Friday, December 19, 2008

Balinese temple dress

Everyone who enters a temple in Bali must be attired correctly, even foreigners. Here we have a handsome group all dressed up for the three day Odalon temple anniversary ceremony. The purpose of the ceremonial dress, (or adat dress), is to focus the chakras, or energies of the body toward a higher purpose. Both men and women wear a cloth called a kamben, (as opposed to a sarong, a more casual option). Women wrap it tightly around their hips and tied on the left, men fold it into drapes and tie it in the center.

Various layers of different textiles are also worn according to the ceremony and are often symbolic in nature. For instance different parts of the male headdress, the udeng, symbolize the Ulu Candra (a Balinese letter), the gods Siwa and Brahma, the male lingga AND the female yoni. Phew.

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