home and all implements were provided with offerings for
galunggan, the old utensils renewed and the baskets washed.
On all the roads, at the gate of every home, tall penyors
were erected, meant perhaps to be seen from the summits
of the mountains where the gods dwell, together with a little
bamboo altar from which hung a lamak, one of those beautiful
mosaics on long strips of palm-leaf. For this occasion the
lamaks were over thirty feet long and had to hang from the
tops of the coconut trees.
Everybody wore new clothes and the whole of Bali went out
for a great national picnic. Everywhere there were women
with offerings on their heads and many old men dressed for
the occasion in old-fashioned style, gold kris and all,
although with an incongruous imported undershirt. The younger
generation preferred to tear all over the island in open
motor-cars, packed like sardines, dressed in fancy costumes,
many young men in absurd versions of European clothes, the
girls wearing their brightest silks and their best gold
flowers in their hair.
After visiting the village temple the gay groups went to
the many feasts held on this and the following days all
over the island. At this time the peculiar monsters called
barong - a great fleece of long hair with a mask and gilt
ornaments, animated by two men - were " loose "
and free to go wherever they pleased. Everywhere on the
road one met the cavorting holy barongs, who had become
foolish for the day, dancing down the roads and paths, followed
breathlessly by their orchestras and attendants.
In the temple of Gelgel, the former capital, there was a
great feast where plays were given and violent " kris
dances " were staged - when crazed men in a trance
pretended to stab themselves and tore live chickens with
their teeth to show their wickedness; but a more serene
feast was celebrated in the jungle temple near the summit
of the Batukau. There the mountain people brought offerings
to the Batukau spirit while the Elders prepared the banquet
in the spring underneath giant tree-ferns: performing afterwards
a majestic baris dance, each dressed iii black and white
magic cloth, mimicking a stately battle with their long
days after gahunggan came the day kuninggan, when new offerings
and new lamaks were made and coconut husks were burned in
front of every gate. This was the date of the temple feast
of Tirta Empul, the sacred baths near Tampaksiring, and
all morning people bathed unashamed in the purifying waters.
men on one side, women on the other, after leaving an offering
for the deity of the spring.
turned their backs on the crowd, unconcerned under the spouts,
each of which is supposed to have a special purifying or
curative quality. Eventually the local prince arrived with
his wives and with an impressive retinue of servants. Also
the barongs of the district came prancing down the hills
to offer their respects and snap their jaws while a pemangku
offered their prayers, manifesting their temperaments by
making the men under the fleece fall in a trance and throw
The following day was the feast of Sakenan, the temple of
the little island of Serangan, just off the Badung coast.
Since the night before, the island was jammed with pilgrims
and orchestras, and the next morning the short stretch of
sea between Serangan and the mainland was filled with fantastic
boats shaped like fish with their triangular sails up, overloaded
with richly dressed people. On arrival they waded to the
temple, the women balancing offerings on their heads while
lifting their brocade skirts out of reach of the water.
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