Gamelan And Penari Picture

Historical Chronology

6th Century- A travelling Chinese Buddhist monk describes the island of Po’li, some historians thought it to be Bali, was made up of 136 villages set amongst luxuriant vegetation and ruled by a king, who believed he was descended from Hindu deities.

882- Oldest dated inscription found in Bali records the first king ruling Bali as Ugrasena, founder of the islands ancient and feudal Warmadewa Dynasty.

Late 10th Century- ­ The island of Bali is conquered by the Javanese ki­ng, Dharmawangsa (989-1007). His sister Mahendrad­atta, marries the Balinese king, Udayana (Dharmoda­yana).

1001- Prince Erlangga is born. Son of Udayana and Mahendradatta. Erlangga returns to Java where he builds a powerful kingdom and rules Bali as part of his em­pire, and he lays the foundations of Javanese-Balinese political and cultural contact.

Early 12th Century- ­ Bali becomes a vassal of the eastern Javanese kingdom of Kediri.

1284- ­ The neighbouring Javanese ruler Kertanegara, reconquers and pacifies and unifies Bali under the Sin­gasari Dynasty.

1343- Gajah Mada, Supreme General and Prime Minister of the Majapahit Empire, conquers Bali and introduces the Majapahit culture and its institutions. The Balinese are very receptive and the aristocracy eagerly seek to join their family trees to the ruling ‘Wong Majapahit (Man of Majapahit).

1450- The Hinduization of Bali proceeds through waves of migration and cultural infusion from the Majapahit Empire in the eastern part of Java.

1515- The collapse of the Majapahit Empire (due to the unstoppable rise of Islam) triggers a massive cultural migration to Bali. The last prince of Majapahit and his royal court of Hindu priests, artists, scholars, nobles and soldiers flee to Bali, transporting their culture intact.

1550- Batu Renggong of the Gelgel Dynasty inherits the title Dewa Agung, (Great Deity or King), and initiates a political, military and cultural renaissance sometimes called Bali’s Golden Age. He controlled all the Balinese Rajadoms and conquered Sumbawa and Lombok. Several generations later the family dynasty moved its court to Klungkung which remains the noblest of the eight Rajadoms (or principalities) these principalities are Klungkung, Badung, Tabanan, Bangli, Gianyar, Karangasem, Buleleng and Jembrana.

1597- The Dutch trader Cornelius De Houtman arrived in Bali, searching for spices. The court at Gelgel royally entertained four men of this expedition. Two men jumped ship, and the world received fascinating reports about this beautiful tropical paradise.

1601- A Dutch expedition led by Jacob van Heemskerck, tries to open trade relations with the island. The Dewa Agung presented him with a beautiful Balinese girl, as a gift, the Dutch interpreted this as tacit approval and that it ‘bestowed special rights’ to them.

­1639- Di Made Bakung, last Dewa Agung of the ‘Golden Age’ of Gelgel Dynasty, provoked an invasion by the Javanese Empire of Mataram. He lost Sumbawa, Lombok and the allegiance of the other Balinese princes. The Gelgel court moved to Klungkung. They continued to symbolize imperial grandeur, but never again have real imperial power.

­1667­- The Rajadom of Gianyar is born with the rise of Dewa Manggis Kuning, a fourth generation of Gelgel. After some early misadventures in Badung, Dewa Manggis escaped death by being carried out of the palace wrapped in a mat, on top of a servant’s head. The fugitive prince then set up a court in Gianyar, which became prosperous and powerful southern state.

1711- The Dewa Agung’s military and political power passes to Buleleng in the north. The joint principalities of Buleleng-Mengwi flourish for the most of this century.

­1717-1717-­ There are frequent hostilities between Bali and the Javanese Empire of Mataram, which climax in the destruction of East Java and Madura by roaming troops of Balinese. The Dutch refrained from intervening in the Balinese-Javanese wars.

1740­- The Rajadom of Karangasem rise to prominence, conquer Lombok. Raja Gusti Gede of Karangasem, famous prince in Balinese history subdues Buleleng, then Negara, dominates the political scene and stirs the populace to widespread resentment and anger.

1815­- Tambora Volcano on Sumbawa erupts. Buleleng and Singaraja, the large towns in the north, are damaged by ash and tidal waves. This is perceived as a premonition of impending disaster.

1817­- The Dutch begin agricultural trade with Bali. Singaraja and Kuta become busy ports.

1826­- First permanent Dutch agent settles in Kuta in southern Bali, is the start of modern Dutch presence on the island. Captain J.S. Wetters’ purpose is to recruit 1000 Balinese soldiers for the Dutch colonial army. The trade in opium and Balinese slaves flourish under his influence.

