Barong Dance | Bali Mythical Monster

Barong Dance is a mythical monster with a long, sagging body built on a frame work of bamboo and string, which is covered with various kinds of material according to the animal whose mask it wears. The Barong masks still in use are : Macan (tiger), Bangkal (boar), Gajah (elephant), Singa (lion), Lembu (cow), but is universally know as Banaspati Raja, Sovereign Lord of the Forest. But specially Barong Landung covers two being giant puppets one male, one female, whose individual though still very generalized names are Jero Gde and Jero Luh.

According to mythology Barong Ket is no other than the impersonification of Lord Siwa, descending from his heavenly world in order to help people against the devils and any other epidemics caused by the black magic practitioners. It is believed that such kind of practice is mostly done during the period of Galungan And Kuningan and therefore a traveling performance (ngelawang) of Barong is presented in order to protect the human beings and to bless them at the time.

In the dance drama Calonarang, the Barong represents the good (white magic) who fights Rangda as a symbol of the evil (black magic). It  is not an exaggeration to say that the Balinese artists are experts in composing abstract dances, using mythological elements as subject matter in the choreography. In a remote village, Trunyan we still find a peculiar Barong Brutuk which has specially to deal with a certain kind of ceremony.

Generally a barong play is followed by krisdances who rush forward to the defence of the Barong and furiously attack the with Rangda. But Rangda’s power has turned their killing power upon themselves and in short become in trance and having no outlet for their rage they turn their weapon against themselves, but the Barong’s power makes them invulnerable. Formally the play ends after the temple priest has sprinkled the entranced kris dancers until they are completely pacified.

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