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Belo’s husband, Colin McPhee, would go on to study Balinese gamelan, a traditional
percussion instrument used often in both religious ceremonies and dramatic performances,
similar to a xylophone in the way it looks and how it is played. He would publish several books
on Balinese music. He also wrote a first person account of his life on Bali, A House in Bali
(1947). He and Belo would divorce in 1938, and he would leave Bali in December 1938, not
wanting to be subject to the Dutch “witch-hunt” against homosexuals. (Shavit, 2003: 127)
Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, arrived on the island in 1936, to start several
years of field study, based largely on photographic analysis (Pringle, 2004: 147). Already
experienced in fieldwork in New Guinea and elsewhere in the South Pacific, Mead and Bateson
made several significant contributions to the scholarship on Bali. More scientifically inclined
than the other writers before them, Mead and Bateson applied Freudian theory to their
research. (ibid: 150) Their study resulted in two books: Bateson and Mead’s Balinese Character:
A Photographic Analysis (1942) and Mead and Frances Cooke MacGregor’s Growth and Culture.
The books were seen together as a two part study based on the combined research of both
Mead and Bateson. They were assisted during this time by Belo, McPhee, Mershon, American
dancer and art historian Claire Holt, and their Balinese assistant and translator, I Made Kaler.
(Jacknis, 1988: 163)
Both books contain very detailed descriptions of the Balinese people in everyday life,
specifically looking at children and how they are treated within the home and village setting.
The movements, actions and socially accepted behaviours and norms, specifically those to do
with child rearing, are analyzed vigorously. Photography plays a big part in both of the books.
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