The House of Evil Spirits

If you had experienced the Balinese’s Day of Silence (Nyepi), then you must be already familiar with the menacing figure of the ogoh-ogoh, an effigy that is supposed to represent evil spirits.

It takes many hours and a lot of effort to create the giant figures, which could reach up to a towering 5 meters. And, yet, in order to up- hold age-old tradition, at the end of the pro- cession, the effigies will be burned to signify the exorcism of the evil spirits and the cleansing of sins. Well, for an up-close-and-personal look of the ogoh-ogoh, two museums in Bali allows you to gawk at the intricate craftmanship that goes behind in the designing of the figures. Situated inside the complex of the Manusa Yadhya Museum in Mengwi, the ogoh-ogoh display is the collection owned by I Ketut Nuada, a resident painter, who opened the place in April 2012 and he has so far amassed around 20 ogoh-ogoh, ranging from 3 to 5 meters in height.

The other museum is located at Soka Indah Rest Area, near the Soka Beach at Tabanan, meant to serve as arts and cultural preservation as well as sightseeing alternatives for tourists who are visiting the nearby beach.

The founder is businessman Kooeswintoro, Director of Grafika Group, who has said that the catalyst for opening the museum back in 2013—housing 16 ogoh-ogoh in total—at first was simply because he hates seeing the effigies being burned. So, ready to be spooked?

Bali Pocket Magazine