A must-see event for those who are visiting Bali for the first time is the Barong and Kris Dance, the traditional Balinese and Javanese dance, one of the best-known and most beloved of the island. A page with an explanation of the various acts is given to spectators at the start of the show in various languages to facilitate the understanding of this complex drama with its synchronised and hypnotic dancing, representing life itself, with it colourful costumes and harmonious femminine movements, depicting the eternal battle between good and evil. There is Barong, the “good” character, symbol of virtual, resembling a lion, its costume of thick white fur, adorned with golden jewellery and pieces of mirror and there is the “Queen of Demons”, Rangda (widow in Javanese), head of an army of evil witches who wants to control the world. Male dancers fight with kris knives and, upon the appearance of Barong, they stab themselves and enter into a sort of trance, then being reincarnated and sprinkling holy water throughout the space. At this point, Rangda is defeated and the natural order is re-established. Costumed musicians sit on the side of the stage, accompanying this whirlwind of movements of masks and colours with the sound of the “gamelan”. Barong performances can be found all around Bali but the most popular take place in the village of Batu Bulan in the district of Gianyar, or in Kesiman, Denpasar.
Located within a large forest of nutmeg trees, Pura Bukit Sari was built in the 17th century as a meditation temple by the son of the King of Mengwi. It is certainly an evocative place, especially at dawn, when the monkeys come down from the trees to feed while the rays of the early morning sun filter through the tree canopy.
Natural pigments & dyes in Balinese traditional crafts
Colors play a vital role in Balinese culture and identity: they are symbolic and their origins are sacred. Traditional Balinese arts and crafts arise from the interconnection between man, the forces of nature and the cosmos, resulting in a divine unity.
Mount Batur and its history in the Geopark Batur Museum
Located South of Mount Batur, the Batur Geopark Museum provides information on the geological, biological and cultural diversity of the surrounding area. It was built after the Batur Caldera region joined UNESCO's global network of Geoparks in September 2012.