Tenganan Pegringsingan – The Oldest, and Last Ancient Village #2

Can the Very Few ~ Help Save the Many?

Mahalo.Market has tools unavailable to the many that suffer from famine, drought, flooding, and another travesty. Using our talents and tools, we can help them…

Beginning with a simple motto;
Change the World, One Village at a Time
Starting with an Ancient Bali Village

No matter how far back into history we reach, the lifeblood of any nation, state, city, community, and even a small village is commerce. Today, over 55% is actually eCommerce.

Even a maker of baskets, purses, or toys must trade their products for food, then rinse and repeat the cycle. We believe that at the center of saving any village, is the ability to sell what they can produce.

While we can debate, and even review case studies, actual on-the-ground experts like William Quam, will tell you that the people of Bali or even Africa, know how to do the work.

They simply lack the resources and connections..!


The Global Village Marketplace

Each village offers a unique collection of goods. It is this fact that leads to the first marketplaces in history. People gather at a marketplace to shop for the things they do not have. Things that come from other people and other places.

The problem for villages in the modern world is the ability to put their products in front of the right buyers. Today many do their best to get items to market in a nearby city, perhaps walking miles and carrying or pushing their wares to market.

Meanwhile, the modern world is shopping from a phone and they do not even see the wares that the poor villager pushed to the big town for selling. While the Tenganan village does get tourist traffic, sales do not fully support the village.

Our solution is simple, we help villages build a store, stock it with their products and then market the store globally. We don’t charge them to build, host or maintain the store.

Actually, this is where things get interesting because the store must be managed, maintained, and marketed. All things that can be hard or nearly impossible for villages to do for themselves.

To solve this part of the equation, we match each village with a ‘Store Manager”, someone that has a greater technological advantage, in a more modern nation. In this case, Brad Johnston, our General Store Manager is training Barry Robinson, a man that needs to feed his family in the UK. Barry says; “I love being involved, I will work my butt off for villages“.

Various team members will work on building the website and store, including Marileen Rodgers, one of the company founders, she has been making her own products and adding them to online stores for years, Marileen says; “…it’s a pleasure to help the villages, plus I love learning about their crafts“.

Eventually, Barry will learn all the ropes and will then be responsible for entering listings, managing the displays, and working with the JingleSPOT marketing department to coordinate the advertising and marketing, for all this Barry will earn a conservative 10% commission on sales.

When sales come in, Barry will also make sure the order is processed, accounted for, and passed to the village for processing along with the money for the product and shipping. The village will then relay the shipping confirmations back to Barry, and he will interface with, and update the buyers.

Our “Village Store” program and other charity outreaches are managed by Scotty Saw. One of the most generous men on the planet, we like to call him; Mr. Humanity. No matter how much you give him, he tries to find an extra $50 from his own pocket to help those in need. He personally made this match, bringing both the Tenganan Village and Barry to Mahalo.Market.



How We Do It…

Let’s look at a typical village match-up, where Team Mahalo goes to work on a village;

  • Start with a Village;
  • Add Domain, Website, Store, and App;
  • Add products made by the village;
  • Add stories, pics, and information about the village;
  • Add plenty of product details;
  • Add legal terms, privacy, GDPR, etc.;
  • Create display ads, videos, articles, press releases, etc.;
  • Blast store marketing;
  • Process sales;
  • Send shipping details and money to the village;

The best part, the whole online part is very easy for Barry, or any average adult, even a disabled person in the United States, the UK, and other more modern nations.

So much skill and patience go into every priceless creation.

Today the Tenganan villagers continue to work their crafts just as they have done for countless generations. These fantastic, high-quality items do cost a little bit more because they are not cheaply made like things from a China or Taiwan sweat house.

Perhaps the most popular Tenganan product is the ikat, a very unique double-woven textile. Other products include; carvings, maps, and calendars.


