The glossy guide book image of Bali is of a timeless paradise whose people are devoutly religious and artistically gifted. However, a hundred years of colonialism, war and Indonesian independence, and tourism have produced both modernizing changes and created an image of Bali as ‘traditional’.
Incorporating up-to-date ethnographic field work the book investigates the myriad of ways in which the Balinese has responded to the influx of outside influence. The book focuses on the fascinating interrelationship between tourism, economy, culture and religion in Bali, painting a twenty-first century picture of the Balinese. In documenting these diverse changes Howe critically assesses some of the work of Bali’s most famous ethnographer, Clifford Geertz and demonstrates the importance of a historically grounded and broadly contextualized approach to the analysis of a complex society.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Colonialism, Caste and the Beginnings of Tourism 2. Balinese Character (Assassination?) 3. The Efficacy of Ritual Action and the Transformation of Religion 4. The New Religions of Bali: Agama Hindu and Sathya Sai Baba 5. Controversies over Hierarchy 6. Tourism, Culture and Identity