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Types of Balinese Traditional Clothing That Are Characteristic

Balinese Traditional Clothing
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Visa Bali Info – Balinese Traditional Clothing That Are Characteristic

Bali as a complete tourist destination, has a variety of interesting tourist attractions, starting from Kuta Beach, Tanah Lot, Bedugul Lake, and Garuda Wisnu Kencana. Art and culture in Bali are also popular tourist attractions.

Being part of the unitary territory of the Republic of Indonesia, Bali is also thick with its culture and traditions. As in the area of ​​the island of Java, the characteristic of the people is wearing batik or kebaya, which is their trademark.

Likewise with Bali, what are the characteristics of Balinese clothing?

Types of Balinese Clothing Based on Levels

An excerpt from a book entitled Balinese Bridal Makeup (published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2020) by Dr. dr. A A. Ayu Ketut Agung, M.M. and Ade Aprilia.

Explaining that traditional Balinese clothing is divided into three levels, including Payas Agung, Payas Madya, and Payas Nista:

Payas Agung

Balinese Traditional Clothing
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  • Payas Agung for women

For women, Payas Agung consists of tops and bottoms with luxurious Balinese colors and patterns.

Payas Agung’s hairdo is a bun decorated with a crown made of gold. On top of the bun is placed a very high arrangement of yellow chrysolite, white chrysolite, and ylang (symbolizing Tri Mukti) flowers.

Other jewelry used are kana bracelets, petitis, badong, puspa lembo, subeng, and others, which are all gold in color.

The facial makeup on the forehead is described as forming an arch, or srinata, which has the function of correcting the shape of the forehead. Then on the forehead is placed a small red circle, which symbolizes safety and prosperity.

  • Payas Agung for men

For men, they wear gold patterned kamben, kampuh, and umpal. The head is decorated using a headband, or udeng, made of Balinese cloth.

Payas Agung in Balinese men carries a dagger decorated with precious stones, which adds to the impression of luxury, the keris also shows strength. Other additional accessories include subeng, the Kana bracelet, the Dragon One bracelet, and the Badong.

  • Usability in the Payas Agung

Payas Agung is used when attending various traditional events. Such as, weddings, muntung deha (coming-of-age ceremonies), pitra yadnya (ngaben), mesangih (tooth-cutting ceremonies), as well as other important traditional ceremonies.

Payas Madya

Balinese Traditional Clothing
Ig by @mankmie_wedding
  • Payas Madya for women

For women, middle wear is in the form of a kebaya, kemben, stagen, or shawl. There are differences in hairstyles for unmarried and married women.

Those who are not married style their hair in the pusung bonjer style, that is, the hair is half tied up and half left loose (front part).

Those who are married use the sulinggih model, which is a hairstyle that is completely tied up to resemble a butterfly decorated with yellow cempaka flowers, white cempaka flowers, and sandat.

  • Payas Madya for men

For men, payas madya is in the form of a white or black shirt (the color worn represents a separate philosophy, white is usually used for temple ceremonies and black is usually used for death ceremonies), kamben, and Udeng on the head.

  • The use of Payas Madya

Special payas madya clothes are worn when carrying out ceremonies or praying at the temple.

Payas Nista

Balinese Traditional Clothing
Ig by @pesonagayatriwedding
  • Payas Nista for women

For women, payas nista is in the form of kebaya, shawls, and kamen. As for hair styling, it’s just a regular bun.

  • Payas Nista for men

For men, payas nista is in the form of shirts, udeng, and kamen.

  • Usefulness of Payas Nista

Payas nista clothes are often used daily in ngayah activities (mutual cooperation) and daily prayers at home or at the temple.

Balinese Traditional Clothing Has Meaning

Balinese Traditional Clothing
Ig by @bali_spirit

The meaning contained in this Balinese traditional dress is how Balinese Hindus show obedience to Sang Hyang Widhi.

The basic concept of Balinese traditional clothing is the concept of Tapak Dara (swastika), called Tri Angga, which consists of, First, Dewa Angga, namely from the neck to the head.

Typical Characteristics of Traditional Balinese Clothing in General

The hallmark of this Balinese traditional clothing dress is its clean white color. The wearer wears udeng and kamen for men, and scarves and kamen for women.


Even though there are levels to this type of Balinese traditional clothing, Balinese traditional clothing still looks attractive and beautiful when worn.

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