Bali:: Tenganan village

Bali, Karangasem, Tenganan.  A traditional Bali Aga village. Tenganan is located on the fertile hills stretching up to Gunung Agung. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

Bali, Karangasem, Tenganan. A traditional Bali Aga village. Tenganan is located on the fertile hills stretching up to Gunung Agung. (Photo Bjorn Grotting)

When Majapahit conquered Bali in 1343 there were some Balinese who did not accept this change of rule, and therefore built their own villages in remote areas. The descendants of these people are today known as Bali Aga or Bali Mula, meaning “the original Balinese”. They still live in villages like Tenganan in East Bali or Trunyan at the shores of the Batur lake.

Many of the old traditions are still maintained, and it is still possible to see their unique ceremonies and dance performances. The Tenganan people are convinced they are descendants of the gods. Even if the Bali Aga people today are Hindus they still practice a religion which is partly a heritage from pre-Hindu times, with obvious Polynesian characteristics.

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