1830’s- Dutch traders begin to negotiate trade policies and sovereignty. The Balinese keep rigidly the traditional concept of ‘reef rights’ whereby villagers are entitled to plunder any ship that wrecks near the island, accepting the booty as gifts from the gods.

­1841- ­ The Dutch frigate Overijsset is wrecked on Kuta reef and plundered by Balinese. Amid furore and protest, a new commissioner arrives at Buleleng. A dynamic young prince, Gusti Ketut Jelantik, the great hero of mid-nineteenth century Bali, deifies him.

1846-­ Dutch-Bali wars. The first Dutch punitive expedition brings an invasion fleet of 58 vessels and 3000 armed men to defeat Jelantik’s defence force in Buleleng. Danish trader Mads Lange, who runs a shipping and trading post in Kuta, acts as intermediary between the Balinese and the Dutch.

1848- In this second punitive expedition, the brilliant military leader Gusti Jelantik fights off three attacks from the Dutch with 25 cannon and 16,000 men.

­1849­- The third and final punitive Dutch expedition arrives with 100-armed vessels. The Dutch attack the Balinese stronghold of Jagaraga. Balinese lose thousands of men, and then they advance in puputan, which is a fight to death (ritual suicide). The Dutch gain allies and troops from Lombok, which overtake the rajas of Karangasem and Buleleng. The Balinese resistance is in disarray whilst the Dutch gain strength.

1850’s- The Dutch ‘protective’ administration assumes sovereign power over northern and western Bali. Coffee plantations are introduced in the north, which are a profitable colonial enterprise. Dutch ban the Hindu practice of suttee, the burning of widowed wives with their husbands, and now take the first steps to eradicate slavery.

1868- The climax of the intermittent Gianyar-Klungkung wars, the rajadom of Gianyar (the most powerful and prosperous state of the south), smashes the army of Klungkung.

1882- Buleleng and Jembrana states are brought under direct Dutch rule. All Balinese women in that part of the island are ordered to cover their breasts.

­1885­- Dewa Manggis and his Gianyar retinue travel to Klungkung to pay homage to the Dewa Agung but are imprisoned instead; and their ranks destroyed. A rebellion of Muslim Sasak vassals of the Balinese rulers of Karangasem, east Bali, is suppressed with extreme cruelty.

1894­- The Dutch send a military expedition to Lombok and to punish the Balinese rulers, but they are massacred in the notorious ‘Lombok Treachery’ at their camp at Cakranegara. To revenge this defeat the Dutch lay waste Lombok, and raze Mataram to the ground in the process. The Balinese rulers perish in a mass rite of puputan, or ritual suicide; rather than surrender to the Dutch. Dutch-Balinese relations become increasingly strained.

1900-­ The Dutch annex Gianyar.

1904­- The Chinese schooner ‘Sri Kumala’ is wrecked near Sanur beach and plundered. The Dutch demand compensation from the Raja of Badung, who remained defiant. He is supported by the Raja’s of Klungkung and Tabanan. The last known suttee takes place in Tabanan.

1906­- A large military expedition lands at Sanur beach with troops, and march toward the royal palace at Denpasar. They are met by the raja and his entire court, dressed in splendour for the ritual of puputan. In this ghastly suicide ceremony, the entire court turn their daggers and krisses upon one another. The women tauntingly throw their jewels at the Dutch troops. The entire court died on the battle field. The puputan ritual is repeated that same afternoon in Pemecutan, a minor court of Badung; and two days later in the court of the raja of Tabanan.

1908­- Disorder and bombardment by the Dutch, around Klungkung and Gelgel leads to the final puputan of the Dewa Agung and his court at Klungkung. The Dutch then resolve to make amends, and introduces reforms under the ‘Ethical Policy’ they do not allow the presence of a Dutch colony, nor agricultural business, as in Java. Balinese farmers are protected against exploitation, and the sudden impact of outside influences. A ‘conservationist’ stance towards Balinese culture is taken in art and architecture.

1920’s-1930’s-­ Foreign artists and musicians ‘discover’ Bali. Walter Spies, Miguel Covarrubias, Rudolph Bonnet, Ari Smit, Han Snel, Vicki Baum, and anthropologis­ts Margaret Mead, Jane Belo and Gregory Bateson, are just a few of the many that came to Bali.

1942- Japanese Occupation. Japanese troops land at Sanur beach and control the island for three years, headquarters at Denpasar and Singaraja. Walter Spies, Bali’s most famous western artist, perishes when a Japanese submarine torpedoes his ship, when he was being transported to safety as a German internee.

