Mystery, Myth & Magic

The Second Smallest in the World

Mystery, Myth & Magic | Jun 02, 2014

The Sumatran elephant is native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra and is the second smallest elephant in the world – the largest is the African elephant and the smallest is the Pygmy elephant. Unfortunately, Sumatran elephants are now considered endangered because of habitat loss due to illegal logging. The heartfelt story of conflict between […]

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The Fate of the Little Ones

Culture | Jan 29, 2014

Historian and art critic Jean Couteau brings us stories depicting the life on Bali, sometimes real, sometimes myth, always meaningful. Village of Abian Gombal, year 1913, Jero Dasaran had now been consulting for hours. Dozens of his “patients” were waiting in silence outside his chambers. Roars and muttering could sometimes be heard, coming from inside, but this […]

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Ngendag : The Awakening of the Dead

Culture | Jan 02, 2014

Historian and art critic Jean Couteau brings us stories depicting the life on Bali, sometimes real, sometimes myth, always meaningful. Here he shares the story of Ngendag , a Balinese ritual in which buried corpses are exhumed to be cremated. This and other stories can be found in Jean Couteau’s book, Myth, Magic and Mystery in Bali .  […]

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Makakawin the Ancient Reading of the Lontar Ancient Texts

Culture | Nov 29, 2013

The first thing one notices in the shadows of the dimly-lit temple is the mysterious mumbling of human voices, which is not quite that of a chant, but not quite that of normal conversation either. If one approaches the bale (open pavilion), one sees a small group of men, sitting in the lotus position around […]

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Buy A Bererong

Culture | Oct 28, 2013

  Westerners and modern people have a bad habit when it comes to making money: they have a rational approach to economics. You work, they say, save and invest, and then you will earn x % or more, if lucky, in one or five years. There is little pleasure to be had, and no fear. […]

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Sauh Munyi – A Promise to the Gods

Culture | Sep 27, 2013

  The practice of oath taking is very common among the Balinese. It takes the form of barter. “If I am bestowed this favour from the gods, I will fulfil such and such a promise”. It can also apply to a promise between humans. “If I get what I wish for, I will do this […]

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Naur Sot and The Fulfillment of a Vow

Culture | Apr 29, 2013

  The atmosphere was not a happy one in Pan Koncrong’s house. His daughter was lying in bed, feverish. An old medicine man (balian) had come and muttered a few magical words.  But now he was gone, and neither his prayers to the gods, nor his potions were working. The child was lying helpless on […]

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