Barong At Batubalon

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The Barong dance re-enacts the age old story of good triumphing over evil.    The Barong is our hero, fulfilling the role of a guardian angel in Balinese culture.  His nemesis is Rangda the wicked witch.   The story is convoluted but a great spectacle even if some of the finer points are lost on a non Indonesian audience


The masks of Barong and Rangda are considered sacred items, when not in use they are stored under cover of a white veil.  Before they are brought from the temple, offerings must be presented to a priest who then blesses the masks with holy water taken from Mount Agung



We arrive as the dance teacher brings offerings to the temple

The young performers prepare themselves for their roles. Enter the transformed servants of Rangda
No ritual or performance is complete without Gamelon an orchestra  made up of gongs, flutes, drums, two stringed viols and a pemugal made of metal strips which hang over bamboo tubes

Musicians and instruments are blessed before the performance




The entrance of the Barong, a gigantic mythological beast covered with heavy fur or feathers.  It takes two men to bring to life the nine foot body. His mask is decorated with leather strips, mirrors, pom poms and flowers.  His magical power rests in his beard of human hair


High Drama featuring Dewi Kunti and her son Sadewa

and comedy
reminiscent of the European pantomime (it's his tail)

Rangda appears and casts a spell under which the soldiers in a trance, stab themselves in the chest with their kris.  However Barong and the priest cast a stronger spell and they recover
The dance ends with the final battle between Barong and Rangda and victory for Barong.  Rangda flees, evil is defeated, and order is restored.
Taman Barung the Bali Bird Park



Near Batubalon and a 30 minute drive from Ubud  

With 2 hectares of tropical gardens to enjoy and plenty of places to take a break in the shade, it's a wonderful place to spend a few hours 

A Sulawesi Tongkonan

The traditional ancestral house, of the Torajan people, of Sulawesi, Indonesia.  Whole families would help to build the pavilions on stilts with a distinctive boat shaped saddleback roof. 

Originally only nobles could live in a tongkonan.

A Hornbill

The Crown Victoria Pigeon, once adorned the old 25rp coin

And of course the Photo Op

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