1945­- General Sukarno, soldier and politician, rises through party ranks in Jakarta. Declares ‘Merdeka’ - Independence, for the entire Indonesian archipelago. Dutch troops drive the Japanese out of Bali and try to re-impose a Dutch civil administration.

1946- Battle for independence in Bali, climax with a young military officer, Ngurah Rai, who relies on mystical guidance; leads a suicide attack against Dutch forces and is martyred at Marga, along with 95 followers.

1949- The Hague concedes Indonesian Independence. Bali becomes part of the Republic of the United States of Indonesia, with Sukarno as President.

1956- Sukarno, President of Indonesia and ‘patron’ of Bali, builds various monuments such as the Tampaksiring Palace, Bali Beach Hotel, and the Udayana University: which is now Bali’s chief centre of higher education.

1962- A plague of rats infest Bali. This is interpreted as a sign of divine wrath and displeasure.

1963- Gunung Agung erupts, killing over 1000 people and laying waste much of the island. This occurs whilst the Balinese are celebrating Eka Desa Rudra, the most sacred of festivals, held only once each Balinese century at Pura Besakih, the mother temple, on the slopes of Gunung Agung, the most holy mountain in Bali. The eruption is seen as an evil omen.

1965- Gestapu, September 30, an abortive coup de ‘etat; five top army generals are murdered brutally by a by a clique of communist conspirators. Revulsion and a desire for vengeance promote a national bloodletting. In Bali thousands of suspected communists are killed in a matter of weeks.

1970s- Tourism develops in southern Bali, in the capital Denpasar, and in the beach resort villages of Sanur and Kuta. The Ngurah Rai International Airport is opened. The government declares tourism the new industry and launches the development of the Nusa Dua, a mega-resort, in the Bukit peninsular.

1979- The cremation of Tjokorda Gede Agung Sukawati, the high prince and designate Raja of Ubud, was given what has been called ‘ the last great cremation’ was burned in a huge black and gold bull sarcophagus.

1979- On January 31, Balinese again celebrate Eka Desa Rudra. Exactly 11 years and 11 days after the aborted festival of 1963, a massive celebration involving the most elaborate preparations and animal sacrifices ever seen. The priests announce it as successful. A true purging of the old and a blessed beginning of a century of hope to the Balinese people.


adat - the traditional laws of social behaviour.

agung - great, grand, lofty.

anak - child, young, offspring.

Bahasa Indonesia - the national language of Indonesia.

bale - a raised open air pavilion, building.

banjar - the local village council in which village activities are organized.

banteng - wild cattle of Indonesia.

bapak - father, a polite term of address for an older man.

barong - a fierce mythical creature, commonly in the form of a lion.

Baruna - god of the sea.

batik - fabric printed by using a dye resist method, using wax.

batu - stone, rock or mountain.

bemo - a small covered pick-up truck or mini bus used for public transport, usually privately owned.

Brahmana - the priestly caste, highest of Bali’s four aristocratic castes.

Usually named Ida Bagus.

Brahma - Hindu god who gave birth to the caste system. Head of the Hindu trinity. Brahma is usually represented wearing white robes and riding a goose.

brem - rice wine.

bukit - hill, mountain.

buta - demonic spirit which causes sickness and accidents to humans.

cap-cai - vegetable dish, also sometimes with meat.

candi - Hindu temple or monument.

candi-bentar - split gate entrance to a temple.

catur yoga - ancient manuscript on religion and cosmology.

Cokorda - title used by the male rulers of the princely Ksatria caste.

colt - a mini van used for public transport from town to town. The fastest form of transport.

condong - female attendant or lady in waiting to a noblewoman.

copra - coconut meat dried in the sun, from which coconut oil is extracted.

dalang - puppetmaster/storyteller who manipulates the wayang kulit puppets, conducts the gender wayang gamelan orchestra and directs the beat, all at the same time. He is a man of many skills, and a much-respected scholar who displays great physical stamina and endurance as a wayang kulit performance lasts many hours.

dewa/dewi - god/goddess.

Dewi Sri - rice-goddess.

dokar - pony trap.

dukun - traditional faith healer, witch doctor, herbalist, dealer in spells, mystic.

endek - Balinese ikat.

Galungan - major annual festival, held every 210 days.

gamelan - traditional Balinese percussion orchestra, first developed in Java. Consists mainly of bronze xylophones shaped like discs, cylinders, keys or round hollow bowls, which are beaten with hammers accompanied by drums and bamboo flutes.

gang - small lane, alley or footpath.

gangsa - pairs of floating bronze key metallophones in three sizes, over

bamboo resonators. Plays basic melody or ornamental parts.

