Friday, May 7, 2010


The famous story centers on the life of the middle-aged Pan Balang Tamak and his wife Men Balang Tamak. The couple was very rich but people in the village excluded them from all social activities.
Despite his wealth, Pan Balang Tamak never did anything good for his fellow villagers. He was very clever at cheating people.
One day, Kelian Banjar, the village chief, ordered the villagers, including Pan Balang Tamak, to begin renovating the Bale Kulkul, a building that acted as the centerpiece of the village.
The people were told to go to the nearby forest to collect wood and other building materials. The chief ordered all members of the village to begin work before sunrise, right after their chickens had left their roosts. Any latecomers would be fined.

The next morning, all the male villagers except Pan Balang Tamak went to the forest at dawn and began collecting wood.

Returning from the forest at noon, the villagers met Pan Balang Tamak, who looked at them innocently. The village chief was furious and planned to make him pay a large fine.

But Pan Balang Tamak was ready with an answer. ""You told me that we had to go to the forest after our chickens came down from their roosts,"" he said confidently.

"My chickens left their roosts just a few minutes ago and that's why I'm heading for the forest now," he said. The chief could do nothing but rub his face in despair when he heard Pan Balang Tamak's argument, which was logically correct.

A week later, the villagers were instructed to go hunting in the forest. Each man was ordered to bring along a strong and fierce dog that could bark and climb trees. Anyone who brought a small, weak dog would once again face a fine. Ignoring this instruction, Pan Balang Tamak appeared with a small, skinny dog. The villagers assumed that he would surely have to pay a fine this time.

Never short of ideas and tricks, Pan Balang Tamak went hunting with his old dog. Arriving in the forest, he threw his dog up into a tall tree. The dog was in pain and barked loudly.

Pan Balang Tamak was happy and called out to his friends, shouting, "Look at my dog. It is very brave and is able to catch a deer, even though the animal finally managed to escape."

The villagers became very angry and went home straight away with sour expressions on their faces.

Unable to trap Pan Balang Tamak, the villagers reported the case to Dewa Agung Klungkung, the king of Klungkung kingdom. Hearing the report, the king was furious and immediately ordered his servant to poison Pan Balang Tamak.

Pan Balang Tamak knew he would be finished soon. He knew that he had been poisoned. He asked his wife to follow his instructions while he awaited death. Pan Balang Tamak died while eating his final meal. His wife dressed his body in a white robe and placed it against a pillar of their bale (open building). She also untied her husband's hair and spread it over his shoulders, like a holy man did when praying. Above his head, she hung a cage filled with bees.

The villagers were very curious and went to Pan Balang Tamak's house to make sure that he had in fact died. But they were startled to find that the man sitting up and chanting a mantra (which was actually the sound of the bees) was Pan Balang Tamak. They ran to the palace and reported it to the king. Curious, the king wondered whether the poison had been strong enough to kill Pan Balang Tamak. He then swallowed the poison himself and died.

The relationship between the folk tale and the establishment of Pan Balang Tamak shrines remains unclear. Many people differentiate between Pan Balang Tamak as he is presented in the folk tale and his depiction on the shrines. They were not the same person.

Low Hindu priest Mangku Pande Made Tastra, a spiritual leader from Nongan village, explained that the establishment of shrines dedicated to Pan Balang Tamak would suggest that he had in fact existed.

"We can trace some of his roots in Nongan village," the Mangku (low priest) said. People in the village are still arguing whether a spacious house done in a rich Balinese architectural style actually belonged to the famous folk hero.

Pan Balang Tamak is also thought to have left behind numerous gold bars and coins. Believe it or not, he is now regarded as half deity and half holy man.


Ida Bagus said...

Nice Story...

Gus Man said...

It's look very interesting, it can be the way to introduce our traditional story to the foreign people...

Nin_kinja said...

that a nice history ^^

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