30 January 2013

Bali - Semarapura

If you go to Semarapura, the capital of the region Klungkung, you pass through Satria market where are many shops displaying colorful parasols on long sticks.

The traditional Balinese parasol, called pajeng or tedung in the local language, is usually used in religious ceremonies. However, its interesting shape has attracted people to use it for interior or exterior decoration in hotels, restaurants and homes. Not all craftsmen create pajeng as decoration. There are some who only make these beautiful parasols for rituals.

The main material for the pajeng is bamboo, which is used to make the frame, after which it is plaited with wool, covered with colorful fabric and attached to a 2-meter long wooden stick. The business of pajeng and other ritual paraphernalia in the area had seen its heyday in the 1990s. Paksebali village was one of the busiest centers for these products.
Pajeng and tedung have different meanings. The word pajeng is used to describe the object as an accessory. While the word tedung describes a symbol used by Balinese Hindus in their religious rituals. The color of the tedung reflects different meanings. It also defines where the parasol should be placed. For example, the black-white tedung symbolizes the balance of nature (rwa bhineda), while the red tedung symbolizes Brahma, and is placed to cover a shrine where Brahma is enthroned. The black parasol is the symbol of Wisnu, while the white one is the symbol of Shiwa. There are also centers of the tedung industry in other regencies, including Kayu Bihi village in Bangli and Mengwi in Badung.

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