Pura Besakih is the paramount Hindu temple on Bali. Located high on the slopes of the volcano Mt Agung, it has developed over more than a thousand years into a great complex of 22 separate temples, the largest and central being Pura Penataran Agung. The annual cycle of more than seventy rituals, which symbolically link the temples into a whole, culminates in the centenary ceremony called Ekadasa Rudra (last held in 1979). The temple complex, state-supported at least since the fifteenth century, has undergone a series of architectural and ritual changes.
This study combines an analysis of textual and historical sources with the fieldwork methods of anthropology in creating a unified interpretation of this great temple.
Kayan Religion is an ethnographic account of the rituals and beliefs of Central Borneo swidden agriculturists, written at the request of the Baluy Kayan of Sarawak to preserve their religion for future generations. With its extensive agricultural rituals, Kayan religion is organized around the agricultural cycle. Both priests and shamans are present; the latter limit themselves to curing rituals, while priests manage the annual cycle, life-cycle rituals, and familial rituals.
Like other groups in Southeast Asia, the Kayan have elaborate death rituals. The traditional Kayan religion (
adat Dipuy) was characterized by ritual head-hunting, animal omens, and a multiplicity of taboos. In the 1940s, a prophet revealed a new religion (
adat Bungan) in Central Borneo, with particular success in the Baluy area. In its initial stage,
adat Bungan was a radical rejection of the old religion. However, in just a few years, a kind of counter-reformation occurred, led by aristocrats and priests, who reinstated most of the old rituals in a simplified and less onerous form.
Balinese texts, temples, theatre performances and rituals, in seven essays, are placed into specific political contexts in an effort to gain a deeper understanding of the changing relations between state and society on the complex island of Bali.
How have local communities been linked to various claimants to state sovereignty through Bali's history? What have been the forms and functions of the institutions that have joined peasants with kings and bureaucrats? How have these institutions changed and in what ways have they remained the same over the centuries? How have these relationships been represented by Balinese to themselves? And, how should research on these issues be carried further forward?
The contributors to this volume—I Gusti Ngurah Bagus, Hildred Geertz, Henk Schulte Nordholt, Raechelle Rubinstein, David J. Stuart Fox, Adrian Vickers, and Carol Warren—represent the disciplines of anthropology, literature and history, but all of them cut creatively across disciplinary lines. In contrast to previous Bali research, these studies put more emphasis on historical background and pay close attention to local Balinese perspectives. Early and colonial history form the frame of several papers, while others deal with major changes in the recent past. While each paper taken alone has its own specialized concerns, if the set is read as a series an outline can be discerned, not only of Balinese history and culture, but also of some characteristic features of the new research on Bali being carried out in the 1980s. The interdisciplinary approach of this volume makes it challenging reading for a wider audience of Southeast Asianists.
The author studied the culture, particularly social life, of a tribal society of the Kabar plain in the inland area of the Kepala Burung (Vogelkop) in Irian Jaya. The focus was on constants, variants, and changes in the field of kinship and religion. Ch. 1 gives a historical survey of the Kabar plain. Ch. 2 pays attention to environment and demographic data. To determine the influences of processes of state formation in the East Indonesian archipelago on the
Kebar, chapters 3 and 4 look at the intra- and intertribal (kinship) relations, including changes occurring in them, and the
Kebar man- and worldview. Ch. 5 discusses the connection between social historical and ecological influences on the culture of the
Kebar, in particular in the fields of kinship and religion.
The author describes Rindi culture within an analytic framework that illustrates connexions between, and common principles among, often apparently disparate realms of thought and action. The book contains chapters on the house; the village and the
domain (an aggregate of villages); space and cosmos; religion (the notions "hamangu" and "ndewa"; divinity and the ancestors; the powers of the earth); the cycle of life and death; social order (class stratification; the division of authority; descent groups) and the system of asymmetric prescriptive alliance by which it is governed; marriage prestations and the various ways of contracting a marriage. The study is based on 22 months of fieldwork.