[Talk] The Depiction of Ritual in Balinese Painting of the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries

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A talk by Prof. Peter Worsley in Sydney on April 3. Registration required, details in the link below.

The vast majority of nineteenth and early twentieth century Balinese paintings are designed to tell stories and in a number of them their painters have depicted rituals. Paintings of the Brayut story (geguritan Brayut), for example, illustrate a commoner family’s celebration of Galungan and the father’s ritual preparation for death on the occasion of his youngest son’s marriage when he abdicates his responsibility for his family’s customary obligations. Paintings, which tell the story of Rāma’s grandfather and grandmother, Prince Aja and Princess Indumatī (kakawin Sumanasāntakaī), focus viewers’ attention on marriage rites, while paintings of the story of Rāma and Sitā (kakawin Rāmāyaṇa) and of God Smara and Ratih (kakawin Smaradahana) depict death rituals including the ritual suicide of wives. However, closer examination of these narratives paintings reveals that painters designed their works to draw viewers’ attention to other social and cultural thematic interests—to gender roles, and the differences between kings and priests for example.

Source: Event Detail

Categories: Art Indonesia

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Bali’s first mosque

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Bali's oldest mosque in Klungkung. Source: Jakarta Post 20160630

A feature on the oldest mosque in Bali, believed to be established during the Majapahit period.

Bali's oldest mosque in Klungkung. Source: Jakarta Post 20160630

Bali’s oldest mosque in Klungkung. Source: Jakarta Post 20160630

The earliest mosque on the Island of the Gods
Jakarta Post, 30 June 2016

Rusiah and other local residents believe that their ancestors were a group of 40 courtiers sent by King
Hayam Wuruk from the Majapahit Kingdom and that they were among East Java’s first Muslim converts.

Led by the only woman in the group, Dewi Fatima, the 40 converts formed an entourage for Gelgel’s king, I Ketut Nglisir, following his visit to Majapahit.

Village head Sahidin claims he is the direct descendant of those 40 courtiers, like many others in the village.

“The Gelgel king was invited to visit Majapahit in East Java. For his return journey, Hayam Wuruk ordered 40 Muslims from East Java to escort the king […] When they arrived here, because of their good behavior toward the king and his kingdom, they were invited to stay,” said Sahidin.

King Nglisir then awarded the new Islamic community several hectares of land just 500 meters to the south of his palace in Gelgel.

Full story here.

Cows encroach into Bali archaeological site

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The Gilimanuk archaeological site in Western Bali was encroached upon by cattle when they were led into the site to graze.

Trespassing cows graze over West Bali archaeological site
Coconuts Bali, 17 June 2016

Cows have been literally going out of bounds lately in West Bali as they graze over a five hectare archaeological site in Gilimanuk, Jembrana.

But we can’t blame it all on the cows. The Jembrana Head of Culture, Education, Youth, Sports, Culture, and Tourism says the owners intentionally allow their cattle to enter the site through areas where the surrounding fence is broken, despite a customary law prohibiting them from doing so. Sneaky, sneaky.

“We’ve often coordinated with the village in order to prohibit its citizens from grazing their cattle here, but there are still cattle trespassing into the site,” Anak Agung Ngurah Mahadikara told Merdeka on Wednesday.

Full story here.

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A family of iron smiths who can trace their lineage 500 years

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The Jakarta Post features a family of iron smiths in Bali who have been practicing their craft for over 500 years.

Iron in their blood
Jakarta Post, 04 July 2013

“At the time our family arrived in Bali there was only the Bali Mula here — there were no cities at that time because kingdoms had not yet begun, so in a way our family helped in the establishment of the kingdom working as blacksmiths,” said Sunarta of the household utensils, farming implements and weapons crafted by his family that formed an integral element of developing settlements in Bali.

Iron work is so deeply ingrained into Sunarta’s being that he believes his smith’s tools and fire-breathing forge are continuations of himself, with different implements having a direct correlation with parts of his body.

Full story here.

The Garden of Mind

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The 17th century Taman Ayun Royal Temple in Bali is one of the properties to be included in Bali’s Cultural Landscapes which is expected to be recognised by Unesco later this year.

Taman Ayun Temple, Jakarta Post 20120613

Taman Ayun Temple, Jakarta Post 20120613

Visitors invited to Taman Ayun Temple
Jakarta Post, 13 June 2012
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