Mar 19

Balinese Children with 'their' Ogoh Ogoh in the backgroundOgoh Ogoh monsters are colourful monster sculptures, which are made from bamboo frames and paper mache.

They are made in the form of creatures of the underworld known in Balinese as buta-kala. The creatures are based on characters taken from traditional myths and legends, however in modern times many also take the form of modern characters, including even people in the media or in the government.

Before the Hindu new year, Nyepi, is celebrated in the spring by a day of silence – you can find Ogoh Ogoh *everywhere* in Bali.

They are mainly built by the youngsters of the villages and kampungs in the weeks and months before Melasti and Nyepi.

Parading Ogoh Ogoh on the streets

On the preceding day, all traffic is blocked and the Ogoh-Ogoh monsters are paraded around near the main intersections and finally burned in the evening to drive away evil spirits.

It’s almost like carnival processions in other countries. The kids can stay up long and carry ‘their’ Ogoh Ogoh around. It’s like a beauty competition on who created the most colourful, funny or scary monster. Of course everyone is proud of their creation and the whole proceedings are very noisy and with plenty of drum sound and screaming and laughing.

Here is a small collection of this year’s Ogoh Ogohs:

Ogoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/IndonesiaOgoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/IndonesiaOgoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/Indonesia

Often you see 2 or more Ogoh Ogoh fighting with each other.

Ogoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/IndonesiaOgoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/IndonesiaOgoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/Indonesia

The 3-headed snake looks impressive as well!

Ogoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/IndonesiaOgoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/IndonesiaOgoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/Indonesia

Here some more modern example, a Rock Star, a more touristy ‘Bintang’ drinker and a Rasta Man.

Ogoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/IndonesiaOgoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/IndonesiaOgoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/Indonesia

Some more scary ones, even one multi-headed in the middle.

Ogoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/IndonesiaOgoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/IndonesiaOgoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/Indonesia

A dragon fighter and some white-haired oldsters with Parasols.

Ogoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/IndonesiaOgoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/IndonesiaOgoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/Indonesia

Green and blue are always great colours.

Ogoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/IndonesiaOgoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/IndonesiaOgoh Ogoh monsters during Melasti and Nyepi celebrations in Bali/Indonesia

Watch this winged dragon, the 2 Fatties and a Gollum-like creature. Fun for everyone. ;-)


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written by Chris



16 Responses to “My ‘Ogoh Ogoh’ Monster Collection”

  1. dodong floresNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Those are sure fun to witness. You’re obviously in high spirit of fun while taking this photo series :)

  2. ianmackNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Those are incredible! Even in a small image like that, the level of detail is astonishing. Certainly better than a variety of corporate mascots and floats that usually accompany city parades. I’d love to see these in person one day.

  3. Brown BaronNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Those look great. I’m sure watching that parade was an amazing experience. My kids would love to see those in person.

  4. domestikaNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    These are incredible – I’ve got to blog about your collection – these are just so creative and so beautifully executed! Ianmack’s right on, these make our “western world” parades look so crassly commercial and dull by comparison.

  5. “Go to sleep, beta! Or the Ogoh-Ogoh monsters will get you!” : uber desi dot com UNITED STATES Says:

    [...] What is interesting is that over the years, these people have maintained their religion while incorporating a lot of South-Eastern cultures. Balinese gamelan music and dances potray Hindu mythologies like Ramayana. On the day preceding the Hindu New Year, Nyepi, colorful statues of Ogoh Ogoh monsters are paraded and burned, which sounds similar to burning of Ravana during Dussera. Nomad4ever (link via Boing Boing), has a colorful photo gallery of these Ogoh Ogoh monsters in parade. Nyepi was celebrated this year on March 19th 2007. bali, Culture, Desi Ishtyle, hindu, nyepi, ogoh ogoh, religionbali, Culture, Desi Ishtyle, hindu, nyepi, ogoh ogoh, religionOther posts in Desi IshtyleThe Fast and the Furious: Chennai Drift (update: DUI alert) – January 16th, 2007Should the government regulate Internet content? – January 22nd, 2007Bill Gates, Smart cards and ……. Chameli???? – January 24th, 2007Will India deport Taslima? (update: Extension granted) – January 24th, 2007The Macaca Republic is 57 years young (update: more images) – January 25th, 2007Popularity: unranked [?]Share This [...]

  6. abelincolnjrNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    I believe the multi headed one is the 10 headed demon Ravana from the Hindu Epic the Ramayana.

  7. words » Blog Archive » Ogoh ogoh! UNITED STATES Says:

    [...] [photo: nomad4ever] [...]

  8. Go fly a Kite! Cultural insights into a favorite waste of time | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    [...] In Bali, like the Ogoh Ogohs, flying kite is truly a cultural thing. You can buy them for cheap money at almost every corner in all kinds of sizes, colours and shapes. [...]

  9. Follow that Ogoh Ogoh Monster! | so you wannabee a Domestik Goddess? UNITED STATES Says:

    [...] Blogging his adventure as nomad4ever, Chris ditched the western rat race after 14 years in a big ITC firm to explore ever-fascinating Asia from Thailand to Singapore to his current home-away-from-home in Bali, Indonesia. [...]

  10. The Best of Nomad4ever in 2007 | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    [...] a short summary about what’s going on and a gallery of Ogoh-Ogoh monsters in the article My Ogoh-Ogoh Monster collection. They were well received, and although not attracting many comments, brought a huge wave of traffic [...]

  11. madeNo Gravatar UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Says:

    ogoh ogih is not only about fun,but more than just art,there are many aspec including inside such as religion,spirit,teamwork,believe,power,imagination,idea,integrity,etc. ton build one of ogoh ogoh we spent our time atleast one mounth to create it. so amazing

  12. EDiNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Bali Is Very Great>i lOve it =D>

  13. It’s Ogoh-Ogoh time again! The Hindu New Year (Nyepi) Celebrations in Bali | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    [...] wrote last year about the colorful creations called Ogoh-Ogoh, which are paraded just before the begin of the Hindu [...]

  14. BuluNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    How about going to Bintan Island?

  15. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Bulu – yes, why not? Bintan is a very nice island. When I was still living in Singapore, I used to travel to Bintan at least once a month over a weekend. The ocean there is definitely of better quality than the waters around Singapore (no wonder with all the hundreds of ships and tankers there). They have plenty of kite surfers during the low season as well, due to the strong winds. Plenty of water sport activities, jet skiing and even diving (although the visibility isn’t so great – plenty of currents). My all-time favorite hotel is Mana Mana resort, a reasonable priced bungalow style chill-out location directly taken from a picture postcard. I heard though, that in recent years the prices sky-rocketed, due to the ever-growing stream of weekend getawayers. When I was first there in 1998, a room was about 75 SGD/night. Is it true the reached the 200 SGD mark already?

    Besides the resort belt with countless hotels in all price categories it has plenty of golf courses, a charming old capital Tanjung Pinang, with lots of great food, cheap massages and a rusty, rotten harbor.

    What other places on Bintan to go to would you recommend?

  16. dikaNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    its beautiful. likely i’m a balinese istill wnat to see more picture…..
    i wnt i have more picture next….
    thanks alot…. =D>

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