Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Nyepi Brings Boom to Monster Makers


With this year’s Nyepi celebrations still two weeks away professional ogoh-ogoh makers have been reporting a flood of orders for the demonic wood and papier-mâché statues traditionally paraded through the streets of Bali the night before the Hindu Day of Silence.

While some communities prepare their own ogoh-ogoh, many turn to professionals like Mangku Wayan Candra, who owns an ogoh-ogoh workshop on Jl Sesetan in Denpasar.

According to Candra — who employs several dozen craftsmen — he has received hundreds of orders from across Bali, and from Hindu communities further afield in Java.

A single order can take between one day and one week to complete, and costs between Rp500,000 (US$56) and Rp15 million (US$1,680) depending on the size, Candra said, adding that he had been forced to turn down many late orders this year.

“Most of them are made in a sinister form as a reflection of the negative aspects of humanity,” said Candra, adding that the purpose of the Nyepi celebrations was to cleanse the world of evil.

Nyepi will fall on 5 March this year, with all activities suspended for 24 hours and locals and visitors confined to their homes and accommodation.

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