Remembering Covarrubias, a Pioneering Bali Icon

Celebrated during the 20th-century as an icon in the Bali literature and art spheres, the ultra-talented Mexican Miguel Covarrubias’ witnessed and recorded the distinctions of Bali. His creative endeavours distinguished him from other foreigners. As the door to international tourism reopens, it’s significant to honour his extraordinary contributions and remember Bali’s original allure. Covarrubias’ book,

Richard Horstman
Islam in Bali

A History of Islam in Bali: A Story of Tolerance

Indonesia is a nation of 273 million people, 88% of whom are registered as Muslim. Bali is the only region of the country where the majority of the population is Hindu – although Balinese Hindus, make up only 1.7% of the Indonesian population. In Bali, 90% of the population is classified as Hindu, but the


Bagus Ari Maruta Elevates Balinese Decorative Painting to Exciting New Heights

Balinese painting has evolved as a sacred narrative form of knowledge transfer within a social context. The Classical pictures merged old indigenous beliefs with introduced religion, forming a codified cultural system to inspire harmony within the community. The images were displayed within the temples and palaces; and never within a family compound for enjoyment. Decorative

Barong Landung Bali Jaya Pangus Kang Cing Wie

Barong Landung: Beyond a Simple Love Story

Listen to this article through the NOW! Bali Podcast: Found in most banjars across Bali, the distinct appearance of the Barong Landung characters are unmistakeable in the assortment of Balinese religious effigies. This conspicuous couple, always found together, are at face-value just symbols of an old Balinese love story. However, digging deeper, this historic husband


Gustra Adnyana: Photography Through the Eyes of a Brahmin

If you are living in Bali, or have often visited the island, you may not know the man, but you are likely to have seen his wonderful photographs of some of the most secret rites and ceremonies of Bali. This photographer’s name is Gustra, or, in its full brahmana name, Ida Bagus Putra Adnyana (64).

Fraksi Epos Exhibition: Indonesia’s Contemporary Art Scene Come Together

Inside the construction site of South Beach, a new expansion to the Discovery Shopping Mall in Kuta, an innovative art exhibition and showcase has manifested within the development. Titled Ruang Baur Seni: Fraksi Epos 2022, this one-of-a-kind art event sees a huge collaboration of Bali’s many creative communities, together displaying a mosaic of Indonesia’s up-and-coming


Photographer Gung Ama Inspires Memories of Pre-colonial Bali

The 21st-century digital revolution propels us into a vast and exciting future. Empowering individuals and communities with an array of creative opportunities, the onslaught of the new, however, consequentially disrupts the old. As the rapidly-evolving digital sphere increasingly casts its spell upon us, once state-of-the-art technologies are being swept aside and forgotten, along with essential

Nyepi, Siwa Ratri, and the Evolution of Balinese Religious Rites

Journalist Eric Buvelot and socio-ethnologist Jean Couteau have recorded 20 hours of discussion about changes that have happened in Bali since the 70’s. The conversation was structured and segmented according to many different aspects of Balinese life, mostly from a socio-historical perspective, to trace all the overturning in Balinese mores since 50 years, when modernity

Tumpek Kandang: The Holy Day for Animals

Tumpek Kandang is a day dedicated to Sang Hyang Rare Angon, the god of all cattle and livestock. On this day, domesticated animals on the island will receive great attention; the cows are washed in the river and dressed-up like human beings, with special cone-shaped spirals made of coconut leaf placed on their horns. The

Melasti Purification Ceremony NOW BALI 4

Melasti: Island-Wide Purification

One of the precursors to Nyepi is the melasti ceremony, also known as ‘melis’. Whilst just as visually extravagant as a piodalan temple ceremony, melasti is of incredible importance to the annual (and sometimes more) rites of the Balinese Hindu. During this ceremony, lines and lines of local Hindus will journey to the sea or

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