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April 11, 2011

Traditional Culture perservation at Northern Bali

North Bali Culture in the Development of Bali’s Tourism
I Gde Ardika

This paper discusses reciprocal relationship between culture and tourism. There are many concepts of thinking which place culture (art) just as a mean to develop tourism. This point of view puts emphasis on a one way relationship between tourism and culture. Therefore tourism is considered as utilizing culture without contributing to it. Moreover this use is perceived as having only a negative meaning.
Culture functions as a base to develop tourism, and the guidelines and directions on the kind of tourism that can be developed have not been given enough attention. In fact, with the development of tourism based on culture, it serves as a mean to preserve it. In other words, tourism is a user as well as a preserver of culture. Preservation has to be seen as an effort to maintain, use and develop culture in a broader sense which comprises the forms and elements of culture. The development of tourism and culture is in a way forseeing the development far ahead as a vision. With this way of thinking, the system of relationship of North Bali culture in the development of Bali’s tourism will contribute to the mapping of North Bali culture development’s direction.
Historical North Balinese photo documentation
Maurizio Rosenberg Colorni
Maurizio Rosenberg Colorni is an anthropologist, journalist and photographer. In the last 35 years he has published many books in Italy and France. In his illustrated speech, he will address photography as a precious means of documenting the history of the past 150 years. It provides a way to understand the daily life of the people of different social levels, resulting in a ‘visual anthropology’ of a people. Buleleng has a rich photo documentation of its past, now hidden and dispersed. The challenge is to (re)collect it and make it available to the researchers in the fields of architecture, performing arts (music, dance and theatre), handicraft and paintings, and also to the general public.
Legong Keraton and  Kebyar Legong of North Bali
A. A. Bulantrisna Djelantik
The 200 years old Legong Keraton dance originated in the Sukawati area in South Bali and became so popular that it flourished all over the island. The earliest written record regarding its existence in North Bali refers to the Legong of Menjali. It seems that some teachers from the South have taught Legong Keraton lessons in the Northern parts of Bali in the past. It was said that the late Gusti Biang Sengog from Peliatan and the late Ida Bagus Raka from Bongkasa have often been fetched to teach in Buleleng. Sang Ayu Muklen, a Legong master from Pejeng recalled that she often travelled performing Legong street dancing (ngelawang) along the coastal villages of North Bali. Not much information could be found on the (Legong Tombol, a term from past stories. Apparently (Legong Keraton became extinct, there are no traces of it in North Bali, neither in Menjali nor in courts (Puri) and other villages.
The development of the expressive Gong Kebyar in the early 20th century has always been identified as a signature of the North Bali “rebellious” nature. The innovative creation of Kebyar Legong in 1915 by Pan Wandres in Bengkala and Jagaraga, in which the dancer is wearing the long-sleeved shirt and gilded leather upper body costume (simping) like Legong, but differing in all other aspects, could be a “rebellion” against the established Legong of the South. At first the dancers were solely male, one of them being the late Gede Manik. The movements are highly energetic, with abrupt transitional movements and quick shifts in tempo, combining male and female dance forms that are completely immersed into the Gong Kebyar music. The first part was mostly done in a sitting position, and named Legong Negak, or Kebyar Negak. Soon after, it was also danced by young women, some well known dancers being Ni Kasning and Ni Manik from Sawan, as well as Made Rangki and Nyoman Paica from Jagaraga. After Pan Wandres passed away, Gede Manik began to teach and created Palawakia and Tarunajaya in 1940, deriving parts from Kebyar Legong. Palawakia, which combines dancing, singing and Trompong playing, was not performed for quite some time, until one of Gede Manik’s student, Ni Luh Menek from Tejakula, was asked to revive it in the early 70s. Although Tarunajaya and Palawakia both became icons of North Bali, in South Bali a close friend of Gede Manik, Gede Beratha from Belaluan Denpasar, taught his own version, and so did the late I Wayan Gandra of Peliatan Ubud. Liliek Jayaningsih of Denpasar was one of Gede Beratha’s star students, while Desak Nyoman Suarti from Pengosekan Ubud, was a star student of the late Gandra.
