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Barong Dance, One of the Arts From Bali

barong dance
Ig by @templeszones

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Barong Dance is one of the dances originating from Bali which tells about the mythological depiction of a bear animal that has supernatural powers and is considered to be able to protect humans (wikipedia).

The density of tradition in Bali, gave birth to one of the dance arts, namely the Barong dance. The Barong Dance itself is often displayed on various stages of Bali tourism.

History of Barong Dance

First Version

The history of the Barong Dance from Bali is believed to be the development of the Barong Ponorogo Dance. Raja Airlangga, who tried to save himself and then fled to Bali, is someone who is suspected of bringing the dance.

The thing that proves that the origin of the Barong Dance in Bali is Barong Ponorogo, which is seen in its shape. Where the Barong appears without using a cat or a peacock crown.

The name Barong comes from the Sanskrit language, namely bahruang which means to be a protector of goodness with magical powers. Then, after changing its shape and adapting to Balinese stories, this Barong Dance is widely used in religious activities.


Second Version

The Balinese Barong Dance is taken from a sacred story in Itihasa Bali. The story tells of Barong and Rangda who are related to the story of Shiva while looking for Dewi Uma.


Third Version

This traditional dance is said to have existed in Indonesia for a long time as an art of the Austronesian people. The art contains the story of Bhatara Pancering Jagat and his wife, Ratu Ayu Dalem Dasar.

Meaning of Barong Dance

Full of philosophy, the island of the Gods is known as Rwa Bhineda, this is the philosophy of the dance.

It is said that Barong and Rangda never met in the dance. Even though they faced each other like in the middle of a battle, but neither of them ended in defeat or victory.

Even so, this dance actually tells about the battle between evil and virtue.

Where in this Balinese Barong Dance, Barong is described as a good figure who is manifested as a beast with four legs and is controlled by two people.

Meanwhile, Rangda’s figure is described as an evil figure in the form of a woman with two sharp fangs in her mouth which are also carried by two people.

Types of Balinese Barong Dance

  1. Barong Ket

barong dance

This Barong Dance is a combination of several animals. For example, depictions of lions, cows, tigers, and dragons.

This dance tells the story of the battle of Barong and Rangda which symbolizes the war of virtue against evil.

There are two barong dancers called Juru Bapang and Juru Saluk. When dancing, they will be accompanied by the gamelan Semar Penggulingan.

2. Barong Bangkal

barong dance
Ig by @balibanyakcerita_

Barong Bangkal is quite unique because it has a shape like a pig. Not just any show, barong bangkal will only be staged on special days, namely when the Kuningan and Galungan holidays.

In the process, there will be a ‘ngelawang’ where the dancers will be paraded around the local village. Meanwhile, the show itself will be accompanied by Gamelan and Tetamburan music.

3. Barong Landung

barong dance
Ig by @adatbudaya.bali

This dance tells the story of King Jaya Pangus who married Kang Cing Wei. Which princess used to come from China.

In the dance, it looks like the story of the love journey of the king who did not get the blessing of the gods because he broke the rules.

4. Barong Tiger

Barong Macan is also a famous Balinese Barong dance. The shape of this barong is similar to its name.

5. Barong Kedingkling

Barong Kedingkling (Blasblas) has a character like the wayang wong. So, each dancer will appear in a costume according to the specified character.

6. Elephant Barong

As the name suggests, Barong Gajah has a shape resembling an elephant. Barong Gajah will only be displayed in certain places. For example, in areas such as Badung, Bangli, Gianyar and Tabanan.

7. Barong Asu

Asu is the name of the dog animal for the Balinese people, so the shape of the barong resembles a dog.

Not all areas in Bali show the Barong Asu dance. More precisely, only people in Tabanan and Badung can organize it. You could say that this Balinese dance is considered the most rarely shown.

8. Barong Brutuk

barong dance

Unlike other barong dances, the costume worn is not a barong mask as previously mentioned. The dancer only wears a simple mask.

This Barong Dance can be found in Trunyan Village, Kintamani District, Bangli Regency.

This dance is considered sacred by the local community. For this reason, the dancer must first be purified for 42 days, and the dancer must be a teenager.


Thus a review of the Balinese Barong dance, I hope the above review can add to your repertoire of knowledge about Indonesian traditional culture, especially in Bali.

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