Garuda - supernatural bird, the mount of Vishnu, who tried to rescue Sita when wicked Rawana abducted her. He died trying to save her. This episode is often depicted in wayang shows. The Garuda is the emblem of the Republic of Indonesia.

gong - an instrument, but also used to indicate the whole gamelan orchestra.

gunung - mountain.

guru - teacher.

Hanuman - the white monkey king in the mythological Hindu epic the Ramayana.

homestay - small family run losman.

I - abbreviation of Ida, the honorary title for males of the Sudra caste.

Ibu - mother, also a deferential or affectionate term of address when speaking to any married woman, or woman of childbearing age.

Ida - used when addressing a male of the nobility.

Ida Bagus - honourable title when addressing a man of the Brahmana caste.

Ider - ider - long narrow strip of painted frieze cloth, in the wayang style, hung along temple eaves.

ikan - fish.

ikat - woven cloth, the pattern is created by tie-resist binding prior to weaving.

jalan -street.

jamu - traditional Indonesian medicine, made from roots, bark and grasses. Usually steeped in hot water and drunk, sometimes it is applied directly to the skin, or it may be eaten.

jukung - Balinese outrigger boat, built in a high level of traditional technology.

kain - length of material 2.75 metres long by 1.2 metres wide. The everyday garment worn by men and women, wrapped around the lower body. Also may refer to specific textiles such as kain gringsing, which is used in sacred ceremonies.

kaja - towards the mountains, the opposite of kelod (the direction of the sea; evil).

karma - Hindu belief, that our destiny is determined by the sum total of all our actions, good and bad, from all preceding lives.

kasar - coarse, crude, anything that is the opposite of halus, or opposite of what is considered refined by Javanese standards.

kawi - classical Javanese, the language of poetry.

kebaya - traditional long sleeve, close fitting hip length jacket, worn by women.

kelapa - coconut.

kelod - towards the sea, this direction is considered unlucky, demonic.

kepeng - old Chinese coins with a hole in the centre, used in offerings and as decoration in rituals. Once the everyday currency among the Balinese. They can still be readily obtained for a few cents each.

Kecak - a seated male choral dance drama, from an episode of the

Ramayana, often called the monkey dance because of the staccato chorus of chanting. First performed in the village of Bona, during the 1930’s to accompany trance dances.

Ketut - name prefix for the fourth and eighth born children of the Waisa and Sudra castes.

kopi - coffee.

Korowas - cousins and nemesis of the Pandawas in the Hindu epic the


kraton - small walled fortified city, centre of religious learning and Hindu Javanese rulers.

kretek - Indonesian cigarette flavoured with crushed clove, smoked throughout Indonesia. It has a distinctive aroma.

kris - double-edged dagger that is curved and twisted. A weapon as well as an ornament. A symbol of masculine strength.

Ksatria - the princely caste.

krupuk - fried prawn or fish wafers. Eaten with every meal.

kulkul - large wooden bell made of a hollowed tree trunk, hung vertically,

sounds the alarm and calls the people to meetings.

Kuningan - holy day celebrated 10 days after Galungan.

Korowas - cousins and enemies of the Pandawas in the epic Mahabarata

lamak - flat palm leaf temple hanging.

ladang - non irrigated form of agriculture, using slash and burn method to grow dry land crops.

legong - common term for legong kraton, or the young female dancers who perform this.

leyak - roaming evil spirit that haunts lonely places at night. These spirits can assume any supernatural shape. They devour the entrails of babies and corpses, cast spells, and can manifest as an animal or balls of fire. Only Balinese can see leyaks.

lingam - phallic symbol associated with the Hindu god Shiva.

lontar - a species of palm tree, which provides food, shelter, utensils and ornaments. Large fan like leaves are stripped and plaited into bags, fishing nets and baskets. Most Balinese literature, history and sacred texts have been inscribed throughout the centuries on strips of this palm.

lontong - cooked glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaves.

losmen - basic accommodation, mostly family run. Rooms to let; of

traditional style architecture.

lumbung padi - traditional thatched rice barn.

Made - name prefix for the second and sixth born of the lower caste.

Mahabarata - Hindu mythological epic containing 100,000 couplets, the longest epic poem in the world. The legend of the descendants of the Hindu gods, climaxing in a battle between the Pandawas and the Korowas. Translated into the high language of Kawi, this Indian legend plays a major role in Balinese literature, art and theatre.

