Creativity is the result of human imagination poured into a work that develops over time. Balinese culture is rich with popular creativity.
An eye-catching example of creativity in Bali is ogoh-ogoh, giant demonic effigies made by community members on the occasion of Nyepi, Bali’s Day of Silence celebrated around March every year. Ogoh-ogoh are symbols of negative energies that will be banished from the environment during the Nyepi celebrations. On the evening before Nyepi, called pengerupukan, ogoh-ogoh are paraded around the village with noise and torches, and then burned in the cemetery.
Ogoh-ogoh represent evil spirits that are believed to cause disharmony in human life and the universe as the whole. The figures may be imaginary or taken from Balinese folklore. For example, in 2014, the community of Ubud Kelod made ogoh-ogoh in the form of mythical giants said to live at the Campuhan River, close to Campuhan Ridge Walk. According to legend, two giants, male and female, lived in a cave at the Campuhan River. Both giants liked to seize and eat humans who passed by there, even those who were praying at the nearby temple Pura Gunung Lebah. Many people went missing. The villagers determined that the culprits were the demonic giants and set their cave on fire. The female giant died in the cave, while the male was killed by a farmer with his hoe. As relics of this story, one can find a giant cave and two giant stone mortars at the Campuhan River.
This year, Nyepi falls on 28 March, only days away. At Komaneka, we are looking forward to seeing the different ogoh-ogoh on parade. Wouldn’t you like to see this with us?