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Barong and Keris Dance

Barong is probably the most well known dance. It is also another story telling dance, narrating the fight between good and evil.


Barong Dance is one of the traditional dances in Bali that use the media masks and costumes as the embodiment of the creatures that are believed by the Balinese people. According to Balinese belief, Barong dance is considered sacred art so there are also mystical effects in it. Barong Dance is a traditional dance that is quite famous in Bali. In addition to having artistic value, Barong dance also has spiritual meanings in it.

History of Barong Dance. The origins of Barong dance are still not known for sure, but there are some versions of history that tell about the history of the early formation of Barong dance. The first of Hindu mythology to explain that the barong is taken from the word bahroom in Sanskrit is an animal that is considered to possess supernatural powers and is often referred to as the protector of goodness.

There is also a mention of Barong dance was originally the embodiment of the supernatural ruler that existed in Bali. At that time Balinese people used Barong dance to expel the disturbance of supernatural creatures that existed there. Although many versions mention the history of Barong dance, the Balinese still believe that Barong dance is a legacy of ancestors that is considered sacred and has spiritual values in it.

Barong Dance function. This Barong dance in addition to its sacred nature can also be a entertainment for society. For Barong dance which is displayed as part of a ceremony in the temple, it is usually done seriously. Because it relates to the spiritual significance that exists so it is done sacred. While Barong dance is shown for entertainment, it is usually interspersed with funny scenes. In addition, there are also attractive performances from dancers such as the performance of the immune sciences, which makes them amazed by the audience.

Barong Dance Show. In Barong dance performances, dancers use costumes and masks depicting the embodiment of animals or giants that are believed to be protectors. In Bali itself there are several types of Barong dance which is commonly displayed such as Barong ket, Bangkal barong, Elephant's barong, Barong ASU, Barong Brutuk, Barong Landung, Tiger's Barong and Barong kedingkling. Each type of barong will certainly have different stories and ways of dancing.

But the most frequently displayed for the tourists there is the barong ket, because it has a complete costume and dance. In this barong ket dance, the dances are packed in a traditional drama or story that tells about the enduring fight between goodness and evil. The Barong ket dance performance is usually displayed with a humorous element that can keep viewers entertained. It is also accompanied by Balinese gamelan that makes performances more lively and more lively.

Barong Dance Costumes. The costumes used are different types of Barong dance, because each type of barong has its own manifestations. For the Barong ket costume, it is a blend of lions, tigers, and oxen. This barong ket costume is usually used by two dancers, as well as the Barongsai but the shape of the costume is different.

The body is decorated with ornaments from the skin, pieces of glass or mirrors, and feathers made of a type of pandan plant fiber or crow's fur. The head uses a mask made of wood. The wood used to make this Barong dance mask is a special wood that is usually taken from a sacred and haunted place. That's why Barong dance costumes are considered sacred objects.

The development of Barong dance. Barong Dance is a traditional dance that is quite famous in Bali. In its development, this dance is now not only performed for local people in certain events, but also displayed in various tourism events. Besides being part of tourist attraction, it is also a form of Balinese community in preserving their traditions and culture.

Barong Ket (Barong Keket)

Barong Ket or Barong keket is a barong that his figure tall. The figure resembles a human with a height of twice the height of the adult body. The male figure is named Jero Gede, while his partner is called Jero Luh. It is said that the type of barong is made to deceive the delicate creatures that spread the disaster.

Barong Ket is the most widely played Barong dance in Bali and is most often staged. This Barong also has the most complete dance motion Pebendaharaan. From its form, Barong Ket is a blend of shapes between lions, tigers, cows and dragons. The board of Barong Ket is decorated with intricate engraved skin and hundreds of small sized mirror glass. The mirrors are jewel-looking and shiny when struck by the light. Bulu Barong Ket is made from a combination of perasok (fiber leaves of similar plants of pandan) and palm-palm. Some also replace the palm fiber with the crow feathers.

The Barong is taken by two dancers called Juru Saluk or the spokesperson. The first spokesman put the head, the other spokesman in the tail. Usually the Barong is taken in pairs with Rangda, which is a spooky figure representing evil (ugliness). The Barong's own dance symbolizes the Dharma (virtue). The Barong Ket and Rangda pairs symbolize the eternal battle of the two opposing things (RWA Bhineda) in the universe. Barong Ket Dance is accompanied by Semar Pagulingan gamelan.

