter of choice, nor is it a fashion statement. It is a symbolic gesture with a function. It is compulsory attire for everyone for the temple.

Divine origin
As with nearly everything in Bali, dress has a divine origin. According to manuscripts, Brahma created the world and then he created people. They were naked. Kala, the son of Siwa, the destroyer, ate them. This distressed Wisnu, the preserver. He, with Indra, sent some gods and goddesses to earth to civilize men. One of them was Ratih, goddess of the moon, and she taught men how to weave clothes from vegetable materials.

At first, humans would have used grass to cove the body. Then they would have used a loincloth made from tree bark. It was pounded into long strips and worn between the legs and around the hips. The Purnama Bali texts say that thread from the leaves of the bayu plant was spun and woven into fabric.

Chakras are energy centres in our bodies. It is believed that certain emotions and desires are associated with each chakra. The purpose of adat dress is to control some of these desires and to focus attention on a higher purpose. Adat dress therefore symbolically and functionally harnesses the lower instincts.

Formal Dress
The Balinese wear their finest traditional clothes for the temple. They consist of lengths of cloth draped, wrapped or tied around the body. On ritual occasions only flat woven pieces of fabric are worn, never sarongs, which are strictly tube skirts that have been sewn together. Sarongs are only used for casual wear. Westerners often use the word "sarong" incorrectly.

Men and women wear a cloth, called a kamben, usually batik, wrapped around the waist, wrapped differently by men and women. Men wrap the cloth around their waist with a fold in the front, whereas women wear it tightly around their hips with no drapes. Women tie the kamben at the waist on the left-hand side, whereas men tie it in the centre.

On very important occasions, like a wedding or tooth-filing, women sometimes wear an underskirt or tapih, wrapped so that the left-hand, lower part shows when walking. They also may wear a black corset around the body, which is hot, and over it a coloured sash, known as a sabuk, adorned very often with gold leaf or bronze paint.

Women participants in a temple ceremony may wear an upper garment called an anteng, which is wrapped tightly around the upper body leaving the shoulders free, or a larger selendang, like a shawl, which is thrown over one shoulder. Until the 1930s Balinese women went to the temple with their upper bodies naked, but the Dutch persuaded them to cover up.

Slightly less formal is the long-sleeved, lacy blouse called a kebaya, which is originally Javanese, but the Balinese kebaya is different from the Javanese one. The Balinese have looser sleeves to allow for movement while working in the fields or the market.

Men also wear a short flat piece of cloth over the kamben, called a saput, which is bright yellow or white, with a decorative border, and both are tied on by the sabuk. If the ceremony is informal, an ordinary shirt is worn, but if the ceremony is an important one, a white shirt is worn with gold buttons.

Men also wear a headdress called an udeng. It is symbolic of the Ulu Candra, which is a symbolic Balinese letter. The front wing-like vertical appendage, called jambul, symbolises Siwa. It is also a symbol for the male lingga. The lingga is itself symbolic of Siwa. The part wrapped around the head is like a half-moon or sun, the symbol of Brahma. The whole thing may also be a symbolic yoni or female principle, since Brahma is the creator of life. All in all, complex and deeply symbolic, as well as hard to put on.

Relationship between chakras and formal dress
There are six chakras of the body that are controlled by Balinese formal dress. They are:

"The third eye" (ajna)
located in the pineal plexus, connected to pure energy or spirit, is associated with enlightenment. The purpose of a man's udeng is to tie and focus his consciousness to this point of utter purity and distinguish it from all other personal desires, which hold a person down. Many women wear a white headband for a similar purpose.

The throat (vishuddha)
located in the crotid plexus, connected to the ether, is associated with knowledge, wisdom and understanding. This area remains open and flows freely.

The heart (anahata)
located in the cardiac plexus, connected to the air, is associated with sharing, love, devotion, selfless service and compassion. It is above the boundary created by the selendang and although it is covered by a shirt or kebaya is open and flows freely.

The navel (manipura)
located in the solar plexus, connected to fire, is associated with immortality, longevity, fame, power, authority and wealth. These desires are harnessed by the selendang.

The genitals (svadhisthana)
located in the hypogastric plexus, connected to water, is associated with family, procreation, sexual urges and fantasy. These instincts are harnessed by the saput and sabuk.

The perineum (mulhadhara)
located in the pelvis plexus, connected to earth, is associated with being grounded, security, physical comforts, basic biological needs and shelter. These instincts are harnessed by the kamben.

