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Bali Arts and Crafts
 
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The Keris
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Stone Carving
Driving around Bali it would difficult not to be impressed with the majesty of the intricate stone carvings that adorn the thousands of temples that dot the island. This stone is known locally as "paras" and is not really stone in the Western sense. Rather paras is volcanic ash mixed with sand and clay and compressed over the centuries into a hard material similar to sandstone or soapstone. As such the material is quite soft, decays easily and moss seems to grow on it overnight - so if you are walking through a rice paddy and happen to see an old, blackened, moss covered statue do not think it is centuries old - it may be 5 or at the most 30 years old !

Traditionally stone has been carved into the shapes of demons and deities to decorate temples and courtyards of royal families - rarely does the average Balinese have any stone relief in his living area. Stone carvers have been around a lot longer than painters and have never been subject to the same strict rules as painters. The imaginations of the stone carvers has always been allowed to run riot i.e. gods with multiple sex organs and even scenes incorporating everyday life with today's technology such as airplanes are now carved into temple relieves.

To get a good idea of the range of items for sale a trip through Batubulan is a nice day spent. Whether or not you are ready to ship a 500 lb. statue back home is up to you but almost any statue would be focal point of your garden.


 
 
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