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BALI AGA VILLAGE

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Tenganan The name of Bali Aga refers to the earlier people who settle Bali. Linguistic study on the island shows that Bali received many influx of migrants from asia mainland with Mongolid physical character. This is shown by the people known as Bali Aga with their bright yellowish skin stright heirs and also from important words immediately on their life. There are villages grouped as Bali Aga such as Trunyan, Tenganan, Sembiran, Pedawa, Sidatapa, and Tigawasa. All these villages are located on high altitude, some are at very difficult to accessed places such as Tenganan, Trunyan and Sembiran. Traditionaly a slight different can be seen opposed to the rest of Balinese, although both group got the influence of Hindu tradition. Their social life can be said closed from outsiders until just recently they widely open in all aspects with the development of tourists. The population growth is very small if not zero that is why they live more happier than the rest of Balinese. They are not closed from knowledge advancement, such as Sembiran for example their elders changed their tradition to be more suitable to the current social condition, sending their children to the school and high education, trading and various modern life participation not less then the rest of Balinese. As other ethnic groups of Indonesia they also preserve the myth about their origin related closely to the mountain at the back of the villages.

The interest for visitors to these villages, especially Tenganan and Trunyan are their tradition. Tenganan has unique and beautiful clothing woven and produced locally called geringsing, fierce dance war with pandanus leaves full of thorns, and craft of writing on palm leaves. While Trunyan has their old age tradition still alive such as untique burial tradition where the dead is just placed on the spot of open air without burried in the soil when this tradition at Sembiran has been changed for normal burial tradition.

TengananOne of the myth very interesting is about a role of a priest from east Java who migrated to Bali and brought 12.000 people to open a settlement and live in Bali. The myth described by a manuscript called Rajapurana, that is the role of Rsi Markandeya to the opening of settlement in Bali and putting spiritual foundation of Besakih temple. Seeing from the content and style of the language the manuscript is not older then 17th century, so compared to the existence of Besakih temple, it is not make sense. The fact that Markandeya is a Tamil priest living and staying in South India not in Indonesia. This is an intentional action to make history of Bali and Indonesia in general become nonsense, and dishonor the role of palace in developping Besakih temple. The fact that Besakih temple was built by 8 villages around Besakih called kelompok 8 such as village of Batusesa, Kladian, Sebudi, Badeg, Besakih and others and a grand father of one of Batusesa friend born in 1970 was one of the labour member of the construction, so it was after 1900.

The story about Rsi Markandeya is started when the priest was making a hermitage at Dieng mountain, central Java. During his contemplation, every night he was visited by supra natural beings. Those beings live on the ravines, big stones, and old age trees. The priest felt so annoyed by the presence of the supra natural beings, and decided to move to mount Raung to continue his meditation. In his contemplation he prayed to god for the guidance of how to make the people's welfare. On a night strong light was shining from the east felt on the chain of mountain on both sides of the foot were scenes of heavy and pristine jungles. On the far distance on the east the peak of mount Agung was also visible. The extinguishing light was followed by frightening torrent with deftning thunders. The priest did not show a glimpse of fearness of the terror, filled with confidence that not so long he waited for the god's blessing and will come. A mysterious advise was heard immediately that he was allowed to own land which he saw in his hermitage with the guidance of the light.

Around mount Raung was said some villages which people was called Wong Age, skillful in cultivating land for farming, diligent and ordered society. With the presence of Rsi Markandeya at the village, social condition were getting more and more developing under the guidance of the priest and consider him as the leader. To this people the priest told his vision of the east land which was said still unpopulated and the land was better then gunung Raung. The people were interested with the proposal of the priest and a number of 8.000 persons departed to cross Bali strait in search for the dream land. When the group arrived on the area with many water spring the priest ordered to stop and open the land, build tents or simple shelters.

GringsingThe clearing of land was faced with great hindrance and some of them were attacked by tigers and snakes, and the most distressing was said the infection of fever. With many members were died, causing the rest were discouraged anymore to live on this new land. The priest thought that this obstacles were caused by the supra natural being that was angry with the action of this new comer. The priest then giving an advise to stop the work, calm and patient. He further preaching that no human effort is free of hassle, and is the obligation of human being to take into account what they have faced and use it as learning to firmly step ahead to the objective, while patience and self control are the foundation of the success, said the priest.

He then back to mount Raung and back again to the land with more 4.000 persons, and bring them together with the first group. The priest continued his trip to the slope of mount Agung and entered a hermitage. This time he revealed an omen that he must plant 5 metals called " Panca Datu " as the charms for the good luck of their people in opening the new life. On the place where 5 metals were planted called " Besakih". The ritual of Panca Datu completed, the priest ordered the people to start working. The meaning of Besakih is a sacred place which must be worshiper's place to adorn the gods. Their people such as given a new spirit and never feeling tired with noisy shout of combining energy together, noise of axes cutting trees and the thundering sound of falling trees made all animals took a hundred flees to save hemselves, furthermore the thrusting power of the burning fire made everything cleared out and all animals run away. The Age people like over spirited within short time they were able to open a wide area for settlement and farming.

It is clear that the claim of Rsi Markandeya for Bali Age is not make sense, as the facts have shown that Bali Age has been in Bali before 882 AD, and the manuscript of Markandeya hundred years later. If the name of Besakih claimed by the priest in the meaning of Besakih temple that we know today, it will not again make sense as the temple is new, the 1970 generation of main group of Besakih contructor were informed by their grand parents who involved directly in construction of the temple called "Kelompok 18". It is clear that this myth emphasizing the role of a priest in the society. The type of manuscript of puranic like is called " babad " or " lontar " . There is one more famous babad which claims the important role of the priest that the manuscript of Dang Hyang Nirarta, who claimed that he had upgraded the life of relgion, social and construction of many temples such as Rambut Siwi, Peti Tenget, Uluwatu, and Silayukti. Also mentions this priest known in Lombok according to this manuscript. It was correct that priests during ancient Bali kingdom around 882 AD to 1343 AD also involved in the palace which was usually honored with the position as consultant called " bhagawanta" sitting side by side with "Baudanda" as regional administrative undertaker, yet this was for the priests with broad knowledge and historically related to the palace having various knowleges, not only religious rituals and it is not found any name of Nirarta. Various ancient Bali king's edics mentioned this role of the priests group which is called " pakira-kiran i jro makabehan" music

Garis Bali

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.