The government organized a Tarunajaya dance contest in Buleleng in 1985, a Palawakia Festival in Buleleng in 2002, and at the PKB Bali Art Festival in 2007. In the latter, interestingly, a dancer from Karangasem district won the first price. Until now, these dances have swept all over Bali. Still, it is often considered more “pure” to have North Bali dancers perform the Tarunajaya. That is why the many dance schools and art clubs (sanggar, sekeha) that have emerged in North Bali should keep this dance as a cultural heritage and living art of North Bali.
Glass paintings of Nagasepaha
Glass painting appears and grows in particular communities. In Indonesia, the origin of this art was influenced by Chinese and Arabic scenes. These were mixed with Hindu (shadow puppets) and Moslem (Arabic calligraphy) imagery.
Glass painting in Nagasepaha Buleleng has its own history and development. It is relatively new, as it appeared in 1927. The pioneer of this art was Jro Dalang Diah. The tools and materials for making glass painting are Chinese ink, wood paint, and a piece of glass.  The early glass painting in Nagasepaha Buleleng focuses on wayang related themes, such as fragments from the stories of Ramayana, Mahabarata, Sutasome, Arjunawiwaha, etc. The narration of those holy tales that are communicated through the paintings is the essence of this art. But today, besides wayang themes, other themes related to human life are found: social, politics, and mass media. Comical and parodic approaches are also used.
The stylistic history of glass painting in Nagasepaha can be divided into three different periods. The first period is known as the Early Period (1927-1950s), during which artists mostly used scenes from Balinese wayang, with no precise setting of time or place. The scenes of this period are based on the concepts of puppetry performance.
The second period is known as the “panoramic” period (1950s-1992), during which landscapes were created through naturalistic art painting. In this period, many people ordered paintings with similar settings as those found in Jelekong painting (West Java) or Sukaraja (Central Java). For more than 40 years, this style gained legitimacy through constant patronizing.
The third period is known as the “decorative” period (1992- now). The involvement of researchers from Undiksha Singaraja, Fine Arts Education Department, gave birth to a new style, thanks to a practice-based research process. The panoramic settings, which were regarded has having no unity of style compared to the wayang designs of the first period, came to be replaced by this new style derived from other North Bali decorative arts.
However, the decorative style is nowadays gradually being left aside in favor of panoramic settings once again. The cause of this is easy to guess, as workshops are influenced by government programs. The true goal of this practice is to legitimize an involvement in shaping the taste of the artists.
The art of glass painting has now become part of Indonesia’s artistic heritage, although it is gradually being marginalized by the mainstream modern fine arts. Nagasepaha’s art of glass painting is one of the few that are still alive in Indonesia, along with those found in Cirebon, Yogyakarta, Solo, and Madura. Nagasepaha’s art of glass painting not only belongs to Buleleng, but to the entire Indonesian cultural heritage.
As an asset, Nagasepaha’s art of glass painting should be given enough attention so that it can be preserved. The art of glass painting is not just a fine art that offers aesthetic richness but also a vehicle of meaning linked to sacred myth, marginalization of artistic classes, power domination and so on. In short, behind its transparency, glass painting reflects our own true face.
Preservation of Rare Balinese Gamelan: a South Bali Model for the North?
Vaughan Hatch
Whilst studying gamelan on a scholarship in Bali, ethnomusicologist Vaughan Hatch became aware of how many Balinese performing art-forms were either endangered or extinct. In particular, few ancient or classical gamelan ensembles had been recorded, and many gamelan orchestras were either no longer played or had been melted down.
In the year 2000, Vaughan chanced upon purchasing and restoring a disused antique pelegongan gamelan, gathered together like-minded Balinese musicians, and came up with the concept of Mekar Bhuana, with the aim of preserving endangered classical gamelan and its extensive repertoire. Over the past eleven years, he has been researching about semar pegulingan, pelegongan, bebarongan and other rare types of Balinese gamelan.
In 2002 he met Putu Evie Suyadnyani, a legong dancer and singer who also shared the vision of revival, reconstruction, preservation and conservation. Together they combined the music and dance aspects, forming the Mekar Bhuana Conservatory ( in 2004.
