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Kamasan Villages Becomes the Centre for Bali Cultural Studies

6 February 2009

As the former hub of Bali Kingdom at the end of the nineteenth century, Klungkung Regency has a variety of cultural activities which have survived to this day. The classical style wayang (puppet) painting of Kamasan or lontar (palm-leaf manuscript) inherited by the kingdom of Klungkung can be found here.

Klungkung is situated east of Denpasar, It is a 60 minute drive to Semarapura. the capital of Klungkung. Three tourist destinations along the same route and beyond Klungkung are Besakih, Candidasa and Goa Lawah. The Regional government of Klungkung has specified 18 tourist attractions in its region, including Nusa Penida and Kamasan Village.

Kamasan Village is 2 km from Semarapura and takes ten minutes travel time to reach. What is the attraction of this village? Head of Kamasan Village, I Nyoman Sidharta Yoga replies that the village is the centre for Balinese cultural studies. Every hamlet in the Kamasan Village has particular characteristic attributes in the field of handicraft As soon as one enters this village, art shops will be encountered along the hamlet of Sangging. Here, one can see wavang (puppet) paintings in the Kamasan style and objects made from bullet shells by blacksmiths. Ritual paraphernalia, guest room ornaments and so forth can also be found, being characteristic of Kamasan Village.

Administratively, this village is divided into four hamlets. Most (80%) of inhabitants living at Kacang Dawa earn their livelihood as farmers and at Sangging Hamlet as blacksmiths and painters of classical wayang in the Kamasan style. Meanwhile, the Pande Mas hamlet is the hub of blacksmiths and in the Tabanan hamlet, 60% of its inhabitants work as blacksmiths and the remaining 40% as farmers. Kamasan Village also is the centre of “Wayan Kamasan” and Balinese language study. “In Bali, the most complete composition of Balinese language lies in Klungkung Regency. Kamasan become an urban village, however it should still reflect its original rural atmosphere by preserving the potency of existing nature. Undertakings for the development of tourism at Kamasan Village have been carried out by Sidharta. One of these is providing English and Japanese courses to his people, mainly the primary school students and youngsters who are interested in the tourism field. In addition, a program of mutual assistance to support the cleanliness and charm of Kamasan Village has been re-activated. Facilities supporting the development of Kamasan as a tourist village are villa style accommodation at villager’s house compound, road access, art shop and restaurant. A visit to Kamasan Village is worthwhile and could make your holiday complete Balinese experience.

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