Download Interpreting Balinese Culture: Representation and Identity by Julie A

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a look at more impoverished Balinese people who do not look as clean or well kept. In its
simplicity, this book presents quite an essentialized image of the Balinese for early twentieth
century readers. A quick scan of the pictures leads to several possible rudimentary conclusions:
the Balinese are brown skinned; they are comfortable with female upper body nudity; the
dancers wear beautifully ornate costumes; the women are beautiful; the poor likely lead simple
lives that involve some degree of hardship; the old appear quite weathered. No photos of the
Balinese wearing traditional ceremonial clothing or engaging in ritual are included. This is
interesting as so many of the texts up to this point have noted the importance of religion in
everyday life.
Application of Theory in the First Wave
Around the same time as Covarrubias and Spies were publishing on Bali, anthropologists
Jane Belo, Colin McPhee, Margaret Mead, and Gregory Bateson, were beginning to contribute
to the literature as well. What differentiated these writers from the others, however, was not
so much the time period in which they were writing but rather their approach to research and
presentation. While Covarrubias and Spies were influenced by the works of Krause and others,
largely presenting their experiences and observations as if exposing the world to the hidden
secrets of the Balinese, Belo and Mead were approaching the subject matter from a more
theoretical, analytical stance.
Still very much attracted by the allure of Bali, and also closely connected to their early
Baliologist predecessors, these first wave writers were beginning to apply theory and critique to
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