The Village People and Marketplace

Generally, Tenganan villagers are rice farmers, however, many are fine craftsmen, seen as you walk down the main streets, along the street sides, these locals make and sell many products; purses, baskets, writing by burnt walnuts, calendars, wooden carved masks, palm leaves hand drawings, and beautifully painted eggs using real egg or wooden carvings.

One extraordinary item, they use palm leaves to make Tenganan calendars. Arranged vertically, palm leaf is connected with string, strengthened with bamboo slats at the top and bottom, which folds nicely to look like bamboo slats.

This is the current LIVE marketplace for the Tenganan Village, where they are able to make a few sales to visitors, as they have become a popular tourist attraction.

Featuring this unique ancient village experience, and the marketplace filled with items that cannot be found anywhere else on earth.

Tenganan products are carefully handcrafted, each a unique work of art.

Gringsing is both scarce and expensive..!

Another popular product, found nowhere else in Indonesia, is the unique double Ikat Pangringsingan weaving cloth, “Gringsing”. The word pegringsingan is from the name of their own unique cloth commodity; “geringsing”.

According to the local people, the word geringsing is made by connecting two words; “Gering” means an accident, illness, or a sickness; and “sing” means “no, do not”. Thus, the “Gringsing” means the opposite, to repel dangers, no disease, no sickness.

A traditional woven product only found in Tenganan Village. Geringsing is sacred, and it is commonly believed it has magical powers, capable of driving away evil or black magic.

Generally, the Balinese people believe in a “Negative Force”, they also believe in a “Positive Force”. To these Balinese; sickness or disease is; Physical, Psychological, Mental, or Spiritual, in all cases, a “Negative Force”.

Gringsing is made using a unique, and very slow, very old process of double ikat (double tied), it can take as long as five (5) years to make one. The pegringsingan, double ikat process is about beauty, accuracy, quality, strength, durability, and centurian preservation.

This double ikat cloth is so rare it is found in just three (3) places, amazing;

  • Tenganan Pegringsingan Village – youths have been learning this method;
  • Gujarat, India – There, only two families can the cloth;
  • Okinawa, Japan;

Considered to be the premier form, Pegringsingan double Ikat requires a lot of skill for precise patterns to be woven.

Balinese women take great pride in mastering ancient, hundreds of years old skills because double ikat fabrics have such a high spiritual significance, and are generally worn for specific ceremonies

This culture must be saved for generations yet to come, we must not let the legend of Tenganan Pegringsingan or its people slowly die, nor shall we let the Gringsing cloth descend to be known only as a bedtime lullaby



Tenganan Village is Pre-Hindu

One of several ancient villages on the island of Bali, Tenganan Pegringsingan is located in the east part of Bali Island, at Manggis District, Karangasem Regency approximately 56 Km from the capital city, Denpasar (approx 1.5 hours driving time).

Tenganan Pegringsingan is a very remote village with hills all around, the western hill (Bukit Kauh), and the eastern hill (Bukit Kangin), making the pollution-free air fresh and cool. It is quite different because it is a Bali Aga Village (pre-Hindu), and reflects the unique rites, rituals, and culture of its people, which separates the village from other small villages and towns.

Tenganan Village is laid out as a Bali Aga style, symmetrically, with walled homes. A Bali Aga village is an ancient village in Bali, where each villager’s lifestyle is based on rules and customs from the days before the Majapahit kingdom. Buildings are made o red stone, river rock, of relatively similar shape and size.

Houses, meeting halls, and temples are built to defend the rules of a tradition. Three Banjars (groups) make up the Tenganan Banjar Kauh, Banjar Tengah, and Banjar Pande. Regional configuration is also composed of three complexes that make up the village;

  • the residential complex;
  • the plantation; and
  • the rice field complex.

Visitors enter the village through the South gate, where there are two small temples on either side of the gate. Entering this traditional village, you are immediately overcome with an unmistakable atmosphere of peace and tranquillity, coupled with the fresh clean air. It feels like you have stepped back in time.

The council building is located across from the temples and is called the “Long Balé Agung”, where a drum tower (kul-kul) is conveniently located. Beaten 21 times, the kul-kul signals the start of each day.

