THE STRUCTURE OF BALINESE SOCIETY
independence government has no longer been in the hands of the kings.
Each village has its own local government called the banjar, which
assists the government of the Republic of Indonesia in dealing with
the needs of the village such as marriages, religious ceremonies,
cremation ceremonies, taking care of temples, irrigation, and so
unique nspect of Balinese social life is religion. The Hindu Bali
or Hindu-Dharma religion is full of ceremonies and it is therefore
not surprising that there are temples everywhere in Bali. Each village
has three kinds of temples: the pura puseh an ancient temple which
shows the origin of the village; the pura desa, the temple for official
village ceremonies; and the pura dalam, the death temple. There
are also various other temples such as the pura bedugul the agriculture
temple; pura bukit the mountain temple; pura sogara, the sea or
coast temple; pura melanting, the temple of the gods. The Balinese
kings also used to have private temples called pura panataran. There
is also a large group of temples, the Pura Besakih, one temple for
each of the kings of Buleleng, Bangli, Den Pasar, Gianyar, Negara,
Tabanan, Karangasern and Klungkung.
are two kinds of priests of the Hindu-Dharma religion, i.e. the
pedanda and the pemangku The podanda is a fully qualified Hindu
priest who only works at the special festivities which inaugurate
the annual purification of the village from demons and evil spirits.
Pemangku is a priest from the village, also as curator of the pura
(temple) he performs the actual ceremony in the temple of the community.
author has often referred to the role of dancing in religious ceremonies.
In Bali, nearly all dances are sacral, and because the Balinese
attach so much importance to dancing in their cremonies, dances
have been excellently preserved and cultivated.
dances of the native Balinese before the period of Hindu Javanese
influence were magical and sacral in nature but were gradually adapted
to the Hindu-Dharma religion. Apart from this kind of dances there
are also many other dances which are performed purely for entertainment.
to an old Balinese belief, the world is full of dangers that threaten
the lives of the people. This belief is rooted in Balinese society,
and to avoid these dangers, the people hold a great number of religious
observances throughout the year at fixed times. Some of the religious
offerings take the form of dances. There are even special dances
which function as a means of diverting threatening dangers, usually
diseases, an example of which is the-sungbyang dance.