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it is generally recognized that the Brahmanas are higher than the Satrias, but a great undercurrent of disagreement and animosity has always existed between them on this account. The Satrias resented having to pay homage to the Brahmanas, and the legends and historical records are full of instances of the feud created by their struggle for caste supremacy. Kings were deposed by adventurers supported by Brahmanas; high priests cursed rulers and drove them to commit suicide, and often they had to flee and hide to protect their daughters from arrogant princes who wishe to take them as wives, thus affronting their superior caste pride.'a diauk performance I saw a typical story enacted: The Radja of Bali, the Dewa Agung of Klungkung, wanted to prove that Brahmanas were fakers when they claimed supernatural powers. He placed a duck in a well and sent for the highest priest in the country so that he could prove his magic power by guessing what was in the well. The priest said that it was a great serpent, a naga. The king laughed in his face and uncovered the well; a huge naga, fire streaming from its nostrils, shot out and coiled around the king's.body and would have crushed him to death if the priest had not killed the naga with a miraculous arrow. From then on, the princes did not dare to question the supremacy of the Brahmanas. This legend is still commemorated at the cremation of Satrias, when the Brahmanic priest shoots arrows at the naga banda, the serpent that conveys the soul to heaven.


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But the dispute still goes unsettled, with the priest's sphere of influence restricted now to purely religious duties. Brahmanas are devoid of administrative powers, but serve as judges in the courts; they could not be sentenced to death and did not pay taxes to the princes, but instead bad to pray for the well being of the land. Their own regulations forbid them from attending cockfights or making money in commerce. They are exalted and aloof, but ordinary people secretly laugh at them; there is a popular story, Pan Bunkling, in which the hero is constantly poking fun at Brahmanas and their philosophy. The Brahmanas can be identified by the titles of Ida Bagus for men and Ida Ayu for women, both meaning " Eminent and Beautiful."

Satrias are supposed to be the descendants of the former rulers, and many claim to be of the family of Sri Krisna Kapakisan ' the great overlord that ruled Bali at the time of Cadja Mada. He was supposedly born of a heavenly nymph and a stone Brahmana (Korn). The Satria caste is divided into two main groups; the Satria Dalem, the descendants of the ruling princes, and the lesser Satria Djawa, those of the prime ministers' families. Today Satria blood is very mixed, owing to intermarriage with the lower castes, some of which are considered even lower than the higher Wesias. The Satrias are called by the titles of Ratu, Anak Agung, Tjokorde, and so forth. Among the lesser groups are the Predewa and the Pangakan (who bear the titles of Prebagus and Presanghyang).

The members of the third caste, the Wesias, are better known in Bali by their title of Custi, also subdivided into many groups. Tbe-bigbest, the Pregusti, are the descendants of Arya Damar, the predecessor of Gajah Mada. The lower Wesias are the descendants of the lesser Javanese princes and Pungawas. The Custis are the majority of the Balinese nobility and are often Politically influential.

Certain professions are unclean, and if practised within,the village pollute the desa, such as the indigo-dyers, pottery, palm sugar, and arak-makers. Although Korn claims there are no real outcastes in Bali, I was told by everybody that indigo-dyers belong to a special caste, the pamesan, who are forbidden by traditional law to use wood or cotton in their cremation bier, which should be open, without a roof, and devoid of ornaments. They said that the pamesan are often rich and careful to conceal their origin. When it is mentioned that someone is a p2mesan, it is done in a pitying whisper. There was a scandal in Denpasar about someone who had maliciously accused another of being a pamesan. This may perhaps point to a trace of the idea of the outcaste.

The aristocracy divides the population of Bali into "I insiders" (dalem), which are themselves, those who live within the place; and the " outsiders" (Jaba) , the common people. From the point of view of the great majority of the Balinese, this is a fallacy, since it is the nobility who are the real outsiders. The feudalism of the hindu ristocracy was curiously only superimposed on theBalinese patriarchal communism, and centuries of feudal rule have failed to do away with the closed independence of the village communities. Thus the nobility is left devoid of voice where it concerns the inner affairs of the community, despite the Pungawas and Perbekels they appoint to keep an eye on the villagers.


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