Tag Archives: Dragon

BARONG BALI / NIGEL DE JONG

Ade

There’s one thing that we can never say no to and those are these kind of beautiful Indonesian artifacts! Whenever we find a nice Javanese / Balinese mask in the thrift store or find a beautiful Barong statue at a Pasar Malam we háve to take them home. Our little house is slowly turning into an Indonesian museum, but it’s just so much fun to adopt these beautiful items! Above here in the photo you can see on the left, Boma, a Balinese protector/beast. The story tells that once he was a very powerful and destructive earth demon. In the ancient story, Mahabarata, Boma became a great champion and a defender against evil. You can find him above  most doorways, and above the entrance of temples and palaces in Southern Bali, mostly decorated with fresh flowers put behind his ears. His hands spread out to scare off the negative spirits. He’s regarded as being very strong and being able to overcome obstacles physical and mystical. In South Bali, Boma is always depicted with three curls of rock ornaments on top of his head and a bow of flowers. The other mask you see on the right is a Balinese dragon (Naga) wall mask and only used as decoration, to find the exact meaning of this mask is a bit more difficult. He’s part of the many dragon characters found in Bali. In the great story Mahabharata, Nagas are tending towards the negative. They call them “persecutors of all creatures” and tells us “the snakes were of virulent poison, great prowess and excess of strength, and ever bent on biting other creatures”. But at some points within the story, Nagas are important players, frequently no more evil nor deceitful than the other characters in the story and sometimes on the side of good. They mostly show Nagas as having a mix of human and serpent-like habits.

Barong in Bali

It is unclear where the Barong is originated, however it is generally accepted that a barong is a physical manifestation of a protective spirit which guards people from evil influences. In Bali, it dates back to ancient, pre-Hindu times when animism was the most popular form of belief. It is believed that a Barong is powerful enough to guard an entire village with the main task of driving away the demons known in Balinese as Bhuta-kala. Barong come in many different shapes and sizes. Most are representations of animals such as lion-tigers (barong ket), elephants (barong gajah), tigers (barong macan), pigs (barong bangkal), barong sai (Chinese lions), barong buntut (solo/tailless barong), ravens (barong guak), goats (barong kambing), bulls (barong lembu), horses (barong jaran), or moose (barong rusa). Rare Barong are: gaint human puppets called Barong Landung (Landung means tall in Balinese), giant characters called Barong dawang-dawang  or Barong brutuk (in Trunyan). Barong ket are the most commonly seen Barong in ceremonies and tourist performances throughout Bali. Their dance is also the most developed. Most Barong are danced by two dancers, one at the front head piece, the other at the back tail section, giving the creature four feet. The ones with two feet such as Barong tunggal, Barong bangkal and Barong landung are all danced by one single dancer. Barong are decorated with hair or feathers depending on what village they come from. The magical power of the barong is said to be concentrated in its beard, which is customarily made from human hair. The belief in its magical power is so strong that if a village is struck by an epidemic, a priest is ordered to soak the beard in a glass of clean water to make holy water. This holy water is used to bring the village out of the epidemic. For certain ceremonies, many barong will be gathered together to be purified. There is even a temple in Bualu, Nusa Dua named Barong-barong Temple. Barong are magically very special to most Balinese and their powers are taken very seriously.

And after a successful football match last Friday between  Spain vs. The Netherlands we received a nice promotional photo of Nigel de Jong with his healed tattoos by Ade. Follow Nigel on Instagram for more snapshots out of his everyday life! http://www.instragram.com/ndjofficial

Good luck against Australia on Wednesday guys!

– Lielo & Ade Itameda

Nigel_de_Jong_AD

 

 

 

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THAI NAGA HALF SLEEVE

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Nāga themed half sleeve on left arm. 

Garuda themed half sleeve on right arm.

This is the result of a great project about the ancient characters Garuda & Naga. Showing above is the left arm with the Naga theme. The right arm is posted on this blog before and has a Garuda theme. This was a quite challenging project for me because I never drew a dragon before in my life. This is my first dragon, sounds weird, but it’s true. We choose to use the Thai dragon called Naga and surrounded it with Thai ornaments based on traditional Thai carvings. The customer wanted to have a contrast between the left arm and the right arm. To learn more about the Thai dragons I had to find some books telling me a little bit more of the stories behind these ancient characters. I found out these stories are incredibly complicated. Both of these characters appear in as well Buddhism and Hinduism mythology. I focussed on the Buddism interpetation of the Garuda (Even the stories about Garuda of Hinduism & Buddhism have similarities). I’m always amazed about the Thai ornaments and carvings found on temples and houses. Great piece to work on! More of this!

– Ade Itameda

A little bit more about Garuda & Nāga:

In Buddhist mythology, the Garuda are enormous predatory birds with intelligence and social organization. Another name for the Garuda is Suparṇa which means “well-winged, having good wings”. Like the Nāga, they combine the characteristics of animals and divine beings. They don’t know the exact size of the Garuda, but they say that his wings have a span of many ‘miles’ wide. They also say that when a Garuda’s wings flap, they create hurricane-like winds that darken the sky and blow down houses. A human being is so small compared to a Garuda that a man can hide in the plumage of one without being noticed. They are also capable of tearing up entire banyan trees from their roots and carrying them off. They also have the ability to grow large or small, and to appear and disappear at will. The Garuda have kings and cities and at least some of them have the magical power of changing into human form when they wish to have dealings with people.

The Garuda are enemies to the Nāga, a race of intelligent serpent or dragon-like beings, whom they hunt. The Garuda at one time caught the Nāga by seizing them by their heads; but the Nāga learned that by swallowing large stones, they could make themselves too heavy to be carried by the Garuda, wearing them out and killing them from exhaustion. The Buddhist Nāga generally has the form of a great cobra-like snake, usually with a single head but sometimes with many. At least some of the Nāga are capable of using magic powers to transform themselves to look human just like Garuda. In Buddhist painting, the Nāga is sometimes portrayed as a human being with a snake or dragon extending over his head. They believe that Nāga live on Mount Sumeru, among the other minor deities, and in various parts of the human-inhabited earth. Some of them are live in the water, in streams or lakes and others are living in the earth, in underground caverns.

As you might know, the Mekong is one of the longest rivers in Southeast Asia. The legend of the Nāga is a strong and sacred belief held by Thai and Lao people living along this river. Many pay their respects to the river because they believe the Nāga still rule in it, and locals hold an annual sacrifice for the Nāga. Each ceremony depends on how each village earns its living from the Mekong River. For instance, through fishing or transport. Local residents believe that the Nāga can protect them from danger, so they are likely to make a sacrifice to Nāga before taking a boat trip along the Mekong River.

 

All these tattoo designs are custom made by Ade Itameda and created uniquely for each client and made by modern tattoo machines. They are based on personal ideas/symbols of his clients.  None of these designs will be re-used again. 

Copyright © Ade Itameda 2012. All rights reserved.

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TATTOOS ADE

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