Bali story for you
About Bali, Bali travel,Bali hotel, Bali accommodation,Bali holiday, Bali villa,Bali product,Bali forum and Bali culture complete information this is the best site to view
Bali Community
In Brief
Bali at a Glance
Search this site

Bali Travel
Cities of Bali
Our partner site
Important Links


There were two medicine-men, two balians among the friends that often visited us. One of these was a learned, serious, middle aged man who practiced medicine and was progressive enough to adopt some Western medicines like quinine tablets for malaria, to which, however, he added Balinese magic by reciting formulas over them. He liked to discuss the methods of foreigners and often came to us to ask for medicines. The other balian was the extreme reverse; be enjoyed the terrifying reputation of teacher and chief of bands of leyaks, and our friends bad warned us in whispers that many of the old women of our leyak-ridden neigh. boarhound were his pupils; nobody had the slightest doubt of his great magical powers. His appearance was as demoniac as his reputation: enormous fingernails on knotty long fingers, half extinguished little eyes burning still with a wicked gleam, and a great, bloody cave for a mouth-, entirely toothless and always crimson with betel juice. He dres8ed smartly in a blue silk saput, and his gestures showed a rather studied elegance. He was gay and solicitous, but be loved to appear mysterious at times.

Our two friends belonged to the two arch-types of Balinese balians. One was the inspired mystic who works through fits of temperament and trances to fight the evil forces and who by his inherent sakti is able to dominate the supernatural spirits. Shamanism is his medium; he can see " far away " by going into a trance and looking into a mirror or a container with water. Through his self-induced trances he comes in contact with his assisting spirit, perhaps his father's, a former great balian, whose reputation establishes the prestige enjoyed by the son; thus possessed by his assisting spirit, be is able to go into the spirit world and fight the wrongdoer. During the trances the balian growls and mumbles monologues similar to those in plays, in which be relates his adventures in Hades. Often he dances entranced, elegant versions of duels with malignant spirits. I was told that such a balian can see a guilt in the eyes of a boy or a girl who is still " pure" that is, uncontaminated by intercourse. By going into a trance, balians are also able to trace the past history of an old kris or some similar object
while the intuitive witch-doctor (balian ngengengan) mainly through his inspiration and his inherent sakti, the learned balian (balian wisada) , " who can read," depends for his tiveness on a mixture of practical medicine and religious magic learned from palm-leaf manuscripts (lontar or rontal) . Although not a priest, be knows all the good and evil gods and the m of their approach; be understands the calendar and knows proper formulas and magic words, cabalistic symbols, a forth, which he combines with real medical knowledge, of massage, herbs, and roots. Thus, assisted by the faith of his patients he can perform real cures.

A balian inherits his father's wisdom, his sakti, and the accessories of his ritual: magic stones and coins which are placed water that is given to the patient to drink, calendars and carts for horoscopes, but mainly old treatises on magic and medicine the possession of which alone already gives balians certain powers. Besides the aforementioned manuscripts on " right and " left " magic, they own special books on love magic (pengaseh), collections of models for pictorial amulets (tetumbalan) and books on medicine and medical recipes (wisada and tetulak) These are copied when the old ones have become too worm," the discarded palm-leaves are burned to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands; the burned remains are then eat the owner in order not to waste any of their magic power.

Balians do not divulge their secrets readily; they claim, they would lose their power to recover their human identity a trance and would go insane if they revealed their formulas or sold their books. They have successfully injected fear of dangerous practices among the common people, who shudder even at the sight of their magic books. The profession of b is surrounded with an air of mystery, and although there are many kindly and respectable balians it is believed that there are also wicked ones who use magic to do physical harm to aclient's enemy. For this purpose they are said to employ the universal system of sympathetic magic by which through the possession of something that belonged to or formed part of the victim - clothes, locks of hair, nail-cuttings, saliva, and even the soil taken from a footprint - they can gain control of the physical and mental condition of the person. Through sympathy between the victim and something of his -his image, a photograph or a doll containing any of the above ingredients - his soul is captured and tortured because be feels the harm done to his image. Consequently the Balinese carefully collect and bury all nail-cuttings, hair, tooth-filings, and so forth.

