Bali Aga or well known as the original people of Bali is a local community in Bali which is believed as the aboriginal people in Bali who still embrace all indigenous cultures, religion, customs away from modern civilization . Word of mouth says that the Bali Aga is a part of Bedahulu kingdom (the old kingdom in Bali) who fled at the colonial era and they established a village in the middle of forest and on the edge of mountain as their hiding place.
Along with the development of their village, the village leader chosen by the people in the oldest or the priest (religious leaders).
All of Hindus culture and their customs, they maintained even until now. They are isolated from the outside world because of the geographical location of the village indeed rather hard to reach.
Bali Aga could be encountered in the eastern part of Bali, exactly in the village of Tenganan, Karangasem district, on the edge of Lake Batur in the village of Trunyan, and in the northern part of Bali, exactly in the village Sembiran.
Although mentioned that life Bali Aga isolated from the outside world, but they will be happy to show on tourists who visit their place about their unique culture, their magnificent village atmosphere or even their history to survive.
Tenganan village as one of the Bali Aga village located about 5 km from the main road of Candidasa, Karangasem regency east coast of Bali.
Tenganan is a symmetrically laid out Bali Aga village with a unique walled homes and beautiful handicrafts. Bali Aga was the original inhabitant of Bali, before the arrival of Hindu from Java.
Tenganan keeping its ancient Hindu customs through isolate their area from modern era and they don’t built a particular relationship with outsiders although they still respecting it, that shown and supported by the protection of its surrounding walls.
Tenganan village is so beautiful and has some very stunning authentic traditional festival like a ceremonial dances and one very interesting is ‘mekare-kare’. Mekare – kare is a battle between their young man with a thorny pandanus as a weapon which is they held at certain time. Some of the locals said this tradition held also as a blood sacrifice to the God before they held the ceremony.
This tradition also believed as their great way for them to get their next leader. The people of Tenganan are skilled in the unique technique of weaving, called the ‘double ikat’, where as they believe there is a magical power of the fabric is essential in bringing out the beauty of the “ikat” cloth.
There are some versions of story about Tenganan village which revolve at the society of Bali. Some say that the word Tenganan was derived from the word “tengah” or “ngatengahang” which means, “middle”or “move to the middle area”. This could be proved with the movement of the villagers of Tenganan from the seaside to a rural area, in which the position of this village is in the middle of hills,near Candidasa village.
Another version revolve that the people of Tenganan came from Peneges village, located in Gianyar, precisely near Bedahulu.Based on the folklore, once upon a time Bedahulu King lost one of his horses. The people looking for it to the east and the horse was finally found dead by Ki Patih Tunjung Biru, the King’s right hand man.
For his loyalty, the King finally gave a reward to Ki Patih Tunjung Biru an authority to govern the land as far as the aroma of the carrion of the horse can be smelled. Ki Patih was an intelligent person, so he cut the carrion into pieces and spread it as far as he could. Could imagine that he received a quite large area. And those area called tenganan village.
This village became one of the most village who visited by the tourist. for the people who like to explore the real Bali culture. The infrastructure provided for the tourist which is like a traditional restaurant, toilet with good quality and of course the hospitality of the local people will spoil everybody who visit this village.
There are some accommodation near the village, that is at Candidasa village which is only 3 km away from Tenganan. There is no entrance fee to visit this village, but you can giving some small donation at their donation box which provided inside of the area.
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Trunyan village is one of many village in Bali which having its own special unique and that also making this place is become one of the most tourist destination which will fill your experience’s pocket.
This village located about 2 hours drive towards northeast Denpasar along the main road to Buleleng regency and also through Bangli regency. Trunyan village is situated at the edge of
Batur lake. This location is accessible only by boat, and its take only around half an hour across the calm water.
The village of Trunyan is located between the lake and the mount of Batur, an almighty volcano in Kintamani. This is a Bali Aga village, inhabited by descendants of the original Balinese, the people who predate the arrival of the Hindu Majapahit kingdom in the 16th century.
There are a couple of traditional Bali Aga-style dwellings, and a large banyan tree, which is said to be more than 1,100 years old. At Kuban sub-village close to Trunyan is a mysterious cemetery that is separated by the lake and accessible only by boat.
The people of Trunyan do not cremate or bury their dead, but just lay them out in bamboo cages to decompose, and strangely there is no stench. A dreadful collection of skulls and bones lies on the stone platform and the surrounding areas will dare your adrenaline to visit this place or take some picture with it.
The dead bodies don’t produce bad smells because of the perfumed scents from a huge Taru Menyan tree growing nearby. Taru means ‘tree’ and Menyan means ‘nice smell’. The name of Trunyan was also transffering from these two words.
You can visit both the village of Trunyan and the Kuban cemetery by chartered boat from Kedisan, which is organize by the local people and will transfer straight to the cemetery area. From the explanation above makes this place become a fascinating place to visit.