The Story of This Balinese Popular Dance | Barong Dance Bali

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Hello guys, this is a great moment for us to discuss about one of popular dance in Bali the island of Paradise. Barong dance this name of dance absolutely have you hear before. This dance really popular and really fascinating for every traveler around the world. Barong is a lion-like creature and character in the mythology of Bali, Indonesia. He is the king of the spirits, leader of the hosts of good, and enemy of Rangda, the demon queen and mother of all spirit guarders in the mythological traditions of Bali. The battle between Barong and Rangda is featured in Barong dance to represent the eternal battle between good and evil.

Barong is a dance that using animal mask dance that perform together with sanghyang dance are considered native Balinese dances, predating Hindu influences. The word “Barong” derives from the local words “termbahruang”, which today corresponds to Indonesian word beruang which means “bear”. It refers to a good spirit, that took the form of an animal as the guardian of the forest. According to the Balinese mythology, the good spirit is identified as Banas Pati Raja. Banas Pati Raja is the fourth “brother” or spirit child that accompanies a child throughout their life, which is a similar concept to guardian angels. Banas Pati Raja is the spirit which animates Barong. A protector spirit, he is often represented as a lion.

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Barong dance mask looks like a lion with red head, covered in white thick fur, and wearing gilded jewelry adorned with pieces of mirrors. The shape of Barong is somewhat similar to a Pekingese dog. The origins of the Barong are far a back in time and quite uncertain. Its origins could be from animist worship, before Hinduism appeared, when villagers still believed in the supernatural protective power of animals.

bali, barong, dance, traditional, balinese dance, barong dance, traditional dance, art, culture, balinese art, balinese cultureRangda is Barong’s opposite. While Barong represents good, Rangda represents evil. Rangda is known as a demon queen, the incarnation of Calon Arang, the legendary witch that wreaked havoc in ancient Java during the reign of Airlangga in the 10th century. It is said that Calon Arang was a widow, that really powerful in black magic, who often damaged farmer’s crops and caused disease to come. Calon arang had a girl, named Ratna Manggali. Ratna Manggali looks beautiful, but could not get a husband because people were afraid of her mother. Because of the difficulties faced by her daughter, Calon Arang was angry and she intended to take revenge by kidnapping a young girl. She brought the girl to a temple to be sacrificed to the goddess Durga. The next day, a great flood engulfed the village and many people died.

King Airlangga, who had heard of this matter, then asked for his advisor, Empu Bharada, to deal with this problem. Empu Bharada then sent his disciple, Empu Bahula, to be married to Ratna Manggali. They were married with a huge feast that lasted seven days and seven nights, and the situation returned to normal. Calon Arang had a book that contained magic incantations. One day, this book was found by Empu Bahula, who turned it over to Empu Bharada. As soon as Calon Arang knew that the book had been stolen, she became angry and decided to fight Empu Bharada. Without the help of Durga, Calon Arang was defeated. Since she was defeated, the village was safe from the threat of Calon Arang’s black magic. This is the story of Barong and Rangda in Calon Arang version.

Another version holds that Rangda was actually linked to historical queen Mahendradatta or Gunapriyadharmapatni, a Javanese princess sister of Dharmawangsa of East Javanese Isyana Dynasty of late Medang Kingdom period. She was the queen consort of Balinese king Udayana and Airlangga’s own mother. Mahendradatta is known for her devotion to the worship of Durga in Bali. The story goes that Mahendradatta, the mother of Airlangga, was condemned by Airlangga’s father because she practiced black magic. After she became a widow (Rangda in old Javanese means: ‘widow’), hurt and humiliated, she sought revenge upon her ex-husband’s court and whole of his kingdom. She summoned all the evil spirits in the jungle, the “Leaks” and the demons that caused plague and death in the kingdom. Airlangga face his own mother to save the kingdom. A fight occurred, but she and her black magic troops were too powerful that Airlangga had to ask for a help of spirit king, Barong in order to defeat her. Barong came with Airlangga’s soldiers, and the fight ensued. Rangda cast a spell that made Airlangga soldiers all want to kill themselves, pointing their poisoned Kris into their own stomachs and chests. In response, Barong cast a spell which caused the soldiers body’s to be resistant to the sharp Kris. At the end, Barong won, and Rangda ran away. Well Guys that’s a bit story and version of Barong and Rangda the popular dance in Bali. This traditional dance couldn’t be missed when you are in Bali.


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