The Barong Wants to go out Again: Krisis moneter and the Resurgence of Rituals in Indonesia

Volker Gottowik
The economic and monetary crisis (krismo) at the end of the nineties has changed Indonesia in many respects. While the political transformations in the wake of Suharto's step back seem all too obvious, changes in religious activities are seldom taken into account. This paper refers to the impact of krismo on ritual performances connected with the famous Barong fi gures in Bali. These impacts are twofold: the democratization of Indonesia led not only to a revival of cultural activities of ethnic
more » ... Chinese of which the reappearance of Barongsai dance troupes after more than 30 years of oppression is only one feature; the economic crises also raised the demand for new Barong masks on the side of the local Balinese people and fi nally caused a boom of ritual activities connected with these sacred fi gures. Against this background it will be demonstrated that krismo led not only to a revitalisation of the Barong cult in Bali, but also became itself a topic of particular Barong performances. Therefore it is argued that economic events have religious impacts and vice versa. But how is krismo as a topic taken up by ritual discourse and what kinds of message do the local actors disseminate through the medium of Barong?
doi:10.14764/10.aseas-1.2-7 fatcat:54eo7wmqjrem7jy4zkrmska3o4