Ogoh-ogoh

26 March 2017 -  Bali, Ubud
 
Asking Republicans to govern is like asking Barney Frank to judge the Miss America contest — if your heart’s not in it, you don’t do a very good job. Maureen Dowd

Speaking of doing a good job, it's the day before the Ngrupuk parade and the Balinese people are preparing for tomorrow's festivities by fine-tuning their ogoh-ogohs and practicing their movements. They are also dancing to Gamelan music.

Ogoh-ogohs are demonic statues made of vividly-painted bamboo and styrofoam. They symbolize malevolent spirits. After the ogoh-ogoh have been paraded around the village the Ngrupuk ritual takes place, which involves burning the ogoh-ogoh.

 
 
 
Ogoh-ogoh     
 
Ogoh-ogoh     
 
Ogoh-ogoh     
 
Ogoh-ogoh     
 
Dancers, Ubud Palace     
 
Dancers, Ubud Palace     
 
Dancers, Ubud Palace     
 
Gamelan musicians     
The dance is accompanied by the trance-like gamelan music.
 
Ogoh-ogoh     
 
Ogoh-ogoh rotation practice     

These nighttime photos are a bit blurry because the light is poor and the people are moving. f/1.4 and a big ISO aren't enough.

Unfortunately if you press the little camera icon you'll find no exif data. I just figured out that my image re-sizer iPhone app is stripping out the data that the Fuji puts into the file. I've fixed the problem but will have to re-load the photos posted so far. I was looking for tasks to occupy my time tomorrow...

 
Ogoh-ogoh practice     

During the procession the Ogoh-ogoh is rotated counter-clockwise three times at every T-junction and crossroad. Rotating the statues represents the contact of the bodies with the spirits and is meant to bewilder evil spirits so that they go away and stop harming humans.

The photos don't do justice to the scene, everyone is happy and laughing and clearly having a good time. Did I mention how friendly the Balinese are? Don't know what they are smoking, or maybe it's in the water, but almost everyone is friendly and welcoming. And most speak English, which makes getting around easy.