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Entries in ritual (3)


Bali Photo of the Day ~ Ritual Stabbing at Traditional Dance

Hello Balifornians!
Today we feature a powerful shot of a mass ritual self stabbing during a traditional dance. They don't really hurt themselves as this is more of a demonstration, but there are sacred events in Bali and Indonesia during the year where serious pain (and sometimes lasting damage) is done during holy festivals.

Balinese Traditional Dance and Rituals

Bali Traditional ritual danceThis Traditional Dance from Bali features a ritual self mutilation
The men are stabbing themselves with a mock up of a holy kris or spiritual dagger.  You can see a Mankgu or Hindu Priest blessing the daggers (Kris) here.
Want to submit your photo for the Bali Tour Photo of the Day?  Simply send your photograph in JPEG format and a description to  Files must be under 500 kb.


Happy travels and please sign up for our newsletter here.


More Bali Aga Images ~ Balifornian Villas and Tours Photo of the Day

Salamat Datang Samua!

I wanted to share a couple more Bali Aga photos.  I am still working on the images and text for the  mekare kare blog post, which is the ritual blood sacrifice fight ceremony.  So stay tuned for more on this ritual ceremony, but for now have you ever seen a pre-industrial ferris wheel?  Here is a photo of a wooden structure used for a ride like you would see at an amusement park.  The skill and engenering of these fine artisans and craftsmen is quite amazing.

Bali travel and tours villasA Bali Aga Ferris Wheel. The amazing craftsmanship of the artists here is really something to marvel at.Bali Photography

Meet Nyoman.  He is excited and ready for the mekare kare to begin. The ceremony draws big crowds from all over Bali.  Nyoman knew to come early to get a "ringside seat".  He is chewing betel nut which made his Bahasa Indonesia even harder for me to understand.

best Bali tours and villas ceremonyA Bali Aga villager chews Betel Nut in preperation for the fight ceremony.

Stay tuned for more on this rite and photos from the fighting ceremony. And for more on The Bali Aga please see here and here.  Please remember this area is not as safe to travel in by yourself unless you are experienced with Bali and the Bali Aga community.  I have read recently that the Bali Aga Villages and The Indonesian government have had talks recently and The Bali Aga elders have promised to be more welcoming to tourists but we do not advise entering the area without and experienced guide. Please contact us here for more help and information.

Have you seen this ceremony?  Please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Salamat Jalan and we hope to see you soon!


Ngaben; The Traditional Balinese Cremation Ceremony

These photos are from a traditional Balinese cremation ceremony, or Ngaben, in Sangeh, Bali, Indonesia from our 2011 Balifornian Culture Tour.  Sangeh is located about 40 minutes north west of Ubud in the Badung Regency and home to Bukit Sari monkey forest and Temple, Pura Bukit Sari which dates back to the 17th century.

Bali-ceremony-cremationNgaben, The traditional Balinese cremation ceremony

According to Balinese tradition, this village is revered in The Ramayana. The epic Hindu poem discusses the legend of the monkey god Hanuman who must kill the evil demon Rawana who has taken over the colossal cosmic mountain named Mahameru. Mahameru was home to large Nutmeg trees filled with happy monkeys. One day a section of the mountain fell to earth onto the village of Sangeh and there have been monkeys here ever since. The tall nutmeg trees that surround the temple are found nowhere else on the island and have remained a sacred mystery.

Our good friend, Gung Adi, who’s family has lived in Sangeh for generations, invited me to partake in The Balinese Hindu cremation ceremonies taking place in his village. 


The Ngaben ritual which is executed to return the deceased soul and the five elements to heaven by burning the dead body in an elaborate ceremony which is followed by Hindu ritual procession.  It is among the most renowned cultural activities in the world for adhering to its ancient roots, dating back over a thousand years. The fortunate exception that has thankfully broken from ancient tradition is that the wives of the deceased no longer throw themselves onto the flaming funeral pyres as their dead husbands are cremated.


The ceremony and traditions involved in this powerful and striking ritual are covered in depth and stunning footage in the upcoming Balifornian Film’s documentary.