CULTURES IN CONTEXT
Bali: Ancient and Modern
4. Host Family's House and Garden
027. Wayan’s father did not buy his home:
he built it himself, with the help of friends. Most work is in fact shared
028. Their buildings have brick walls, high
ceilings, with wooden rafters, carefully fitted. The bamboo, which grows
in the village, is tied together with fibres from sago palms.
029. Most buildings are thatched with grass,
and woven cane shutters are used instead of glass windows. In a hot, sticky
climate you need a house open to breezes.
030. Because Wayan's family have tourists
staying with them, several of their buildings have been modified for the
use of guests. The building on the left is the social pavilion, where people
sit and talk in the shade.
031. Breakfast for their guests was prepared
over a paraffin stove, though in poorer areas people still cooked with
032. The tourists also have bathrooms.
Since there is no piped water here Wayan has to help keep the tank in the
corner full. Their guests use a ladle to pour water over themselves when
033. Many local people still use the river
... or irrigation channels like this. Early in the morning, and again in
the afternoon, people come here to bathe.
034. It is also where many people do their
035. The clothes they have washed are then
laid out in the sun to dry … just as they are in many other countries.
036. Water for Wayan's family and their guests
comes from a ditch outside the gate.
037. While the absence of piped water is a
drawback, they do have electricity ... and a television.
038. At the entrance to Wayan's family compound
the holes cut into the stone on either side are for offerings made daily
to their gods. The step in front of the gate is meant to keep out evil
spirits which, people here believe, stay close to the ground … which, of
course, is thought of as “unclean”.
039. The wall just inside the entrance also
keeps out demons. These are believed to travel only in straight lines,
so it would be hard for them to find any way round an obstacle like this.
040. The garden beyond the gate covers 2,000
square metres, which is not much bigger than a suburban yard in Australia.
In this case, though, it contains 21 different kinds of fruits and spices,
and many different types of vegetables …which are eaten by Wayan's family
and their guests.
041. They also had a lily pond in which they
raised fish and frogs, both of which can be eaten … as can the roots of
042. The most beautiful part of the
garden is the family temple, in the comer closest to the mountains. In
Bali people don't just talk about religion, they live it. The largest shrine
is traditionally dedicated to the family’s oldest ancestor.
Text, photos and recordings
by John Tyman
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