Vaughan will talk of his motivation behind preserving rare Balinese performing art-forms, his vision, past and current projects, possible influences from North Bali styles and playing techniques, as well as sustainable plans for preservation.
He hopes that his ideas and concepts may inspire individuals and groups to preserve rare North Balinese performing art-forms. Half of Vaughan’s presentation will involve a demonstration of reconstructed repertoire, playing styles and tunings by the semar pegulingan musicians from Mekar Bhuana.
On the same evening, the Mekar Bhuana seven-tone semar pegulingan will perform traditional compositions from a number of different styles alongside gong cenik (the North Bali equivalent of semar pegulingan) from Buleleng, giving the audience a unique opportunity to compare North and South Bali playing and compositional styles. For a sneak preview of the music you will hear, visit
Bali 1928: Gamelan Gong Kebyar of Busungbiu, Belaluan and Pangkung The Oldest New Music of Bali
Edward Herbst
Edward Herbst’s ongoing work in Bali has involved the remarkable recordings made by Odeon-Beka in 1928. He initiated a repatriation project that involves publishing five CDs, which will include every gending released by Odeon-Beka (104 tracks), restored to maximum audibility, along with a collection of brief silent film excerpts shot in the 1930s by Colin McPhee, Covarrubias, and Rolf de Maré. CD#1, “Gamelan Gong Kebyar: Belaluan, Pangkung, Busungbiu,” will be released early June in New York and then soon after in Bali on DVD and cassette (project advisors are Madé Bandem, Wayan Dibia, and Endo Suanda). It took eight years to locate and gain access to all of the 78 rpm records, which have been preserved in archives throughout the world.
The main purpose of this project is to make available to the Balinese public and educators (and to the international community as well) these important artistic resources. Up until now there has been a historical gap due to an absence of bukti (evidence) for an audio/visual history, so young dancers and musicians have learned without seeing or hearing these recordings featuring the forms’ originators. Herbst’s research involves bringing the music recordings (played on a boombox) and the films (on laptop) to the oldest generation of musicians, singers and dancers, now in their 80s and 90s. Through watching and listening together (also involving a Balinese team consisting of Ketut Kodi and Ni Ketut Suryatini), and discussing the original aesthetics, techniques, world views, personalities, social dynamics and little anecdotes, there emerges an artistic/cultural history. These insights and information give contemporary Balinese artists an understanding of the bold experimentation and innovation, istilah, and proses penciptaan which went into these important early 20th century forms. This research is being written up in extensive CD notes, and will also be compiled in a book once the project reaches completion next year.
Edward Herbst will present the recordings and a synopsis of research findings. The key perspective relating to Buléléng involves specific musical techniques and styles used by Busungbiu, pre-dating Pangkung and Belaluan, which were later used by Wayan Beratha for his Jaya Semara. Another fascinating aspect is the influence of palégongan on early kebyar Buléléng, as well as sekatian-style elaboration, such as oncangan, on all three regional styles (Buleleng, Tabanan and Badung). Some research (Wayan Simpen) suggests that key kebyar dance innovations (igel jongkok) occurred in Buléléng before I Marya developed them further in the South. Another interesting musical piece recorded in 1928 is Palawakya, integrating kakawin/mabasan singing with gong kebyar. Herbst’s research has yielded personal stories from the children of the 1928 musicians and other seniman tua, such as Wayan Begeg of Pangkung, Beratha, Putu Sumiasa of Kedis, and the oldest musicians of Busungbiu. They recollected how Busungbiu (Wayan Patra et al.) and Belaluan (Madé Regog, Ida Boda) exchanged their kebyar and palégongan styles.
The Art of Drawings, Wayang and Statues in North Bali (1870-1930)
Hedi I.R. Hinzler
Hedi Hinzler will present wayang drawings from the van der Tuuk (1870-1894) collection, drawings from W.O.J. Nieuwenkamp (1905-1930) and the wooden statues in the collection of the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam (1885-1930).
She proposes:
- To make a database on the internet, which serves as ‘collective memory’ of north Bali (with old pictures);
- To publish a book with drawings and the diary of W.O.J. Nieuwenkamp (1905/6, 1920/21, 1930);
- To organise an exposition with foto’s from wayang drawings and statues from collections in the Netherlands.
Just a matter of manis and keras?
Differences and similarities in kebyar dance between north and south Bali

