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tourists and…missionaries” made a “deep dent in the simple and logical life of the Balinese.”
(ibid.: 402) Covarrubias described these changes as both rapid and strikingly evident, leading
him to fear that “the gradual breakdown of their institutions, together with the drain on their
national wealth, will make coolies, thieves, beggars and prostitutes of the proud and honorable
Balinese…and will, in the long run, bring a social and economic catastrophe.” (ibid.) In other
words, as tenacious as Balinese culture was imagined to be, it would not be able to overcome
the invasion of newer and, in Covarrubias’ view, more powerful outside influences. Covarrubias’
fear would not come to full fruition as, even though the Balinese became exposed to further
change and outside influences, their ideologies and customs survived, as did their pride and
honour as a people. Although the Balinese have been seen as a fiercely resilient people, the
effects of tourism and globalization on the Balinese and their systems make for popular topic in
modern discourse on the island/among the Balinese, as discussed in chapter 5.
No conversation about early 20th century would be complete without the inclusion of
Walter Spies. Spies was a German musician and artist, who traveled in Indonesia in the early
1920s and moved permanently to Bali in 1927. (Belo, 1970: xviii). He influenced and assisted
both Covarrubias and his wife, along with Jane Belo and Colin McPhee, during their travels
within Bali. Covarrubias would describe Spies as a good friend who was “a constant source of
disinterested information to every archaeologist, anthropologist, musician or artist who has
come to Bali.” (Covarrubias, 1937: xxii) Later, Belo would credit Spies as being the one person
more than other preceding WWII that would contribute to “the knowledge and appreciation of
Balinese culture in its many manifestations by steeping himself in the lore of the people…and
by taking up with great enthusiasm, combined with complete disregard for personal credit, the
20
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