Mystery, Myth & Magic

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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