Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reportage: A three day cultural tour of Bali

Day 1—Barong dance in Batubulan

On Friday we set out on a tour with Pak Astika a Balinse priest from Tabanan, Bali. First stop was a Barong Dance in Batubulan. This dance is the eternal fight between good and evil. Barong a mythical animal who represents the good spirit and Randa a mythical monster who represents the evil one.

While I was trying to capture the dance in my sketchbook, Jerry was explaining the acts as they unfolded.

The Barong—the good guy

Servant of Dewi Kunta

Randa—the bad guy

After the dance, we headed up to Ubud to the Blanco Museum which was just amazing.

Pura Goa Lawah

A temple that has three meru (shrines) that stand at the entrance to a deep cave. Their tiered roofs of black palm fiber are stained with the droppings of thousands of harmless bats which dangle from the rocky overhang. No one knows how far the cave extends, it being taboo to venture too deep. They are regarded as the guardians of the temple, but are not the only creatures in Goa Lawah. The priests are happy to show the large rock pythons which coil luxuriously near the shrines and feed on fallen wounded bats.

Pak Astika praying at Goa Lawah

I sketched Astika quite bit on our trip. He is a fascinating person with deep knowledge of Bali and its culture. His ancestors came from Java centuries ago. He had such a natural way of meeting and talking with people along the way in our travels. We had some amazing experiences because of who he is, his most generous personality, his natural way with his people of Bali and his pride in this most beautiful and amazing island.


Anonymous said...

I love seeing your work--it's so excellent for techniques---and expressive--weather black and white or color-learning abut Bali is an adventure you take us on---I also feel Maine misses her woman in Bali. winna

donna said...

I have said this before, but it is so true--I love to see and learn about the world through other people and their artwork.

Your sketches are terrific for being done so quickly.

Judybec said...

such interesting figures! thanks for showing us this wonderful culture, your sketches are fabulous!

A Brush with Color said...

Wonderful! And such a rich culture you share with us all--thanks, Jennifer.

Margaret Ann said...

Fabulous pen lines Jen! Love the looseness in these joyful! :)

Doug Fireman said...

I enjoyed reading about your trip to Bali.

I like the motion and detail that you included in your excellent
sketches of the Barong dancers.

A favorite of mine is Randa.

Also like your sketch of Pura Goa Lawah, and your fascinating narration about the sacred cave,
the bat guardians, and the pythons waiting for a chance meal.

Cheers. Doug

BMoon said...

I haven't stopped by your blog in a bit, and it is always such a joy to so do. Love your barong dancers!

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