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Barong Bali: Traditional Dance of Cultural Spiritual Identity

Balinese Barong: Traditional Dance of Spiritual Identity

Bali, an island known for its natural beauty and rich culture, also has spectacular performing arts, one of which is the Barong Dance.

Alfonso Giostanov

tour operator & content specialist. Before joining Gotravela, he spent years honing his skills at 'Tourism Industries".


This dance is one of Bali's most famous cultural heritage and attracts the attention of tourists from all over the world. But what exactly is Barong Bali?

The Balinese Barong is a mythical creature in the culture of the Island of the Gods that is similar to a lion or other furry animal. However, Barong is not only a mythical character, but also an important element in traditional performing arts.

The Barong is often depicted with brightly colored feathers, large eyes, and a mouth that can be opened and closed. This Barong costume is worn by a dancer who is hidden inside.

Barong and Keris Dance

One of the important elements in the Barong Dance performance is the use of a traditional weapon known as the keris. Keris is a typical Indonesian knife with a distinctive patterned blade and a beautiful handle. In the context of the Barong Dance, the keris has a deep symbolic meaning.

In the Barong Dance performance, dancers wearing Barong costumes hold keris. This keris is used to symbolize protection and resistance against evil forces represented by Rangda, the antagonist character in this dance.

Also used with dramatic movements that captivate the audience and add an element of suspense to the performance.

The keris in the Balinese Barong Dance can also be used in the fight scene between Barong and Rangda. This fight is often very dynamic and full of dramatic movements, depicting the conflict between good and evil which is the central theme of the Barong Dance.

8 Types of Barong in Bali

Bali has various types of Barong which enrich its traditional performing arts. Each type of Barong has a unique appearance and meaning. Here are eight types of Barong that can be found in Bali:

8 Types of Barong in Bali

Barong Ket

The most famous type of Barong and often found in performances. Known for its brightly colored feathers, Barong Ket symbolizes kindness and protection.

Barong Bangkung

Barong Bangkung has a large and strong appearance. This character is very dominant in Barong Dance performances and is often used as the main choice.

Barong Landung

Barong Landung is a husband and wife pair in this dance, which depicts love and fertility. Their movements are often gentle and romantic.

Barong Macan

Macan means tiger in Indonesian. Barong Macan depicts a tiger and is used in ceremonies to symbolize strength.

Barong Elephant

Gajah Barong represents the elephant and is used in death ceremonies to ward off evil spirits.

Barong Elephant

Barong Brutuk

Brutuk Barong has a scary appearance with scary decorations and is used in dramatic performances.

Barong Oxtail

Barong Oxtail has a long tail and is often used in funny and entertaining shows.

Angry Tiger

Macan Ngamuk means angry tiger and represents the fight between Barong and a very powerful evil force.

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Balinese Barong clothes

The costumes in the Balinese Barong Dance are one of the most striking elements in the performance. Balinese Barong costumes are usually made of brightly colored cloth decorated with colorful feathers. The masks worn by Barong dancers are also very important and have intricate designs. These costumes and masks help create a magical atmosphere in the show.

Barong costumes have variations depending on the type of Barong used in the performance. Barong Ket, for example, has long and colorful feathers, while Barong Bangkung has a larger and more striking appearance.

Barong masks also have very diverse designs and reflect the characteristics of each type of Barong. These masks are often designed with very fine details, creating an expressive and striking face for the Barong character.

Cultural Heritage that Must Be Preserved

Barong dance is an integral part of Bali's cultural heritage that must be preserved and appreciated by the younger generation. Even though this show has been around for centuries, it takes a lot of effort to ensure its continuity amidst modernization and changing times.

Traditional Dance of Spiritual Identity

Continuous education and training is provided to young dancers to keep this tradition alive.

Apart from that, the Barong Dance performance is also an important tourist attraction in Bali. Many tourists from all over the world come specifically to watch this performance and gain an immersive cultural experience. This tourism income also helps support the local communities involved in the show.

In an effort to keep the Barong Dance alive and growing, various international festival arts and culture in Bali often feature Barong Dance performances as part of their events. This helps raise awareness about the importance of this tradition in maintaining the sustainability of Balinese culture.

General Questions About Barong in Bali

Barong Dance is not just an ordinary dance performance, more than that, Barong Dance is an identity. It is a deep representation of the philosophy of life and values ​​that are highly respected in Balinese culture.

Barong and Rangda

The battle between Barong and Rangda as the embodiment of the eternal struggle between good and evil. In Balinese culture, Barong is considered as protection against evil forces that always threaten human well-being. Rangda, on the other hand, is a symbol of dark forces that always try to destroy harmony and balance in life.

What does the Barong symbolize?

The Barong Dance performance is a forum for the Balinese people to respect and offer protection to the forces of goodness. This is also a reminder that conflict between good and evil it is always there and must be faced with courage and determination.

What is the Barong dance for?

Barong dance is a form of performing art that has various purposes. Firstly, it is a mesmerizing entertainment that combines beautiful dance moves, captivating music, and an immersive story. This show also has educational value, teaching cultural values ​​and philosophy to the audience.
Apart from that, Barong Dance also has a role in traditional ceremonies and rituals in Bali. It is used in a variety of contexts, including death ceremonies, offerings to the gods, and other religious events. In this case, the Barong Dance has a strong spiritual function, helping to secure the spirit and bringing good luck to the community.

How many types of Barong are there?

There are eight different types of Barong in Bali, each with unique characteristics and meanings. These types of Barong reflect the diversity of Balinese culture and add a rich dimension to their traditional performing arts.

Where is the Barong dance?

Barong Dance performances can be found throughout Bali. But the famous ones are in Puseh Temple Jl. Raya Batubulan No. 295X, Batubulan, Kec. Sukawati, Gianyar Regency, Bali 80582.
It is an integral part of Balinese culture and performing arts that has existed for centuries. In both small villages and cultural centers on the island, you can find enchanting Barong Dance performances.

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The Balinese Barong Dance is a manifestation of performing arts that is stunning, rich in meaning, and reflects an important cultural heritage for the Balinese people. Barong as a symbol of goodness and protection, as well as the various types of Barong that exist, create a unique experience for the audience.

In the context of Balinese culture, the Barong Dance is not only entertainment, but also a tribute to the power of goodness and plays an important role in traditional ceremonies. With its various types and wide roles, the Balinese Barong Dance is a perfect example of how art can celebrate, strengthen and inherit culture.


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