Bali, Indonesia: A Photo Series
Photographed by Abby Ong
Captions by Abby Ong
The fields, the people, and their stories.
Female dancers help tell the story of Ramayana, a Hindu epic. The Kecak dance comes from a sacred dance form known as Sanghyang, where a person is possessed by a spirit to communicate with gods or ancestors and the dance is interpreted to convey their words.
Jumping repeatedly into the embers of a fire, a man dances barefoot atop the pile of coconut fibers, performing the Balinese Fire Dance. The Sanghyang song chanted by the choir of men may lead him into the flames as he connects to their gods or ancestors, unable to feel pain in the state of trance.
A woman plays one of the gentler roles in Ramayana. The Kecak dance was joined with the telling of Ramayana in 1930s when a German artist adapted it into a drama.
A man carries wood atop his head as he walks through the field. Most houses in the area are surrounded with large rice paddies.
A monkey picks bugs off another, with a baby between them. Mandala Suci Wenara Wana, the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in Ubud, is a temple that is home to many Balinese long-tailed monkeys.
In the heat, women harvest rice and beat the stalks to shake off the rice grains.
A woman shakes the rice grains out, sorting through them. Rice is a major part of many Asian cultures and is a staple in most Indonesian households.
The rice fields take up a majority of the land in the area. In the distance, rice terraces are seen as a method of irrigation.
A father and his son work together in woodcarving. Skills are often taught through families.