Assorted Photos

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Gunung Agung, at over 3000 meters tall, is Bali’s highest peak. Most days it is covered with clouds but sometimes after a hard rain you catch a glimpse of the mountain in the morning. This active volcano, which last erupted in 1963 is a major feature of the Balinese spiritual landscape and hosts the islands most important temple.

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In Balinese temples, anything identified as having a head, body, and legs is likely to be adorned in cloth. This includes buildings, shrines, statues and even trees. Usually they are dressed only for ceremonies but this tree, which stands near an ancient shrine, seems to keep its clothes year round. 

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This giant paper-mache bull was built, paraded, and subsequently burned for a funeral ceremony. During the procession the man on top held on for dear life while a crowd of men rocked the bull and a firetruck (seen in the bottom-right) hosed them all down with water. 

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Men gambling at a temple ceremony. The game involves betting on the the different images then rolling a large set of dice under the bucket to determine which character pays out. 

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Young girls perform a welcome dance. This posture, with the body lowered in a half squat, the arms raised to shoulder level, and the fingers splayed out, is very typical of Balinese dance. 

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I found this sign at a major temple near the tourist center of Ubud; apparently they felt the need to lay down the line. Naturally I crossed the border, but only because I was performing on the other side.

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A man prays with flowers held to his forehead. He will repeat this three or four times, placing each flower behind the ear or in his hat (actually a specially wrapped piece of cloth called an udang). Then he will be sprinkled with holy water and press wet rice to his forehead. This basic prayer ritual takes place at every Balinese ceremony.

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