A Rainbow of Demons

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men carrying the ogoh ogoh must be careful that the oversized monsters don’t become tangled in telephone wire or trapped by tree branches.

 

Fantastical and oddly beautiful creatures, the ogoh-ogoh appear in Bali once a year.

In spite of Bali’s renown for creativity, the local shops are heaped with identical made-in-China tchotchkes; however, these artful demons, carefully created during the days and weeks leading up to the holiday of Nyepi, show true Balinese craftsmanship. The papier mache monsters include details such as a skull necklace, a vampiric overbite, cloven feet, or an evil monkey sidekick.

Most of the ogoh-ogoh I photographed were from Ubud and the surrounding villages, but every village on the island participates in this ritual, and a contest is held to determine which community has produced the best, most fierce demon creations.

On Nyepi Eve, a rainbow of demons — each representing a quality people want to leave their island — are paraded through the streets. Following the parade, all the ogoh-ogoh are set ablaze until nothing remains but a pile of ash. It’s considered the safest way to deal with demons, you see.

I should warn that the ogoh-ogoh monkey makes this post a bit NSFW. If anyone notices you looking at that particular photo, they might assume you have some sort of weird fetish for puppet p0rn. And if you’re reading this because you found my website after doing a Google search for “puppet p0rn,” welcome! This will, unfortunately, be the only post that applies to your needs.

 

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“bali not for sale”

 

 

 

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