The Balinese have become enthusiastic wearers of uniforms. Usually it indicates membership of a group, such as a gamelan orchestra, a banjar work group or a political party. The Royal family in Ubud have their own uniform.

Often they are colour coded. Black tops, male and female, for burials and cremations, yellow and white for Saraswati Day and so on.

School uniforms are the same for all Government schools: red and white for primary school (the colour of the Indonesian flag), blue and white for junior high school and grey and white for senior high school.

You can't miss textiles in Bali. People wear them all the time. Even statues wear them, wrapped by textiles on special occasions. Even buildings have textiles attached to them, because buildings are symbolically dressed during certain ceremonies. Textiles are presented to the gods as offerings. The deceased are covered in numerous textiles prior to cremation.

It is quite possible that originally people did not need clothes in Bali as the forest would have given enough shade. Probably merchants from abroad brought the first materials. Chinese records from 1,400 years ago mention a king in northern Sumatra wearing silk. Silk would have been imported and only the rich could have afforded it.

Textiles would probably also have been used as offerings to the gods. These sacred origins still resonate in Indonesia. Arabs and other traders would have used textiles as a primary medium of exchange. There is a report that in 1603 the price of imported cloth was worth 40 pounds of nutmeg on the island of Banda.

Silk was exported from China two thousand years ago and for a long time China was the only exporter. Silk worms, living for only 45 days, fed on mulberry trees. During its short life a worm produced a cocoon of thin strands, which, when unravelled, might run for more than 900 meters. The thin strands were woven into threads from which silk was manufactured by hand in many Chinese towns. It may have been traded for cotton.

Silk is light, capable of being stretched without breaking, easily dyed with bright colours, and soft. Silk is prized and expensive.

Eventually silkworms were smuggled into India, where silk fabric was produced, but not of the highest quality.

The most common traditional textile in Bali is endek. Endek is Balinese weft ikat. The ikat process describes the way the pattern is made. It is a very time consuming business. The undyed yarns are tied together in such a way that, when the frame containing all the yarns is put into the die, they remain uncoloured. It is called a resist-die technique. Repeated tyings and dyeings eventually produce a textile of dazzling multi-hued patterns.

The designs could be applied to the warp threads alone - that is called warp ikat - or, as is the custom in Bali, the weft threads alone, and that is called weft ikat. If the designs are applied to both warp and weft, it is called double ikat.

If you imagine a traditional backstrap loom, called cagcag, and the rectangular shape, with the weaver sitting on the floor at one end, shifting her weight backwards and forwards, the warp threads are the long ones facing her and the weft ones are the horizontal ones.

In Bali there is weft ikat, known as endek, and double ikat, known as geringsing. Geringsing is very difficult and takes a very long time to make. It is only made in three places in the world: Bali, Japan and Gujarat in India.

Now, because Geringsing is so expensive, textiles with the geringsing pattern are made.

Patola is the name given to silk double ikat from Gujarat. In Bali geringsing is produced in the Bali Aga village of Tenganan on the east coast.

Originally only the courts wove endeks and only the princely families were allowed to wear them. They did so on special occasions, using them as wraparounds or shawls, but now everyone wears them. The earliest pieces, dating from the late 19th to early 20th century, were cotton and came from Buleleng in north Bali, which was then an important textile producing area. Sometimes exotic imported material, like silk, was used.

The patterns started off being mostly geometric shapes, but later other motifs were employed, like animals, flowers, stars and wayang figures. Early endeks were red and then yellow and later green. Until the beginning of the 20th century traditional vegetable dyes were employed.

In the 1930s weavers in the villages, outside the courts, started making endeks. New designs, new materials, new colours and new customers appeared. Not only was cotton used, as before, but also silk and rayon.

Early endeks always had a border. Borders disappeared as endek came to be sold by the metre. After Independence, production soared and it is still rising. New uses are being discovered, like furnishings. New patterns are still being created. And, of course, there have been radical changes in respect of dying and weaving techniques. The Japanese introduced a new loom, the ATBM, during the War, which is much quicker and is still widely used today.

Endek cloths are still all handwoven. It is time-consuming work and so it is costly. A skilful weaver can produce up to two meters a day. If they are cheap, they will be imitation prints, from Java or Lombok.

