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Tembanan

sunny

Conveniently positioned for the 3K uphill run to Tambanan, that morning saw us hopping on what was a rare indulgence for me, a palatably priced Ojek ride up past banana plantations and sporadic settlement to the entrance of Tembanan village. A swathe of stalls selling mainly basketry and woven bags as well as a ticket kiosk warned of a tourist sell out, and though a few approaches were made at selling us knife incised Balinese calendars and illustrated enactments of the Ramayana for example, it was still an immediate relief to appreciate a palpably exotic village which had struck an uncharacteristically happy balance between very traditional living and the tourist draw. Long open-walled thatched shelters still served as communal eating platforms and others were dedicated to harbouring such strange wonders as a cylindrical wooden gong, a craftsman carving flutes and many chickens held captive in thimble shaped bamboo whicker cages. Many chickens had crazily been dyed in red, yellow and pink and I could only guess that they served as part of a ritualism as well as for the pot. The ground was still paved in unrefined rounded boulders reminiscent of medieval cobbles and the odd habitual thatched house was bourne out of unusually loaf shaped bricks aligned side on. I had to apologise to several locals for Lin's penchance for frequenting craftware houses without recourse to her wallet, but it proved a good proviso in appreciating local practices such as a young girl rigged up bodily to a small Ikat cloth weaving loom, also walls adorned with frightening glazed wooden face masks. Lin also came in handy when we spied some ancient Chinese talismans adorning a doorway too, the dinner plate sized discs bedraggled with pompoms depicted 4 cardinal point characters translated as meaning Fortune, Currency and Favour, a throwback to an ancient form of community banking she reckoned.

Posted by andyhay2 00:00 Archived in Indonesia

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