Atlas Kebudajaan (Goris, 1953?)

Roelof Goris (1898-1965), epigraphist and expert on Balinese culture, together with Pieter Leendert Dronkers (1917-1996) in probably 1953 published 'Bali: Atlas Kebudajaan'. Goris wrote the text, Dronkers made the images (see source below). This short article is a photographic impression of the few links to Nusa Penida available in this gorgeous book.


brutuk museumbali 2009

Image above, left (Dronkers, 1953: 2.14): "In the village of Trunjan on Lake Batur many old customs are still in use. For example, bodies are neither burned nor buried but exposed and abandoned near a remote inlet of the lake (mapasah, njetra). At important feasts remarkable primitive mask dances (barong berutuk) are performed. A 12 feet high statue is preserved in the meru Dalem Sakti, which is anointed yearly with lime, sugar water and honey."; image above right: Barong Brutuk, Museum Bali (Godi Dijkman, 2009)

Links to Nusa Penida include the B(e)rutuk mask and dance performed at Trunyan (Lake Batur) in connection to Dalam Sakti, a connection discussed with author I Wayan Kardji; proas at Kusamba beach for transport to Nusa Penida; Barong Landung, location unknown; Blanjong pillar inscriptions at Pura Blanjong Sanur, and the mask of Dalem Bungkut. It remains to be seen in what way the ancient Polynesian stepped temples at Sanur are related with the archaeological findings in the various temples in Nusa Penida such as Pura Puncak Mundhi, Pura Puser Sa(h)ab and Pura Meranting Batukandik.


Images above left (Dronkers, 1953: 2.31): "Sea proas on the coast. In the background the dim silhouette of Nusa Penida. These proas are also used for the passage across to Nusa Penida. The photograph is made at Kusamba (Klungkung)."

Image above right (Dronkers, 1953: 2.57: "Barong Landung. There are four puppets: a married couple, Djero Gede (far left) and his wife Djero Luh (centre), their son, a young prince or mantri (right background) and a princess, Tjili Towong Kunung (background left in the photo, right of the mantri). This cast is not the original one, which consisted only of Djero Gede and Djero Luh, the performance being accompanied by folksongs, often with obscene allusions. This suggests that is was originally a fertility rite."

In a personal interview with author I Wayan Kardji (Denpasar, summer 2009), he expressed his thoughts on the connection between the ruler(s) of Nusa Penida, Dalem Bungkut for one, and the Balinese cultural heritance of these in the form of Barong Landung and also (Barong) B(e)rutuk from Trunyan, Lake Batur. However, details on this historical link are vague. Speculating on these relationships, there would seem to exist a link between the ancient temples of Blanjong and others in Sanur (see below), various ancient archaeological findings at temples in Nusa Penida and the Balinese cultural inheritance in the form of masks of Barong Landung, Brutuk and Bungkut.


Images above: left (Dronkers, 1953: 1.10): "Two stepped pyramids in a temple at Seluluang. These stepped pyramids are related to the old Polynesian sanctuaries, which have now almost disappeared. of the former, one or two examples are also known on Java."

Image above right (Dronkers, 1953: 4.30): "This tjandi bentar made of lumps of coral is a good illustration of the manner in which practical Balinese adapt the technique of temple building to the materials available. The temple guardians represent the Indonesian taksu (to the right) and the Hindu dwârapâla, doorkeeper (to the left). This temple is the pura Patak at Sanur."

From Goris' descriptions of the Blanjong pillar and Polynesian stepped temples at Sanur, we can infer possible ties between the ancient traditions of King Kesari Warmadewa (possibly King Ugranesa, AD 915-942 or earlier?) to a ruler on Nusa Penida (Dalam Sakti?) who subsequently was vanquished. The presence of Bali Aga people at Trunyan, Tenganan, Nusa Penida and other locations in mainland Bali and their possible foes in Sanur would fortify this assumption. There are some beautiful and forceful Barong Brutuk masks at the Bali Museum, Denpasar.


Image above, left (Dronkers 1953, 4.38): "The oldest set of topeng masks is preserved in the pura Gaduh topeng at Blahbatu. One of the best mask performances is Ida Bagus Ktut Mas, a high caste Brahman from the village of Mas (Gianjar). In this photograph he is shown in the rôle of Dalam Bungkut, a village chief from the island Panida. The orchestra is a gong gede (gong kebiar)."

Image above, right (Dronkers, 1953: 3.03): "A pillar with two inscriptions. It is remarkable that the Sanskrit inscription is written in old-Javanese (the so-called Kawi) while the inscription in the old-Balinese language is in "prae-nâgari" i.e. a species of character which precedes the present-day "deva nâgari" of Hindustan. The ruler is called Kesarî-Varmadeva and is identified by some scholars with Ugrasena, who reigned from 915-942 A.D. may be even longer. In these times Bali probably was independent from Java. The chronogram is read by Sten Konow as 917 A.D. A victory over foes from overseas is mentioned in both inscriptions. The Gurun and Suwal spoken of may have been islands or harbours in East Indonesia. The pillar stands in the court of the pura Blandjong, to the south of Sanur (South Bali). Old statues, too, have been found in this temple and its environment. See figs 110, 430."

Although 'Atlas Kebudajaan' was published in 1953, it seems likely the images by P.L.Dronkers were taken before, possibly between 1942-1949.


  • Roelof Goris (text) & P.L. Dronkers (photographs) - Bali : atlas kebudajaan, cults and customs; Published by the Governement of the Republic of Indonesia; Ministry of Education and Culture, Indonesia, Jakarta, ca. 1953, 208p.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. research: Godi Dijkman http://guidomansdijk-talen.nlsocial facebook box white 24