The Bali Aga of Tenganan, Bali, Indonesia
The Bali Aga are known as the original Balinese people and predate Hinduism in Bali. They are a unique ethnic group that lived on the island of Bali before modern civilization. These original inhabitants of Bali fled imperialistic invaders, eventually finding refuge in the solitude of Bali's remote mountains. Today, only two villages remain, which until recently, were firmly and purposfully shut off from the rest of the world. The main temple in the village dates back to the 10 century AD (833 Caka) but the village itself is said to be much older than the temple.
Located just west of Candi Dasa and Amed lie the villages of Tenganan and Trunyan. The Bali Aga produce fine baskets and weavings and a special double weave ikat, called geringsing. These highly sought after artworks are unique to the small region and not available any where else. A true Aga Ikat can take over 5 years to create and they are primarily used in religious ceremonies.
The Tenganan’s provide a look into early Bali but the society has very strict rules. It can be dangerous for outsiders and is not recommended without an experienced guide. Please contact us directly for assistance when attempting to visit this interesting but possibly dangerous area.
There are only 600 Bali Aga families in Tenganan, and locals are forbidden to marry people from outside of the village. If they do, their family is banished from the village for life.
For more on The Bali Aga please see
Also the Bali Aga culture practices an ancient ritual known as mekare kare, which is a ritual blood sacrifice. Stay tuned for more on this rite and photos from the fighting ceremony.
Happy and safe travels,
The Balifornian Team