Just as the Balinese believe that foreigners are immune from the attacks of witches simply because they are of a race apart, so they believe that European medicines and the knowledge of white doctors, pills, liquids in bottles, and bitter or smelly powders, can be effective only to cure the people who invented them. Furthermore, the lack of showmanship of doctors, of dramatic hocus-pocus with which to paralyze the evil forces which they believe cause illness, leave them without faith in their curative ability. Many refuse absolutely to be cured by Europeans, others accept treatment out of politeness, and the few that go to the hospitals do so only after everything else has failed them. It is natural that medical treatment fails then to cure an advanced stage of illness.

In case of serious sickness a folded leaf of pandanus is hung on the gate as a sign of taboo. (sawen) to inform the village. Then only relatives may enter the house and may only approach the sick person after stamping their feet on the kitchen floor to shake off whatever evil influences may still cling to them. A balian is called, and if his magic succeeds in effecting a cure, the patient gives many offerings and has to undergo purifying ceremonies to lose the sebel.

The Balinese attach great significance to any sort of physical sickness and, having no great hardships to discuss, to complain of illness, no matter how slight, is a favorite subject of conversation. Colds, cough, stomach-ache, neuralgia, and other minor ailments make them miserable, although they can cure them effectively with domestic concoctions of herbs, roots, barks, flowers, and especially by massage, which they have developed into a real science. However, despite the appearance of being an unusually healthy race, the Balinese are victims of many serious afflictions for which they know no cure.

Worst among these are the widespread venereal diseases; syphilis and gonorrhea seem to prevail although in an inherited ' latent skate. Supposedly of ancient introduction, the diseases do not appear in malignant forms and the Balinese seem to have developed a certain immunity that makes them carriers despite a healthy appearance. It is common to see the whitish veil of gonorrhea in the eyes of elderly people and often a boy or a girl of our banjar broke out in sores of an unmistakable origin and had to be sent to the hospital for inoculations. But the reluctance of the Balinese to undertake foreign treatment, the forbidding cost of Silverman, and the natural promiscuity do not help the situation.

The violent rainy seasons bring epidemics of tropical fevers, and malaria takes many lives, especially of children. The Balinese attempt to cure the fevers with concoctions of dadap leaves, onions, anise, salt, and coal from the hearth, which, after straining, is given to the patient to drink, and he is put to sleep. It is also effective to rub the sides with a paste of mashed dadap leaves, onions, anise, and tinke, a sort of nutmeg, and to rub the back with coconut oil with scrapings of dadap bark; but quinine is rapidly gaining popularity. The Balinese love a clear skin and they are disturbed by the prevalent skin diseases, from the ugly but harmless kurab, a skin discoloration produced by a parasitic fungus, to itches, frambusia, and tenacious tropical ulcers. The kurab (called bulenan when in small patches) appears as whitish spots on the brown skin and spreads all over if not checked. It is cured by rubbing the affected areas with Wang grass, but it has been discovered that it disappears quickly with salicylic alcohol from the Chinese druggists. Itches are cured with lemon juice, coconut oil, and frequent baths in hot water in which legundi and ketawali leaves are macerated.

People after middle age complain of " bone trouble," rheumatism, due to the extreme humidity of the, island, and as a preventive they wear bracelets of kayu uli, a sort of black coral from Borneo. It is said that the pain can be driven out by marking the feet with a hot iron, which does not hurt the patient because the teeth of the fire are taken away by a Mantra." Headaches are cured by massage, but it helps to spray the forehead with a mixture of crushed ginger and mashed bedbugs. For stomach ache they drink the red infusion of medarah bark from Java. A cough is- relieved by drinking an infusion of, blimbing buluh flowers mixed with parched, grated coconut, also sprayed externally on the, throat. Head colds are cured by massage, but -it is good for sneezing to. smell a piece of telor bark three times. Such are the most common of domestic remedies, but for each illness there are seven medicines used consecutively when the preceding ones fail to give relief. the keystone of Balinese medicine is the principle of " hot and ", cold," irritating and refreshing, also applied to foods. Thus. a heated. or irritated condition is. cured by a cooling medicine.

