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PEOPLE OF BALI

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Balinese in this writing is meant the people who reside Bali, builds and develops their culture until what we received as the heritages of Bali known today. At the beginning of the effort to disclose the origin and history of Balinese, the role of linguists and archaeologists have been determinative. Some theories arise first from the research of linguists that found great similarity of main words spoken by vast majority of the people in the area, the people from the island of Madagascar up to New Zealand northern islands, and as far as North to the island of Formosa or Taiwan, and the Asia southern continent, especially from the current Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. This first theory says that the tradition of migration among people of south east Asia mainland was the origin of current Balinese as well as Javanese, Sumatran, Torajan, and other area of Indonesia. These words are the basic that are related to settlements such as house for Bali is Umah, Nias people is Uma, Batak is Uma, Toraja is Uma, Minangkabau is Tano, and so on. The changes is in the phoneme level only. Recently a new theory has been born in contrary to the oldone, that people of Asia mainland was originated from arcipelago based on archaeological research in Philippine.

First Settlers of Bali

An archaeological survey on prehistoric period of Bali found stone tools in the cave on south foot of Bali called Goa Selonding. A cave located high on the hill, yet showing a trace of water penetration with the existence of stalactite and stalagmites in the cave. The type of the tools similar to those found associated with tools belong to east Indonesia region which is currently resided by Melanesian people such as Ambon, Flores, West Papua, and others. This type of prehistoric tools found very few, and in South Sulawesi called Goa Leang-Leang it is associated with hand stamps, like many other findings in Africa and Europe, that these people pronounced their presence. Excavations disclosed that the ancient people of Bali having the same characteristic with the people of Pacific islands with black color curling hair and certain size of limb. The findings of this ancient skeletons are spreaded out over Bali which characteristic is close to the people of now settle east Indonesian regions. The theories say that the original population of Bali was melanosoid in nature, but due to the various migrations of people from Asia mainland such as Vietnam and Cambodia had superceded or probably expelled the orgiginal people and pushed them further east due to their inferior technology. The new immigrants had more higher culture so the local residents would not resist again the new comers. This people seems first resided the area around the current port of Gilimanuk where big archaeological excavation disclosed the Mongoloid characteristic of the people in burials.

Mixed Characteristics

If we see the current population of Bali there are two distinct physical characteristic tone. One is what is called Bali Age consist of settlement groups such as Tenganan Pegringsingan, Trunyan, Sembiran, Tigawasa, Pedawa, and Sitadapa villages. Almost all these settlements are located in a hard nature location such as high mountain hills, kaiber or slope of a mountain. Characteristically their people has more brighter color and unique tradition. While common Balinese has mixed color and body size from dark brown to very clear color, from totally curling hair to straight hair.

In Bali relating to the current population developed an opinion of an original Bali and Bali Majapahit. Original Bali translated from Bali Mula is considered the first people who reside Bali and today most of these villages located on the high land such as mentioned above. The rest of the Balinese consider themselves as the descendant of Majapahit - East Java kingdom. Among these two groups of people culturally in detail do have a noticeable differences, yet physically the same. The myth about Rsi Markandeya from the area of Mount Raung of East Java bringing 8000 people to Bali and settle at around Mount Tolangkir is very hard to understand, as this ancient writing contain full of magic events and seems the report was written during middle age of Bali seen from the style of writing. While Balinese writing of 9th century is far different from this writing style that mentions Rsi Markandeya.

Direction of Disribution

Concerning the way, how they reached Bali, there are 2 theories. One said that the migration was through Malay Peninsula, currently the cape of Malaysia, Sumatra, Java and Bali at last. So, seen from Indonesia it spreaded from west to east. The other said that the spread was through the Philippine to Maluku islands, then onward to the west heading to Sulawesi, Bali, Java, Kalimantan, and Sumatra. Both opinions so far have not been established on adequate facts. The carving of wooden boat at the panel of Borobudur was used to imagine about the transport of those migrant from Vietnam to reach the shortest distance, so it is reasonable from west to east. While finding of earthenware's and metal accessories associated in human burial in Philippine suggests the distribution from east to west. With the linguistic analysis above migration is estimated between 400 - 3000 BC and reached Bali around 2.500 - 1.000 BC. Various finding of burial sarcophagus were found at the places of Petang in the middle of Bali, Pejeng and Payangan located still in the inner part of Bali, and at the present ferry port of Gilimanuk disclosed the resident of Bali during late bronze age or early metal age.

Physically the finding confirm the Malay ethnic group, such as the excavation in Philippine also shows the same characteristics. From these various excavations, cultural aspect of their life can be estimated in more complete way. They used stone adzes, bronze and iron as their tools. They made stone sarcophagi in 2 parts, one as the base and as the top or lids. At the 2 sides are carved with simple design. They also knew how to make earthenwares such as jars, urns, and bowl in different sizes. The urn was used to place the human bones, which is supposed as secondary burial. In case we try to compare the current tradition of Dayak people in Kalimantan and Toraja, it can be explained that this urn was used to preserve the remains of ancestors to keep the relation between them with their living relatives, during certain days a ritual is conducted for reminiscence of ancestors living at the hereafter. The fact that this tradition is still alive in Bali can be seen from various family temples and the tradition of Ngaben, often translated as cremation ceremony. In the Ngaben ritual there are 2 ways Balinese treated the dead, one is cremated, mostly at the lowland of south Bali, and buried on highland. Still among these 2 ways are still variations which still be presented especially on an other article of Burial tradition of Bali. After the findings on bronze and early metal age, of Bali no further proof can be collected until the era of 8th century AD, when Bali entered the writing stage. This part of Bali will be presented as History of Bali. An opinion still being hold by experts on anthropology and archaeology that was basically 2 waves of migrations reached Bali in the past, pushed eastward the original settlers of Bali called the Negrito people or Veddoide people which color is black. The first migration which is called proto-malay people, and the second is Deutro-Malay people. Some of them are believed to have mixed with all type of people that ever settled Bali.

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Angklung Music
Barong Dance
Barong Landung
Chinese Baris
Devdan Nusa Dua Theatre
Erau Tribal Festival
Gambang Music
Gender Music
Gong Music
Janger Dance
Joged Dance
Kecak and Fire Dance
Pasola Reba and Nagi
Pendet Dance
Rindik Music
Topeng Dance
Wayang Puppet Show

POPULAR TOURS

Among various tour packages and tour options in Bali there are some tours which can be said always on the publications and interest a large part of travellers to Bali. Kintamani mountain tour sits at the first number as the most popular sightseeing tour, second is Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot tour, third is Uluwatu temple tour.