Next, you will walk between a series of communal pavilions, called “balé”, used for ceremonial gatherings. The village’s main town hall is well kept and in the same proud from for generations.

Traditional row houses are linear, and consist of six rays, on built either side of the road, which is North to South, each home with doors opening onto the concourse. Their Bali Aga architectural style homes are entered through narrow single-person entries, not unlike many modern homes.



Steeped in Tradition

The Tenganan people continue to live in the ancient ideology of the Bali Aga culture. These are people drenched in a unique Balinese society through traditions.

They remain today, mostly untouched by outside influences, they work to keep their own culture and traditions sacred and pure. All traditions stem from a human harmonious one with God, and the environment according to the Tri Hita Karana concept.

Tenganan Pegringsingan is recognized as one of the three original villages of Bali, known as Bali Aga. Add Trunyan Village (Kintamani, Bangli Regency), and Sembiran Village (Tejakula, Buleleng Regency).

Basically, the Tenganan culture is different from the majority of Hindus in Bali. They are unique in part because of their Gamelan Selunding music and Geringsing their double ikat cloth among other things.

The Tenganan origin story is shared in one of three primary versions;

  1. Tenganan’s come from Paneges Village, near Bedahulu;
  2. An expression of the word of Tenganan, written by the word of Tenganan
  3. Tenganan Village Residents pray to the Bukit Lempuyang Temple.

Traditional ceremonies include; the Mekaré-kare, or “Pandan War.” The first procession of a ceremony lasting 30 days, held each June at Ngusaba Sambah. Over the month-long event, the Mekaré-kare ceremony procession is done 2-4 times, with gifts given to the ancestors, each time. From young boys through until old age, men are involved with Mekaré-kare.

The Mekaré-kare ceremony procession has a similar meaning to the Hindu abuh Rah ceremony in Bali when holding religious ceremonies. The gamelan Selonding always accompanies the Mekaré-kare ceremony.


Marriage and Caste

As armies of the God Indra, they believe all must be on the same level, so they do not have any caste of their own.

To live in Tenganan Village, you must be born in the village, at last count, only about 400 people still live in the village. Generally, Tenganan’s may not marry from outside the village.

Yet, they are loving people and they recognize that the heart is not influenced by physic, beliefs, or even cultures. That said, if a member wishes to marry outside of the village, they must not be lower than a middle caste. For example, this means that Brahmana and Ksatria caste are preferred, Waisya caste is, arguable, and Sudra caste is strictly prohibited.

If a Tenganan man chooses to marry outside the village, he is deregistered, and prohibited from village traditions. But he and his family may choose to live in a special area of the village. However, a female is likewise deregistered, however, she may no longer live in the village, and is relieved of all duties. In all cases, after the marriage, the father’s lineage prevails.




Why We Do This for Villages…

Simply put, this is our business, this is what we do, we bring shoppers to merchants. Like all indigenous first nations, the people of Tenganan Village produce some amazing, unique, high-quality products. These are items so very rare, you want them, but you would have to go to Bali and visit the village.

Tenganan Village just needs to get on the game board.

Tenganan Village needs to be online, soon they will be. They can support themselves this way. Like all indigenous peoples, they prefer to support themselves, they just need a little help connecting with the modern world.

We can create online stores (money machines) that can payout to the village, rather than just filling our own pockets with massive markups.

“We are determined to move away from greed and separation, to a united world, driven by people, their talents, and a passion for life.“

Because one of the biggest problems on this planet is the poorly distributed wealth of the world.

With so much wealth in the hands of so very few, too many work whole lifetimes, never given a chance to live, create, build a better world, or perhaps enlighten or save us all.

It’s time for things to change… as a company, we choose to Be the Change We Want to See.

“Each of us is a unique strand in the fabric of this reality. The small efforts we make each day, helping each other, is the foundation for our mutual success, thereby completing the Circle of Life.” ~Ambassador Rodgers, A.G. Ret.





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