The Balinese are helpless in the case of infected wounds, but it is always a means of breaking the ice with a foreign neighbor to ask for medicine for an infected cut covered with a greenish mess and. wrapped -in a dirty rag. Rose treated. many such cases
soon after our arrival in Belaluan and eventually we had a great circle of faithful friends. who brought presents of. food to show their appreciation. On our return trip we found that the full responsibility for such cases had fallen on our American friends

Jack and Katharane Mershon, former dancers, who had settled on the malarial Sanur coast, where they conducted an improvised but effective free clinic. They spent their spare money on medicines and took turns every day treating scores of people, often coming from afar with the most frightful sores the disinterested work of the Mershons made them the idols of neighborhood and they are known, only as tuan doctor nyoya doctor. There is of course a fine, modern hospital, in denpasar, but the Balinese prefer the more informal, sympathy clinic of the Mershons.

Front Index Page - Bali

Bali Holidays Activities
Bali holidays - Sight Seeing Tour, Bali Mystic Tour, Bali temple tour and more
Bali Diving-Dive in Bali | Bali golf-Golfing In Bali | Bali Cruise-Bali sailing | Bali Fishing
Bali Marine Sport | Bali horse-elephant riding | Bali cycling | Bali Trekking | Bali Rafting|Bali Spa
Bali 5 Star hotels

| Bali Hyatt hotel | Sanur Aerowisata hotel | The Grand Bali Beach | Amandari
| Four Season resort Sayan | | Amankila Bali | Lemeridien Nirwana Bali |
Bali Imperial hotel | The Oberoi Bali | Bali Padma | Ramada bintang Bali |
| Four Season Resort | Kartika Plaza hotel | Pertamina Cottages Bali| Nikko Bali hotel
| The Ritz Carlton Bali | | Bali Intercontinental | Aston Bali Resort | Kuta Paradiso |
Amanusa Bali
| Bali Hilton international | Grand Hyatt Bali | Melia Bali hotel |
Nuda dua beach hotel
| Putri Bali hotel |Bali Sheraton Lagoon | Bali Sheraton Nusa indah |
Bali 4 Star Hotels
| Radisson Bali hotel | Raddin Sanur Bali hotel | Lorin Hotel saba Bali | Bali Candi Beach Cottages |
Santika Bali hotel | Bali dynasty | Bali garden (rachman Bali) | Holiday inn Bali hai | Intan Bali hotel |
| Bali Alam kulkul Resort | White Rose hotel | Bali Legian beach hotel | Natour Kuta beach hotel |
| Sahid raya Bali hotel | Grand Mirage | Hard rock hotel Bali | Mimpi Resort Menjangan |
Bali 3 Star Hotels
| Natour's Bali hotel | Segara village | Natour's Sindhu | Tanjungsari hotel Bali |
Kupu-Kupu barong Bali | Chedi payangan | Begawan Giri Bali | Rama Candi Dasa Bali| Serai Bali|
Hai tide huts |Pacung Asri hotel | Bali rani hotel | Legian paradiso hotel | | vila rumah manis |
Bali intan Cottages
| Bali Mandira hotel |Club Mediteranie | Sol Lovina |Puri Bagus Lovina |
Bali Hotels by Area
Ubud Hotels | Kuta Hotels | Sanur hotels | Nusa Dua hotels | Kintamani hotels | Bedugul hotels|
Candidasa Hotels | Tabanan Hotels | Lovina Hotels | Jimbaran Hotels | Karangasem Hotels |
Indonesian Hotels
Jakarta Hotels| Yogyakarta Hotels | Lombok Hotels| Cheap Bali hotels | Indonesia Hotels

Bali Hotel List
Complete Bali hotels and resorts

Bali Map
Bali weddings

Please contact me for more information at



Developed & Maintained by:
Lisa P.A Zimmerman,PhD. Albert Zimmerman,MA. Putu Agung,M.Eng. Kirsten Parson,M.Eng. Joost MK,M.Eng. Brian Widjaja,SKom, Lhukie Ridwan,SKom & Friends
contact us at:
The most complete information about Bali,Bali hotels and accommodation,Bali holidays,Bali weddings,Bali villas and Bali travel site