The Bali Agas – the original, indigenous Balinese – resisted the Javanization of the island in the 13th century onwards by retreating to remote villages where they could preserve their traditional way of life. This endures most strongly at Tenganan, a village encircled by a high wall. Stepping inside is like entering another world. Economically and culturally isolated from the rest of Bali, the villagers are largely self-sufficient and have a proud, refined, distinguished air about them, underlined by their elegant traditional dress and their resplendently intricate, double-ikat gringsing cloth, which takes literally years to dye and weave. Fine examples are on sale at local houses, along with specimens of basket work, palm-leaf etching and calligraphy.
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