The Heritage of Tenganan

Tenganan is a traditional village in Bali, located in Karangasem district in east of Bali. It is one among three of Bali Aga, besides Trunyan and Sembiran. Bali Aga means village life that still live according to tradition inherited by their ancestors. The building architecture, yard, the building placement, even the temple is made by following their old tradition.

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After Rejang, they prepared to pray in holy temple in the sacred area on the hill. Rejang is a traditional dance performs only by virgins in annual ceremony.

Tenganan people mostly live as farmers in padi field, but they also do handicraft. Some of their specialization are bamboo weaving, carving, and painting on burned lontar leaf. But one specialty the Tenganan people well known for is Gringsing cloth that is made by double ikat, which is the only one in Indonesia. This Gringsing fabric sometimes have aged hundreds of years since they were inherited through generations so the price is also worth hundreds million Rupiah. To appreciate such artistic heritage one must witness the way they live, attend their annual ceremonies, or watch how they weave the Gringsing.

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Enroute to attend Rejang, the girls in Tenganan walked in gringsing, their traditional hand woven fabric. The head decorations are made of gold material inherited from their ancestor. Ricoh GXR A12 with Heliar 20/4.

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Rejang. Shot with Ricoh GXR A12 & Heliar 20/4. The color was in camera enhanced, no photoshop applied. When I came here to document this ceremony it was rainy season, and sometimes I shoot under rainy conditions with not enough lights. The ambience was so traditional and the cloudy, rainy day also made it more interesting to document. My approach is simple, shoot quietly with no flash, just available light.

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Walked through the rain they fulfilled ceremonial prayer on the hill where their sacred temple is. Ricoh GXR A12 + Nokton 50/1.1 Lights came from the lamp they carried.

Every year they will have many ceremonies, some are well known and opened for public or tourists, but some are not, as some are sacred and not barely open to public.

I went there in 2011 and considered lucky as they were uninstalling the wooden swing so I had a chance to photographed the moment.

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Canon 550D with 18-55 kit lens. PP in Photoshop.

Traditional wooden swing, young men and women in one fine evening.

Traditional wooden swing, young men and women in one fine evening.

Early this year they also held Rejang and Abuang ceremony and it was an amazing moment to be witnessed.

Abuang, a dance of matching couple. Ricoh GXR A12 and Heliar 20/4.

Abuang, a dance of matching couple. Ricoh GXR A12 and Heliar 20/4.

You have to go to Tenganan several times annualy in order to get the whole series of their rituals and ceremonies, even many more times if one about to get full story with many images.

Here are some of images I took from several visits to Tenganan, Bali. Enjoy !!!

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Cock Fighting ceremony, OMD 5

Cock Fighting ceremony, OMD 5

The Defeated. The losers of cock fighting.

The Defeated. The losers of cock fighting.

The referee of cock fighting ceremony.

The referee of cock fighting ceremony.

Early morning in Tenganan.

Early morning in Tenganan.

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Dyed Cocks & Handicraft

Dyed Cocks & Handicraft

To Be Continued

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