Tenganan Bali: Traditional village with unique weaving history

Tenganan in East Bali, is one of the 3 main Bali Aga (traditional Balinese) villages. Barrie and I visited Tenganan a while ago and for sure it can seem like a tourist trap, with the calendar sellers and the batik shops (the batik often coming from Java!).

The things Tenganan does have is unique cultural history and a special weaving tradition. There are only 600 families in Tenganan, and locals are forbidden to marry outside of the village. If they do, they are banished from the village forever. A Tenganan local once told me that there are really 3 parts to the village, the western part, which is the proper part, the north eastern part which is where exiled locals go, and the south eastern part, where outsiders, Javanese and other Balinese live.

Tenganan is one of only 3 places in the world, the others being India and Japan, where a double ikat is woven. In a double ikat (cloth), the weft (longitudinal) and weave (lateral) threads are tied separately before being dyed, creating an intricate pattern. A single ikat takes 5 years to make and is used in religious ceremonies.




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