Aafke de Jong
North Balinese dance is often described as being more energetic and fierce than the dance styles of the south. Is this comparison fair enough? Aafke de Jong will present an interview and demonstration with two female dancers: the north Balinese dancer Ni Putu Rima Febriana and a south Balinese dancer. During the interview the following topics will be addressed: - The way of learning kebyar dance in their own region: Who were their teachers and which specific qualities must a kebyar dancer have in north and south Bali? - The difference in style between north and south Balinese kebyar dance:  Is it still as visible today as it was 20 to 30 years ago (or longer)? Since both dancers are still in their twenties, two older kebyar dancers will be invited to illustrate the difference: Ibu Jero Puspawati from Denpasar, who specialised in south Balinese kebyar dances (kebyar bebancihan) and Ni Luh Menek from Jagaraga. - The role of the music: What role does the music play in creating this difference? - Previous training: Will a dancer trained in a specific style be capable of performing in another style? Rima Febriana is trained in the north Balinese style, but nowadays studies at ISI Denpasar. Will her north Balinese background always be visible in her performance? - Mutual exchange: What is the role of exchange between north and south Balinese kebyar dance styles? - What can we do to preserve both styles? All dancers will present excerpts of the Taruna Jaya dance to illustrate the differences and similarities between the two styles, and its historical development.
Culture, Locality, and Identity: Key Concepts for Equitable Tourism Development
Yongjin Kim
This paper examines some key concepts for equitable tourism development at the regency level in contemporary Bali. Specifically, it reviews the concepts of culture, locality, and identity. By focusing on different levels of generalization in those concepts, and thereby adopting a “telescopic” view rather than a “mosaic” view, this paper attempts to find a ground for the compatibility of group identities at different levels. At the same time, it focuses on the constructive nature of group identity and the selective nature of cultural representation.
It further argues that the prevalent images of Balinese culture have been centered on the elements mainly from South Bali, and that the category of “Bali” has been used in slippery ways. However, simple reversion of the Southern hegemony by replacing it with the Northern one would not be a relevant solution. Rather than plainly dismissing the overrepresentation of the South, which has been based on politico-economic and demographic factors, this paper suggests for a long-term process of consensus making across different local interests. This suggestion is in line with the consolidation of participatory democracy and the realization of regional autonomy, which should not be equated with provincialism, inefficiency, disorder, and lack of coordination. By empowering regency level agents, one might expect for “new” elements for cultural representation in tourism, as well as for more equitable development.
Regional Identity in New Music: A Case for Buleleng
Paddy Sandino
Buleleng was the center of musical innovation in Bali during the early 20th century. With the majority of influence and resources now located in the south, how are communities of musicians in Buleleng adjusting to the modern musical landscape in Bali, and how, if at all, are the distinctive aspects of the Northern Style emerging in the realm of new music? Based on fieldwork conducted in early 2009, this paper presents observations on the challenges and opportunities of musicians working in North Bali today, and brief analyses of a selection of new compositions that show the influence of classic ritual pieces distinct to Buleleng. The discussion concludes by addressing the problematic nature of qualifying regional identity at all in an increasingly interconnected Bali.
An analysis of various parameters of the north Bali kebyar style
Éric Vandal
The specific characteristics that musically define the north Bali kebyar style can often be quite subtle and hard to perceive. Therefore, this presentation will aim at identifying and analysing some of those elements. The first step of this process will consist in filtering the various sound parameters by relying on Balinese musicians’ views, and what they focus on to correctly identify the Buleleng style. Through this procedure we end up with relevant parameters pertaining mainly to performance: tempo and dynamics, as well as aspects of improvisation and ornementation specific to some instruments of the gong kebyar. Secondly, these elements will be assessed through a comparative analysis of recordings of Kebyar Duduk and Taruna Jaya (by ensembles from north Bali and elsewhere), in order to attest the relevance of the various parameters and to detail how they are articulated in the actual music.
Women Farmers in Northern Bali: Empowerment and cultural identity in their kelompok (groups)
Nazrina Zuryani
Farmers, including their wives in the dry coastal plain of North-East Bali have between 1995 until 2006 been the focus of two successive irrigation-cum-agricultural development projects, respectively the North Bali Groundwater Irrigation and Water Supply project (NBGIWSP) and the Sustainable Development of Irrigated Agriculture in Buleleng and Karang Asem (SDIABKA) project. Those projects were co-financed by the European Union and by the Indonesian government (Proyek Air Tanah; Groundwater project from the Ministry of Settlement and Area Infrastructure-KIMPRASWIL). Now, two years after the termination of the last project, the time has come for a first evaluation of its results.
This paper, based on an Australian PhD dissertation (2007) and on a series of recent in-depth interviews, proposes to evaluate the existing post-project situation regarding 1) the situation of women as farmers; 2) the empowerment achieved by local women with the help of women’s organizations 3) Their cultural identity in their groups. In relation to those three points, it will try to demonstrate that A) the situation of women farmers has remained relatively sustainable in the face of economic challenges, although it has had unexpected and sometimes pernicious social and ecological consequences and that B) there has not been any significant progress regarding women’s empowerment owing to the project’s reluctance to confront the gender bias embedded in its own structure and in local institutions. C) As the result of it, their cultural identity has been emphasized. The conclusion will be that, in order to succeed, all development projects should take into account socio-cultural parameters as much as economic ones.