Not only in Bali, but the whole of western Indonesia, uses the word songket to describe a technique in which additional patterns are woven into a material with supplementary weft threads. Gold and silver threads are used in these textiles, the earliest ones being made of silk. Originally they would have been brought by Indian traders.

Songkets were restricted until the last 20 or 30 years to use by the princely castes. Now, anyone can wear them, but they are expensive.

They originated in the courts and Brahman households and were used in grand theatrical performances and ceremonial displays. The display indicated status and wealth. Dance costumes were made of songket. Later cotton was used, and in the last 30 years, rayon. Today, silk mixed with artificial silk or viscose is also used to keep the cost down. Virtually all the materials, however, have to be imported.

Sidemen in east Bali developed into a songket centre in the 17th century and has remained the leading place ever since. Backstrap looms are used in Bali, Sumatra and Java. To produce a simple selendang (shoulder shawl) takes at least five days and a kamben hip cloth with a complicated pattern a month or more. The loom produces cloths of a limited size, so if a large cloth is required, two widths are sewn together.

As with endek, there are regional styles, but it is difficult to tell where a particular piece actually comes from, as the courts forged various linkages. The oldest surviving pieces are unlikely to be more than 100 years.

Very fine songkets come from Buleleng. Those dating from the beginning of the 20th century are deep brown, red and sometimes violet. The centre is covered with dense patterns and a clear border frames the whole. The borders are patterned by triangles of gold thread.

The court of Karangasem is noted for deep, warm reds and a background of checked patterns, fine lines, and tiny motifs. Checked materials are still typical of east Bali. Early depictions of gods, demons and mythological creatures are rare in songkets, except for those produced in Karangasem. Lombok, which was ruled by Karangasem in the 17th and 18th centuries, also produced songkets, in general, finely woven and a little stiff.

Tabanan became famous for large figurative patterns and flowering tendrils.

Nowadays what were once localized patterns are produced all over Bali and screen-printed textiles are appearing with imitation songket patterns

Like silk cultivation, red dyeing, and songket weaving, Indian and Chinese merchants and travellers brought perada and its patterns to Java and Bali. The origin of perada lies probably in China.

No weaving is involved. Perada is the technique by which cotton or silk is adorned with gold leaf or gold dust. The gold is glued to the pattern. Originally it was restricted to the courts and only practised by men. The base fabric consists of simple plain, striped or checked cloths in brilliant colours against which the gold stands out.

Perada materials are stiff and brittle where the gold has been applied and they cannot be washed. The gold easily rubs off. So, people only wear them for special occasions, such as tooth-filings or weddings. Legong and topeng dancers wear perada costumes.

Nowadays, gold is too expensive and bronze pigment paint is applied instead. It is, however, a poor imitation.

Various cloths are used in ceremonies, particularly during rites of passage. They form part of the offerings. These sacred textiles are given the generic name of bebali - like the dances, which can only be performed in the inner part of the temple. These cloths have their own patterns and names. Very often there is a striped pattern. The lines symbolize the human life cycle - birth, growth and death. The traditional bebali were made by hand, using cagcag, a traditional weaving tool, and plants as natural dyes.

Bebali textiles were produced for centuries by the Bali Mula (indigenous Balinese) in Pacung village in Tejakula, Buleleng, North Bali. The Bali Mula have their own traditions and language. In general, members of the three high castes have a monopoly over the production of the bebali cloths. Women weave them and supply the markets, but Bebali cloths are now rarely seen. Few weavers are willing to produce them. In the early 1970s the villagers planted oranges instead of cotton, and the skills were largely lost.

The palm leaf lontars give recommendations on which sacred textiles to use in tooth- filing and wedding ceremonies, but strangely they are silent on baby ceremonies.

Every visitor to Bali notices very quickly the black and white checked cloths, wrapped around guardian statues, pavilions, people, kulkul drums in temples and even trees and stones wherein a spirit dwells. It is dazzling and powerful and has a special meaning for the Balinese: it represents the cosmic duality.

The article entitled Balinese Religion explained that the Balinese see the world in terms of opposites, good and bad, day and night, mountain and sea. This duality forms the whole: one cannot exist without the other. Poleng is the perfect representation of this view. The squares of equal size are perfect black and perfect white; they intersect and are not parallel. Grey squares contain strands of both and show that you cannot have one without the other. White represents good, the gods and health; black represents evil, the underworld and disease. Poleng comprises them both and so the whole.