Barong Bangkal

is a barong resembling an adult pig. In Bali, male pigs are called Bangkal, while females are called Bangkung. That's why this type of Barong is called also with Barong Bangkung. Usually, Bangkal Barong is performed by Ngelelawang or dancing from door to door around the village during the feast of Galungan-Kuningan. This Barong was taken by two dancers with a batel/Tetamburan gamelan accompaniment.

Barong Landung

The Barong Landung was rushed by a man. There is a hole in the belly of the barong as a crack of the dancer's view. In some places in Bali there is also Barong Landung which is not a pair. The Barong-Barong was given roles such as Mantri (King), Galuh (Empress), Limbur (Dayang) and so on. The accompaniment of Barong Landung is Gamelan Batel.

Barong Kedingkling

Barong Kedingkling also called Barong Blasblasan. There is also the call of Nong Nong Kling Barong. In form, this type of barong differs considerably with other types of barong. The Barung is more like a mask costume that each character was extracted by a dancer. The characters in the Barong Kedingkling are exactly the characters in Wayang Wong. While dancing, the story is also performed on the story of Ramayana, especially in the scene. This barong is usually done with Ngelawang from home to the house around the village during the feast of Galungan and Kuningan. Barong Kedingkling performances are accompanied by batel or Babonangan gamelan. Barong Kedingkling is widely found in Gianyar, Bangli and Klungkung areas.

Barong Macan

As the name suggests, this barong resembles a tiger. This type of Barong is quite famous among the people of Bali. The Barong staging is similar to the Bangkal Barong, which is Ngelawang around the village. Sometimes, this barong staging is equipped with Dramatari such as Arja (traditional Balinese opera). The tiger Barong was extracted by two dancers with a musical gamelan Batel.

Barong Gajah (Elephant)

The Barong elephant of course resembles elephant. This Barong was rushed by two people. Because this barong is a rare and sacred type, Balinese people rarely find this type of barong. Once upon a time, in the special moments, this barong is made from the door to the door around the village with the accompaniment of gamelan batel or Tetamburan. Barong Elephant is located in the area of Gianyar, Tabanan, Badung and Bangli.

Barong Brutuk

Barong Brutuk includes a rare type of dance that is extracted only at special times. This barong has a more primitive shape compared to other types of Balinese barong. This barong mask is made from coconut shell and the costume is made from keraras or banana leaves that have been dried. This Barong represents sacred creatures (the accompaniment of Ida Ratu pancering Jagat) who resides in Pura pancering Jagat, Trunyan. The dancers are purified youth, each carrying a whip played while running around the temple. Barong in the accompaniment of Baleganjur or Babonangan  that is only available in the area Trunyan-Kintamani, Bangli.

Barong Asu

Barong is like a dog. Just like the Barong elephant, Barong Asu also includes a rare type of barong. This Barong is only available in some villages in Tabanan and Badung areas. Usually performed by traveling around the village (Ngelelawang) on certain days with the accompaniment of the gamelan Batel, Tetamburan or Baleganjur..



This dance is the classic example of Balinese way of acting out mythology, resulting in myth and history being blended into one reality.


The story goes that Rangda, the mother of Erlangga, the King of Bali in the tenth century, was condemned by Erlangga's father because she practiced black magic. After she became a widow, she summoned all the evil spirits in the jungle, the leaks and the demons, to come after Erlangga. A fight occurred, but she and her black magic troops were too strong that Erlangga had to ask for the help of Barong. Barong came with Erlangga's soldiers, and fight ensued. Rangda casted a spell that made Erlangga soldiers all wanted to kill themselves, pointing their poisoned keris into their own stomachs and chests. Barong casted a spell that turned their body resistant to the sharp keris. At the end, Barong won, and Rangda ran away.


Somebody can die or get seriously injured in a Barong dance. It is said that if Rangda's spell is too strong, a weak soldier may not be able to resist it, even with the help of Barong. He may end up hurting himself with his own keris.


The masks of Barong and Rangda are considered sacred items, and before they are brought out, a priest must be present to offer blessings by sprinkling them with holy water taken from Mount Agung, and offerrings must be presented.

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