Among Bali’s famous beauty is a priceless gem: Tenganan Village. Secluded amidst stunning nature, this village preserves an old Balinese magic that is becoming increasingly rare. Taking visitors on a journey through time, Tenganan Village exudes old-world charm, offering an unparalleled view of rich tradition and culture.
In all its splendor, the village offers more than just stunning natural scenery. Here, history coexists with everyday life; ancient myths cross over into modern life. Digging deeper, you’ll find ancient rituals, untarnished culture, and the people’s attachment to the solid roots of tradition.
Cultural Heritage and Traditions at Tenganan Village
At the center of daily life in Tenganan Village, rituals and ceremonies have a very important place. Every stage of life, from birth to death, is dotted with a series of ancient rituals that maintain the integrity and cultural identity of the community. Major celebrations, such as Usaba Sambah, are occasions when the Tenganan community gathers to celebrate fertility and honor their ancestors with ancient songs and sacred dances.
Aside from ceremonies, traditional skills that continue to be preserved are handicrafts. Tenganan Village is known for its high level of skill in weaving ‘Geringsing’ cloth, a process that requires skill and diligence. Geringsing is a traditional Tenganan cloth that is considered sacred and believed to have magical powers and harmony of life. Its intricate manufacturing process and the symbolism contained in each fabric pattern make Geringsing highly valued as a unique cultural heritage.
The famous pegringsingan weaving craft in Tenganan Village comes from the word geringsing which comes from the word “gering” which means pain and “sing” which means no, which means no pain which is literally interpreted as a tool to keep away evil or magical activities known as black magic that comes to us.
The Pegringsingan weaving craft is only found in Tenganan Village, which makes this village has a characteristic weaving that is also known as Tenganan Pegringsingan Village. If you really like weaving, then you should visit this village to see the process of making Pegringsingan woven fabric, where the manufacturing process is still very traditional and it’s just that the time of making one cloth takes a very long time, which is about 3-6 months even if the motif is rather complicated it can take up to a year to complete it, because the manufacturing process is very long then the price of this weaving is pegged a little expensive.
Traditional House and Villager's Profession
Traditional houses in Tenganan Village exude the authenticity of Balinese culture. Built with distinctive structures, these houses showcase traditional architectural designs that have endured for centuries. Buildings made from natural materials, such as bamboo and wood, provide a mesmerizing atmosphere, embracing the everyday culture of the people.
Traditional houses in Tenganan Village have very significant differences with Balinese houses, which are generally caused by the concept of space division in Sanga Mandala, which divides the house lot into nine parts in the northeast direction which is the highest hierarchical area influenced by the philosophy of mountain orientation and east west (rising and setting).
In Tenganan Village, the concept of Meulu ke Tengah is applied in residential lots with the highest hierarchical space located in the area close to the front/outside yard because the main road (awangan) is considered a sacred area. Residential houses in Tenganan Village always consist of four main building units, namely:
Bale Buga: is a place to perform ceremonial rituals that are more religious in function. Judging from its function, the location of this building is always close to the main road or cloud because the cloud is a sacred area. The roof of Bale Buga must be made of palpalan (coconut leaves) or palm fiber. The Bale Buga building is located together with the entrance or called the Jelanan Awangan type or separately called the Kori Ngeleb type.
Middle Bale: A bale building that always consists of two rooms where one room/bale is for performing death rituals and the other room is for placing newborn babies.
Bale Meten: This bale/building has the most profane function, which can be modified and used daily as a bedroom or living room. However, when there is a wedding ceremony there is a ritual ceremony performed in one of the rooms in this Bale.
Paon or Kitchen: has the same function as a kitchen in a house in general for cooking activities and other kitchen matters. However, the kitchen of the Tenganan community is required to have a stove (jalikan) because there are ceremonies that must be carried out in the jalikan. On the south side attached to the kitchen wall there is a bathroom.
The profession of the population here is generally craftsmen, agriculture, plantations and also fishermen, where Tenganan village is located not far from candidasa beach. The most dominant are handicrafts such as bamboo weaving, carving, painting on palm leaves and also the most famous is pegringsingan woven fabric.
The pegringsingan weaving craft since its introduction has received a positive response from tourists, so many families here are pursuing the profession as pegringsingan weavers. You can see this from the houses where there are looms used to weave cloth. And because of this positive response, most of them pursue this pegringsingan weaving business, in addition to preserving the culture of Tenganan village as well as to increase additional income by selling woven fabrics to foreign and domestic tourists.
Attractions and Points of Interest
Tenganan Village offers a distinctive appeal for visitors who want to experience authentic Balinese life and culture. A number of interesting places and activities await to be explored by tourists who want to experience the ancient aura and authenticity of this village.
The traditional market is one of the main attractions in Tenganan Village, where visitors can find a variety of handicrafts, unique ‘Geringsing’ fabrics and other local products. The market is not only a place for buying and selling, but also a meeting point for the culture and daily life of the community.
Apart from the traditional market, the village is also famous for its distinctive dance arts, especially the ‘War Dance’ or ‘Mekare-kare’. This dance is not just a performance, but also has a deep spiritual and symbolic meaning. Visitors can watch this dance during traditional celebrations or local festivals in the village.