Balinese Textiles with Threads of Life
Reviving natural dye and traditional Balinese cloth and textiles in Bali, including poleng, songket, the famous double ikat geringsing, and many other types.
Cerik langah translates as space. In ritual use the holes are said to allow the energy of the person who is using the cloth to communicate with the spirit world while the solid part ties the person to this dimension. All about balance once again. This white shawl has indigo and Morinda red to deepen interest and meaning. Indigo is associated with Siwa and red with Brahma–earth and sun. USD170 (free shipping worldwide) IDR2,428,571 214 x 54 cm / 84.5 x 21.5 in
Hello, Duck! A lovely duck is used in the Touching the Ground ceremony and is touched to all parts of the child’s body. These ducks are found in the rice fields in Bali and are remarkable in how they can find food in the muddy waters with their beaks without using their eyes. A duck can fly and live on land but are also animals of the water. All of these characteristics of the duck are perceived as knowledge of how to live in this earth -we too contain this knowledge.
This last month I Made Maduarta’s grandson had a 3-month ceremony called Touching the Ground. When a child is born she or he is perceived to have come from the spirit world and is vulnerable to the energies of this physical world. Bebali cloths are used at this 3-month ceremony when the child is seen as strong enough to begin to interact with this physical dimension.
Over the last 30 years, jobs in the tourist sector and the growth of the cash economy have drawn many Balinese weavers away from their looms. Handmade, naturally dyed textiles have slowly been replaced with synthetically-dyed, machine-made cloth. The few weavers who maintain traditional techniques live in marginal areas of Bali, where tourism has had a low impact.
There are many, many Balis. On the well-watered southern slopes, farmers tend emerald rice-fields carved from the forested hills. In the arid north and east, fishing boats line the beaches in front of fields of hollow logs, where seawater is evaporated for salt. The high mountains, scarred with flows of black lava, hide groves of pine in their folds.
An incredible songket piece. All natural dyes. Balinese songket cloths were traditionally reserved for the nobility as clothing in the royal courts. Today, these caste-based restrictions may no longer apply, but with its shimmering silk and gold-wrapped threads, the songket remains a clear marker of status. They are often worn for tooth-filing ceremonies, or as paired cloths worn by both the bride and groom at a wedding. Available to purchase. Free shipping worldwide.
For 24 hours today, from dawn to dawn, Bali enters its Day of Silence. A time for reflection and meditation. No flights, no TV and radio, no internet, no fire, no stepping outside your front door. A very special day full of meaning. We wish everyone marking the day 'Rahajeng nyanggra rahina Nyepi caka 1944'. The cloth pictured is a Balinese poleng. The black and white squares represent the complementary forces of chaos and order, a duality that is central to Balinese belief.
Selamat menyambut Hari Raya Galungan dan Kuningan. Semoga Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa memberikan keberkahan dan kerahayuan. Wishing our Bali friends and family a very special holiday period as they welcome the ancestral spirits back to earth.
Traditional communities have a ceremony that welcomes a newborn to the world, usually six weeks after birth. Often mother and child remain in the traditional house prior to this ritual, with the child’s spirit is still being held in the womb of the ancestors. When infant and maternal mortality was much higher than it is now, this isolation both recognized that mother and child were “not quite here yet” and protected them from illnesses that might indeed take them back to the ancestral realm.
The Balinese phrase “kain bebali” is composed of two words: “kain” meaning woven cloth used to cover the body and “bebali” meaning religious ceremony or ritual. So kain bebali is the hand-woven cloth used or worn for religious purposes, particularly during ceremonies. It is woven in different materials, colors and patterns. Each specific ritual has its own kain bebali.