Poleng material can be woven or printed on white cloth. Woven materials have a grey squares as well as black and white, created when the white and black yarns of weft and warp intersect. The black and white squares may be of different sizes depending on the cloth. When worn, the side of the material with bigger squares is worn on the inside, smaller squares on the outside.

The origin, in terms of locality, is unknown. Origin, in terms of inspiration, may be the plaited lamak offerings, in which light and dark green palm leaves are interwoven.

Poleng is rarely used on shrines, except shrines dedicated to Durga, the goddess of death. It is also rarely visible in the inner, holiest part of the temple. On those rare occasions it appears on the southern, impure direction. It is never displayed on the pagoda-like meru shrines or the high Padmasana empty seats, which are for the Trinity.

Masks representing gods are sometimes brought into temples as part of a ceremony. This is common in the case of Rangda masks in temples associated with graveyards. In South Bali, if the deity is a male, it will be wrapped in poleng cloth, and if it is a female, in white cloth. Otherwise there is no way to distinguish them.

In Barong-Rangda dances, Rangda's warriors wear protective poleng cloths. In processions of gods associated with the netherworld, one of the drums in the accompanying gamelan will be wrapped in poleng cloth, sometimes with a red border. If a poleng has a red edge around it, it represents the Trinity, Brahma, Wisnu and Siwa.

It is clear therefore that poleng is closely associated with the gods of the netherworld in the case of inanimate objects. For humans, men and women, poleng cloth offers protection. It is sometimes used in temple ceremonies to cover the ground, so that people walking on it will be free of all possible evil spirits.

These beautiful, but rare, sacred textiles have a uniform design. There is always a red background, although varying shades of red appear, a patterned frame of fine black, white, blue and yellow lines, a centre field and border, both of which contain endek patterns. Every cepuk has a longitudinal border of white arrowheads, called barong teeth or gigi barong. Cepuks are made of coarse handspun cotton or silk. The Balinese believe the older types, made of coarse cotton, are the most powerful. They are treated as valuable family heirlooms and rarely seen.

It is a long, time-consuming process. Developments in the last 60 years have tried to speed all parts of it up - using factory-made yarns, synthetic tying materials, quick-acting synthetic dyestuffs and longer warps. Unfortunately this has resulted in a loss of quality, which is why the Balinese believe the older cepuk cloths are more powerful.

Cepuk textiles are not used much in ceremonies anymore. They are too rare. They are associated with Rangda and are nowadays pretty much restricted to use in cremation ceremonies. Rangda dancers often wear a protective cepuk.

The origin of cepuk is almost certainly the patola cloths imported from India. The similarity in structure, colour and pattern is striking.

They are still woven in Nusa Penida, the island off south Bali, to the east. Nusa Penida was a place of banishment and evil forces and that no doubt adds to their powerful reputation.

The most spectacular textiles ever produced in Southeast Asia are the geringsings made only in the small attractive village of Tenganan in east Bali. The only other places in the world where similar textiles are weaved are Japan and India. The people of Tenganan are Bali Aga people, who believe that the god Indra created humans and then taught them the art of double ikat. Their rituals have to be carried out by persons, who are pure in body and spirit, and that purity is protected by the magical power of the textiles. The textiles protect the village and are only worn during major religious events.

The most striking feature is the muted colours - red, reddish-brown, dark blue or black violet. They are woven from cotton yarns. The patterns bear a similarity to Indian patola textiles. The designs are built up from little triangles. The central panel's patterns flow horizontally and vertically in some cloths and horizontally, vertically and diagonally in others. Another pattern is the wayang style, where semicircular patterns within patterns cover the panel. The segments contain stars, emblems, animals and architectural elements.

It is interesting that wayang kulit performances are unknown in Tenganan. This suggests that the courts of East Java and the Javanese-Balinese courts commissioned the wayang patterns.

Numerous villages in east Bali use geringsing textiles during ceremonies. They are used throughout Bali in rites of passage to protect the participants against danger. Those that can afford them wrap a geringsing around the pillow on which a person's head rests during the tooth-filing ceremony. They are also used to cover various ceremonial utensils in village temples and as a shroud to cover the body before a cremation. In some regions they are used as an underlay for offerings. For these purposes the wayang style is preferred.

Geringsing is very old and is mentioned in a literary work of 1365. It can take between five and eight years to weave a sacred cloth. Only a small number of Tenganan residents are still capable of making geringsing textiles and the technique is passed down from generation to generation.

