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Indonesia » Bali » Tourist Guide » Bali Heritage » Bali Architecture
Bali Architecture
by: Celestine

Bali has its own unique architectural designs which are distinctive. We can tell from the traditional architecture of the main gate for each entrance, whether it is the entry of a house, a place of interest, government building or others. The Balinese has their basic concept for architecture. For instance, the north and east corners are considered holy and sacred, all temples must face this side. On the contrary, the west and south are the lowest corners for architecture, so mostly houses face these sides.  If you pay attention to small details you will notice that the entry door of a house has a wall which is called “Aling-Aling”. Its function is to give privacy to the owner and also to repell the bad energies lingerin about the house.

Traditional Institutes
Traditional institutions for the Balinese consist of Village, Banjar, Subak and Sekaha:

  • Village
    Village itself is divided into official village and Banjar village. Banjar village is a Balinese society which has the same tradition and custom in life since their ancestors in what is called ‘Kahyangan Tiga’. They have their own certain territory and wealth and have the authority to take care of their own households. As for the other one, official village, it is a common village which is divided by the government.

  • Banjar
    Banjar is a social unit based on region and social structure and strengthened by sacred traditions and religious ceremonies. In upper hilly areas, the union of Banjar is limited to those born in the Banjar area. But in the mainland, the Banjar also welcomes those who may not be born there, but stay and live in the Banjar area. The center for the activity is the Bale Banjar, a place where the people meet daily and meetings are headed by a Chief Banjar.

  • Sekaha
    Sekaha is an organization which is catered only to certain fields, like dancing, rice harvesting and others. Sometimes they function to take care of ceremonies which are allied with the village. Sekaha is not related with Banjar or other village organization.

  • Subak
    Subak has its own leader. Those who are members of certain Banjar institutions may not be the leader for that Banjar’s Subak. Subak is a Balinese method of irrigating the rice fields.

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