National Geographic : 1951 Jan
Republican Indonesia Tries Its Wings "Fly Rod" in Hand, a Balinese Woman Fishes for Dragonflies In this harvesttime sport, flies flushed by the reapers are enticed to alight on the sticky wand or are trapped on the wing by a deft cast. Later, they are fried and eaten. for milk. Because of heavy depletion of stock during the war, the number for export is still low. On the northern slopes of the mountains we wound through coffee plantations and amid a magnificent array of rice terraces (page 15). Diked rice plots mount the steep hillsides like gigantic staircases, but up these no giant could climb without getting his feet wet! Singaradja and its adjacent port of Bule leng bear a strong imprint of the Dutch. Many of the buildings are Western style, and the palace of the district raja is decidedly modernistic. Girls Wrap Like Mummies for a Dance Returning to Denpasar late one afternoon, I saw people carrying offerings to a temple and learned there was to be a djanger dance in the evening. Later I watched village girls transform themselves into glamorous dancing queens with grease paint and resplendent garments. Those who believe the girls of Bali never wear blouses should see how they gird them selves for the dance. Above long sweeping sarongs they wrap their bodies from armpits to hips like tightly encased cocoons (page 13). Eyebrows are darkened, then shaped with a razor, and a new hairline is painted on the girls' foreheads to fit their sunburst crowns (pages 9 and 10). A gem-studded neck piece, armbands of gilded filigreed buffalo hide, and fresh frangipani flowers in the hair complete the costume. White dots added be tween eyebrows and at the temples are special beauty marks of the dance. Although the djanger is primarily social entertainment, no participant would think of beginning a performance without first touch ing her lips to a cup of holy water and drop ping a blossom as an offering on the shrine. A dozen girls and an equal number of less ornately dressed young men seated them selves in an open square, girls occupying two facing sides, boys the other.