An intriguing piece of genetic research carried out in 1978 by Indonesian and Swiss scientists in Tenganan suggests that the people of Tenganan came from India, perhaps via Java. 18 of the inhabitants had an enzyme that is characteristic of Indians and otherwise exceptionally rare. Genetics even has uses when it comes to the history of textiles.

from : http://www.murnis.com/culture/articlebalinesedressandtextiles.htm


Balinese traditional music has in common with traditional music in many other areas in Indonesia, for example in the use of the orchestra and various other drum instruments. Nevertheless, there are peculiarities in the technique of playing and its composition, for example in the form kecak, which is supposedly a form of singing monkey noises. Similarly, any variety that is played gamelan is unique, for example Jegog Gamelan, Gamelan Gong Gede, Gambang Gamelan, Gamelan Selunding, and Gamelan Semar Pegulingan. Angklung music unisex played for the Ngaben ceremony, as well as Bebonangan music played in a variety of other ceremonies.

There is a modern form of traditional music of Bali, for example Gamelan Gong Kebyar which is dance music that developed during the Dutch colonial period, and Joged tube which became popular in Bali since the era of the 1950s. Typically Balinese music is a combination of various metal percussion instruments (metallophone), gongs, and wooden percussion (xylophone). Because social relations, politics and culture, traditional music of Bali or Balinese gamelan games influence or affect each other in the surrounding cultural regions, such as traditional music community in Banyuwangi and the traditional music of Lombok.

from : http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bali

* tHe PrEciOuSnEsS Of BaLi*


*Shopping In BaLI*

You can go shopping for fine art and handicrafts such as antique, semi-antique and modern furniture, all kinds of paintings, delicately crafted gold and silver jewelry, wood and stone carvings, masks, woven and dyed fabrics, etc. in many shops in the Kuta/Legian area, in Sanur, in various handicraft villages, the Sukawati market on the way to Ubud and in the town of Ubud.

In most of the shops you can and should bargain for the best price. Be especially careful with the vendors near popular tourist attractions such as Tanah Lot or, for instance, the rip-off artists in the Bali Aga village Tenganan who are well-known for selling fake "antique" fabrics (even spray-painted instead of woven cloth) for very high prices.

Popular buys in Bali are DVDs featuring even very recent movies. These are illegal copies but they sell for just 10,000 Rupiah per piece or 100,000 Rupiah for 11 and are available everywhere in Bali. Beach wear, T-shirts, pants and other clothing, shoes and leather goods, sea shells, trinkets, etc. are offered at low prices in numerous shops in Kuta and Legian as well as – much more expensive – in many hotels.

Well-known shopping centers are Geneva, Jalan Raya Kerobokan in Seminyak for very cheap handicrafts, Kuta Square with many shops and a branch of the Matahari Department Store and Supermarket offering everything a tourist could be interested in as well as Bali Galeria behind the DFS Komplex on the By-Pass where you find many different outlets including Vinoti, Prada, Body Shop, Planet Sport, a Periplus book shop, a branch of Marks & Spencer and many shops selling sports shoes, surf and party wear.

The huge, fully air-conditioned beachfront Kartika Discovery Mall in Jalan Kartika in Tuban next door to the Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel and opposite the Waterbom Park was opened in 2004. It accommodates a large underground car park and the three storey mall with the Centro Department Store featuring famous international brands and designer labels including Esprit, Guess, Giordano, Polo, Prada, La Senza (for lingerie), cosmetics and fragrances from Bulgari, Gucci, Estée Lauder, Revlon, Clinique, Shiseido etc, surf shops such as Quicksilver, Billabong and Planet Surf, boutiques for ladies and gents fashions, several optical shops, Kids Station and Guess for Kids, Vinoti Living, specialist shops for beautiful watches and jewellry, a Sogo Department Store on street level, a Periplus bookshop, Boots Chemist, Starbucks, Bread Talk, KFC, Pizza Hut, Baskin & Robbins, Black Canyon Cafe and several other restaurants. Opening hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

There are a number of other shopping centers in Kuta, Tuban, Seminyak and Denpasar. The Nusa Dua Galleria has been reopened after renovations in December 2005 as Bali Collection and is dominated by the Sogo Department Store offering hundreds of international brands and designer labels; there are also several other shops and a small number of restaurants.

