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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:55090
Doc. No:TL25044
Call number:‭3288135‬
Main Entry:Robin E. Tatu
Title & Author:Performing the ancestors: A Balinese historiographical traditionRobin E. Tatu
College:University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Date:2007
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2007
Page No:311
Abstract:This dissertation examines a form of historical production that has been practiced in Bali, Indonesia, since the early 18th century. In this local Southeast Asian tradition, history is conveyed not just through the production of dynastic chronicles known as babad but through the performance of these texts in ongoing composition, recitation, topeng masked drama. Emphasis is placed not so much upon establishing an objective, factual record, but upon a continued activation and interpretation of the past, the ancestors, and previous knowledge. In his seminal work on Bali's "theatre state," Clifford Geertz stressed the primacy of performance in 19th century Balinese statecraft, maintaining that royal power became manifest through court-sponsored spectacle. While subsequent histories of the island have acknowledged the importance of the babad narratives, most have neglected the performative functions of these texts. In my work, I situate the babad within the context of their use, arguing that a study of the interconnected expressions of writing, performance, and ritual can provide greater understanding of the fluid, integrative nature of Balinese historiography. Balinese babad appear to have been first employed in the early 18th century as tools of political legitimacy. Their contents generally focused upon the origins, rise, and expansion of local kingdoms, with later sections recording the descent of royal families. Later recensions drew from a variety of these older texts, literary sources, and local myths or legends, in addition to extending genealogical lists up to the present generations. By the mid-19th century, the practice of babad composition had spread from the kingdoms to villages and towns, and from royalty and priests to members from many levels of society. The period of Dutch rule prompted even more babad activity, as families vied to demonstrate their high status to the colonial officials. Today, hundreds of manuscripts continue to be re-composed, studied, and performed. Rather than abating, interest in local history has grown more pressing, as different groups assert claims of origin and status and competing interpretations of the past. This dissertation examines all these negotiations of historical production in Bali.
Subject:Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Language, literature and linguistics; Ancestors; Balinese; Historiography; Indonesia; Literature; Performing; Religion; Asian literature; History; Theater; 0465:Theater; 0305:Asian literature; 0332:History
Added Entry:L. Y. Andaya
Added Entry:University of Hawai'i at Manoa