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.
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.
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.
Two stone sarcophagi containing human remains have been found in Bali. The sarcophagi are said to be around 2,500 years old, and add to the growing number of sarcophagi finds in Bali (see here and here).
Restoration works on the 9th-century Kalibukbuk ‘candi’ (a generic name to denote a monument or shrine) in Bali has recently completed, and is hailed as a symbol of religious tolerance as an ancient Buddhist monument in the predominantly Hindu island. You can read about the Kalibukbuk Candi here (in Indonesian).