The newest shopping center is Carrefour at the Sunset Road which features the huge hypermarket of the French retailer on the top floor selling on over 8,000 sq.m. food, baked goods, prepared food, wine, diary products, fridges, TVs, luggage, clothing, furniture, computers etc. all in one place similar to a Wal-Mart in the US. The lower floors accommodate a variety of shops including a Periplus bookshop, an Apple-authorized reseller and many food outlets. Opening hours are daily from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

The attractive tableware you see in many restaurants, hotels, and the better homes in Bali is made locally by Jenggala Keramik Bali. Started by the New Zealand-born designer-potter Brent Hesselyn who disappeared while diving near Nusa Penida in late 2002, Jenggala has been producing for over 20 years hand-made high-quality ceramics which can be seen and ordered at their modern factory in Jimbaran, Jalan Uluwatu II. This new complex includes in addition to a show room an exhibition area for antique and new Indonesian art, a demonstration area where Jenggala's potters display their skills, and a branch of the popular "Kafe Batu Jimbar" serving light meals and a choice of coffee, tea and other beverages.

from : http://www.baliguide.com/shopping.html

*BaLi MuSeuM & ExhibitIOns*

Bali Museum
Jalan Letkol Wisnu, Denpasar
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. except Mondays.

Danes Art Veranda
Jalan Hayam Wuruk 159, Denpasar. Tel. 250 037
Local and regional artists, rotating exhibitions.

Museum of Archeology
Jalan Letkol Wisnu, Denpasar
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. except Mondays.

Taman Budaya Cultural Center
Jalan Nusa Indah, Denpasar.
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. except holidays.

Randelli Gallery
Jalan Raya Seminyak, Seminyak.
Contemporary mix of pop, figurative and abstact art by young established artists both international and local.

Museum Le Mayeur
Jalan Hang Tuah, Sanur
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Fridays.

Jimbaran/Tanjung Benoa/Nusa Dua
Ganesha Gallery
Four Seasons Hotel, Jimbaran. Tel. 0361-701 010
Features local and international artists based in Indonesia often very high profile. Frequent happenings.

Jenggala Keramik Bali
Jalan Uluwatu II, Jimbaran. Tel. 0361-703 311
description here

Agung Rai Museum of Art
Jalan Pengosekan, Peliatan, Ubud.
Open daily from 9.00 a.m. to 6 p.m. except holidays.

Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA)
Jalan Bima, Pangosekan, Ubud. Tel. 0361-974 228
One of the most distinguished galeries in Bali, where you can see works of some Bali's celebrated names like Spies, Bonnet, Hofker and Affandi. They also hold high profile events such as national art competitions and rotating exhibitions.

Antonio Blanco Renaissance Museum
Jalan Raya Campuhan, Ubud. Tel. 0361-975 502
Dedicated to the life and work of famed Philippino artists Antonio Blanco, the space includes his original studio, gardens and family temple.

Bamboo Gallery
Nyuhkuning, Pengosekan, Ubud.
Open from Monday to Friday 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.

Blue Moon Gallery
Jalan Tirta Tawar, Banjar Kutuh Kaja, Ubud.
900 meters north of Ubud's main road, and Studio Blue Moon, Ubud main road at Jalan Sriwedari
Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, specializing in exhibitions featuring emerging contemporary artists.

Gaya Fusion of Senses
Jalan Raya Sayan, Ubud. Tel. 0361-979 252
High concept space featuring major exhibiton by both international and local artists featuring contemporary art, paintings, performace, installations and sculptures. A real center for the arts.

Komaneka Gallery:
Jalan Monkey Forest, Ubud. Tel. 0361-976 090
A fine art gallery that focuses on young mainly local artists with higher education in the arts, who may have studios abroad.

Low Art Gallery
Jalan Raya Ubud No. 8, Ubud. Tel 081 338 565962
Recently opened gallery specializing in the kitsch and the retro. Includes substantial collection of old movie posters and all kinds of weird and wonderful art.

Neka Museum
Jalan Raya Campuhan, Ubud.
Open daily 8.00 to 5.00 p.m. except holidays.

Museum Puri Lukisan
Jalan Raya Ubud, Ubud.
Open daily 8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. except holidays.

Rudana Museum
Peliatan, Teges, Ubud. Tel. 0361-975 779
Boasts an excellent collection of Balinese and other Indonesian fine arts by the likes of I Gusti Nyoman Lempad, Affandi, Supono and Antonio Blanco.

Sika Contemporary Art Gallery
Jalan Raya Campuhan, Ubud. Tel. 0361-975 727
Provides a venue for young creative artists, both local and itnernational. Holds regular temproary exhibitions and events.

