to Lekkerkerker and Stutterheim, Buddhism, or, rather, Buddhist
magic, was introduced in Bali about A.D. 96, perhaps by
the apostles, the brothers 1\tpti Kuturan and Mpti Bharada
from Kediri (Daha). To them is attributed authorship of
the civil and religious laws of Bali. Mpu Bharada, hero
of the Tjalon Arang and teacher of Erlangga, was the magician
who vanquished Rangda and today remains the most important
figure in the magic lore.
A good deal of speculation revolves around the significance
of the word Barong, for which there is no acceptable explanation.
The Malay for " bear," baruang, has been suggested,
but Malay was a recently introduced language and there were
no bears in Bali. The classic Barong is called barong ketet
or kekek, but there are also Barongs in the form of tigers
(barong matjan), of pigs (baroug bangkal), of lions (barong
singha ) ; and once we saw one in the shape of an elephant
are also Barongs in human shape like the giant puppets (barong
landong) who, holy as they are, perform ribald slapstick
comedy. The main characters of the barong landong are Djero
Gede, " The Big One," an evil giant identified
with the fanged monster Djero Gede Metjaling, the demon
of Nusa Penida, and Djero Luh, " The Female,"
a lewd old woman. Most intriguing Barongs are those reported
in Tmnyan by Walter Spies (Das grosse Fest im Dorfe Trunjan):
in this ancient Bali Aga village a great festival is held
in which the trunas, the virgin boys, with their naked bodies
covered with dried banana leaves, which give them the appearance
of great cabbages, and wearing frightful primitive masks,
run around the temple grounds whipping sauagelv anyone who
comes within their reach.
fierce monsters arc called barong berutuk, a term for which
there is no interpretation. Two of these are the druwenes,
the male and female berutuk Radjas, and are reminiscent
of the Djero Gede and Djero Luh of the barong landong. They
are seen with respectful awe by everybody, and leaves from
their dresses are supposedly infallible amulets. Daring
heoplc try to steal bit~ of leaf from their dresses, but
are mercilessly whipped by the other berutuks, who seem
to respect only the village elders and the small children.
ceremony ends at sunset, when the monsters are disarmcd
of their whips and the now confident crowd can approach
to watch the lecherous love dance of the male and female
druwenes, after which the entranced performers tear off
their banana-leaf coverings and, completely naked except
for their grimacing masks, jump into Lake Batur and swim
for a while with the masks on, returning in the dark to
have the sacred masks respectfully put away after the priests
make offerings to them.
In behaviour and appearance the ordinary" Barong resembles
the Chinese lion or chimera called gee-ling that performs
wild antics during the Chinese New Year to the time of gongs,
drums, and firecrackers. In Bali during the first month
after galunggan, considered as the New Year, the Barongs
are permitted to wander over the streets and roads making
upa. that is, performing for pennies.
most sacred part of the Barong is, its beard of human hair
eoquettishly decorated with fresh flowers. Penawar water,
a protective amulet, is made by dipping this beard into
ordinary water while saying a prayer. Hairs from this beard
are worn around the wrists as amulets. There are also extraordinary
Barongs that are covered with crow and even peacock feathers
instead of the usual fleece of horses' tails or fibres.
I was told of a village who wished to have a Barong of crow
feathers; the villagers only had to pray for them and one
morning they found the temple yard strewn with the most
beautiful shiny black feathers.
Balinese with imagination have told me that the Barong is
Mpu Bharada, who fights Rangda in this form; that he is
Banaspati, the Lord of the jungle, who is madly in love
with Sanghyang Berawi and who Assumes the Barong shape to
make love to her, but she will have none of it and turns
into a Rangda to punish his insolence.
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