Majapahit - ancient east Javanese empire which ruled most of Indonesia from A.D. 1292-1478. Was dissolved by Islamic influences by A.D. 1520. The Majapahit had a profound effect on the art, culture, and political organization on Bali.

mandi - bathroom with a large tub of water, which you ladle over yourself. Also the ritual of washing.

mantra - chant of sacred significance.

meru - multi roof pagoda made of black thatch, only found on Bali.

mie - noodles.

mie goreng - fried noodles with meat, and or vegetables.

mudra - sacred hand ritual gestures that usually accompany mantras.naga - Hindu mythical serpent or dragon charged with magical powers.

nasi - cooked rice.

nasi campur - combination of eggs, vegetables, meat or fish, with sauce, served on steamed rice.

nasi padang - rice with many side-dishes, always spicy.

Ngrorod - marriage by elopement, in which the bride is abducted, usually with the girl’s prior agreement

Ni - honorary title to address female of the Sudra caste.

Nyepi - Balinese new year. An annual day of silence, stillness, prayer, and meditation, in order to deceive the evil spirits into thinking that mankind has deserted the island, so they too will leave. People refrain from all activities.

Nyoman - name given to the third and seventh born children of lower castes.

odalan - temple festival, celebrating the date the temple was founded. Held every 210 days (when it is believed the gods descend from heaven to receive blessings from the congregation).

oplet - small intra city mini bus, usually covered, with side benches for seating in the back.

oton - Balinese year consisting of 210 days.

opor ayam - chicken cooked in coconut milk and spices.

padi - rice growing in the fields.

padmasana - the high lotus throne, reserved for the highest god at any temple.

Pak - term of respect for a man, abbreviation of bapak, meaning father or Mr.

pandanus - palm used to make mats.

pande - blacksmith.

parang - chopping knife.

paras - soft volcanic sandstone material, used for carving.

pasar - market.

pasar malam - night market.

pedanda - high priest of the Hindu Bali religion, belonging to the Brahmana caste.

pegulingan - a small minor orchestra especially for the legong.

penjor - eight metre high bamboo poles, decorated with bamboo decorations, used to line the streets at Galungan festival.

pikulan - carrying pole which rests across the shoulders. The burden is suspended from each end.

pemangku - curator and custodian of a temple. Secular temple priests who officiates at everyday temple rituals; of the lower castes, and humble. Mostly males.

pisang - banana.

prahu - outrigger (sailing or motorized boat).

punggawa - title of indigenous regents, leader of a district (historical).

puputan - “the end”. Suicidal fight to the death when defeat is inevitable.

pura - temple.

pura dalem - temple of the dead.

pura desa - the village temple, used for everyday worship, usually located in the centre of a village.

pura puseh - “temple of origin” used by the village founders.

pura subak - temple dedicated to the irrigation deities.

puri - residence of a noble family; dwelling place for descendants of a local prince of the Ksatria or Waisa caste.

purnama - full moon.

putri - princess.

raja - lord or prince.

Ramayana - Indian epic legend. The hero Rama defeats Rawana of Lanka who has stolen his wife Sita. The Ramayana provides spectacle for the theatre and drama of Bali and inspires much of its art. Of ancient origin, the story of good conquers evil.

Rangda - Queen of the Leyaks.

rumah makan - modest restaurant.

saka - the Balinese lunar calendar.

sakti - an animals or objects spiritual power.

sambal - a spicy hot chilli sauce.

Sanghyang - title given to a deity of great spiritual power

Sanghyang Widi - the godhead, all powerfull. All the gods in the Bali Hindu pantheon are manifestations of the cosmic force of Sanghyang Widi; the creator.

sari - flower.

sawah - wet rice method of cultivation, or a rice field.

sebel - ritual uncleanness, pollution.

sirih - betel nut and lime combined with sirih - the leaf of a species of

pepper, mildly narcotic, mainly chewed by older people in Indonesia.

songket - patterned woven cloth, incorporating gold or silver thread.

soto - delicious spicy soup, eaten throughout the archipelago.

subak - the village irrigation cooperative, which controls the use of water and maintenance of irrigation. This association settles disputes and monitors all dams.

Sudra - the lowest caste. The common people, comprising over ninety percent of the population. Jaba is more widely used than Sudra among the Balinese.

suling - flute.

taman - ornamental garden with a pond.

teman - friend.

tenget - magical, dangerous.

tirta - holy water.

tuak - rice or palm wine.

tukang - skilled workman or labourer.

Wadah - funeral tower.

wantilan - an open pavilion used for cock fights.

waringin - banyan tree.

warung - a simple food stall selling inexpensive food.

wayang kulit - shadow puppet theatre.

Wayan - the name used for the third and fifth born child of the lower caste.

Waisa - the warrior caste. The most numerous of the aristocratic castes.

Widyadhari - heavenly nymphs.

Yama - god of the underworld.

yeh - water.

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