Seniwati Gallery of Art by Women
Jalan Sriwidari 2B, Ubud. Tel. 0361-975 485
Seniwati supports and showcases women artists and also houses a shop where crafts can be bought, some of them by artists who exhibit in the gallery.

from :

*BaLI dANcE & dRAMA*

Balinese Dances

Most Balinese dance performances are held in the evenings, however, you can also see some Barong Dance performances in the morning.
If you prefer to watch one of these Balinese dance performances in a hotel after a sumptuous dinner buffet, the OBEROI is recommended because of the beautiful beach front setting. For those who do not wish to have dinner here, there is a US$10/person fee to enjoy the dances; Classical Dance on Tuesdays and Ramayana Dance on Thursdays, starting from 8:30 p.m.

Bali Dance Festival offers daily dance performance during buffet at US$25 per person. The restaurant opens at 7:00pm for dinner and on 8:00pm the performance starts. For further information and booking, please call 703-060.Cave Nights at the BALI CLIFF hotel: guests enjoy a dinner buffet sitting in a large natural cave slightly above sea level and can watch a performance of the Kecak Dance on the beach below. However, at US$40 & 21% per person it is not cheap, and the quality of service and food can be at times disappointing.-->
If you have rented a villa, you can contact our local Service Center at 703-060 to arrange a private Balinese dance performance in your garden at any time convenient for you. 40 to 60 dancers and musicians in beautiful costumes will perform the Balinese dances of your choice and be afterwards available to explain anything you might wish to know.

Barong Dance:

This Balinese dance is about a contest between the opposing forces of chaos and destruction ("Rangda") and order (the "Barong"). Performances in Suwung and Kesiman (suburbs of Denpasar), and in Batubulan daily from 9:00 or 9:30 a.m.; in Banjar Abasan, Singapadu, daily from 9:30 a.m., and at Puri Saren in Ubud, Friday from 6:30 p.m.

Legong Dance:

A highly stylized, extremely difficult dance performed by young girls. Choreographed to the finest details, and no improvisation allowed. Performances at the Peliatan Stage, Friday from 6:30 p.m., at Pura Dalem, Puri Peliatan, Saturday from 6:30 p.m., at Pura Peliatan in Ubud, Sunday from 7:30 p.m., and at Puri Saren, Ubud, Monday from 7:30 p.m.

Kecak Dance:

A ritual dance created in the early 1930's for the movie "Island of the Demons" by the German painter and intellectual Walter Spies who combined the chorus of the "Sanghyang" trance dance with a story from the "Ramayana" legend. Very impressive with its circular chorus of sometimes over 100 bare chested male singers. Performances are held at the Arts Center, Denpasar, daily from 6:30 p.m., and in Banjar Tegal, Ubud, Sunday from 6:00 p.m.

Fire Dance:

The Fire Dance is an exorcist dance against spirit possession. Girls in trance dance barefoot among glowing coals. Performances in Bona Kangin, Gianyar, Friday. Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. In Bonasari, Gianyar, Friday, Monday and Wednesday from 7:00 p.m., and in Batubulan, daily from 6:30 p.m.

Ramayana Dance:

There are occasional performances of this Balinese dance Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa. This cultural dinner show is available on Tuesdays from 8:00 p.m at Rp. 240,000 + 21% tax and service charges per person.
If you are seriously interested in Balinese dance and music, you should contact the YAYASAN POLOS SENI (Foundation for Pure Art) in Peliatan near Ubud. They offer dance and music lessons at reasonable prices (see under "Balinese Dance & Music Classes" at
Popular Bali Activities).
Wayang Kulit, Traditional Drama & Other Performances

Balinese Drama

Wayang Kulit:

In the Indonesian shadow puppet play, beautifully painted and gilded leather puppets are used although only the shadows are visible to the audience. The stories come from the spirit world and are full of symbolism and myth. A highly skilled puppeteer controls hundreds of puppets, speaks with a different voice for each character, and controls the musicians. Plays go on for several hours. Performances can be seen at Oka Kartini, Tebesaya, Peliatan, Ubud, on Saturdays from 8:00 p.m.
Balinese Temple Festivals, Drama, Other Performances: See the "Bali Post" daily newspaper and the Friday edition of the English language "Jakarta Post" for details.

from : http://www.baliguide.com/balinesedances.html
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