Source :

Pelestarian Budaya Tradisional Bali Utara, Singaraja, Pawai Dawang-Dawang yang kali pertama digelar Pemkab Buleleng melalui Dinas Kebudayaan dan Pariwisata Kabupaten Buleleng, merupakan satu upaya untuk melestarikan tradisional Budaya yang dimiliki Bali Utara.

Gelaran Pawai Budaya Dawang-Dawang, Kamis (7/4) memiliki arti tersendiri bagi Kabupaten Buleleng. Wahana Pawai yang merupakan kali pertama itu sebagai pelestarian tradisi Budaya yang dimiliki Bali Utara termasuk sebagai penggalian potensi untuk dikembangkan dan diperkenalkan kepada masyarakat.

Bupati Buleleng, Putu Bagiada mengatakan, dipilihnya Pawai Budaya berupa penampilan Dawang-Dawang untuk melestarikan tradisi khas Bali Utara dalam rangkaian Upacara Pengabenan, disamping tema kegiatan PKB, Desa Kala Patra.

Di sisi lain keberadaan dawang-dawang sebagai bagian dari prosesi pengabenan saat ini sudah sangat jarang ditemukan.

“Pemerintah Kabupaten Buleleng akan melakukan upaya untuk menggali satu persatu potensi budaya, tradisi maupun kesenian yang langka dan khas Bali Utara untuk dapat ditampilkan dalam berbagai kegiatan budaya,” ungkap Bupati Bagiada.

Hal senada diungkapkan Budayawan Buleleng Gede Marayana, dimana Dawang-Dawang yang digunakan dalam setiap pengabenan di Buleleng memiliki makna antara kelahiran dan kematian ataupun purusa dan predana.

”Ada makna tersendiri untuk dawang-dawang itu, kalau dalam prosesi pengabenan menyimbolkan sebuah kelahiran dan kematian, baik purusa atau predana (laki dan perempuan) sehingga dawang-dawang itu selalu ditampilkan sepasang,” paparnya.

Dawang-Dawang sebagai bagian dalam sebuah proses pengabenan di Bali Utara sejak delapan tahun terakhir sangat jarang dan langka ditemukan di Kabupaten Buleleng.

Menyikapi kondisi itu, Dawang-Dawang sebagai kesenian Khas Bali Utara mendapat perhatian Pemerintah Kabupaten Buleleng, sehingga dalam ajang Pawai Budaya Pembukaan Pesta Kesenian Bali, PKB ke tiga puluh tiga Kabupaten Buleleng yang dirangkaikan dengan Hari Ulang Tahun Kota Singaraja ke 407 menjadi tema utama, disamping Ogoh-Ogoh berupa Singa Ambara Raja dan Megoak-goakan.

Pawai Budaya Dawang-Dawang yang dipusatkan di Tugu Singa Ambara Raja di buka Bupati Buleleng Putu Bagiada ditandai dengan pemukulan kulkul disaksikan Jajaran Muspida Kabupaten Buleleng beserta undangan dan ribuan masyarakat yang tumpah ruah menyaksikan pawai budaya itu.

Dalam Pawai Budaya Dawang-Dawang diawali dari Tugu Singa Ambara Raja dengan menempuh Rute Jalan Veteran, Jalan Gajah Mada, Jalan Dokter Sutomo, Jalan Ahmad Yani hingga finish di Jalan Dewi Sartika Selatan. (pnd)

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