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Baliaga, Highland Bali in Indonesia

Baliaga, Highland Bali

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Baliaga, Highland Bali in Indonesia map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
62,000 Bali Hinduism 0.15 % 0.15 %   

Baliaga, Highland Bali in Indonesia

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Introduction / History
The Baliaga are a small people group residing in several remote villages on the island of Bali. They are considered to be the original inhabitants of the island and were there long before the 16th century arrival of the people group we now know as Balinese (who were actually Javanese Hindus from the Majapahit Kingdom in East Java). The culture, language and religion of the Baliaga differ significantly from that of their Balinese neighbors. Historical evidence shows that there used to be Baliaga villages scattered throughout the island. However, many Baliaga villages have since assimilated into the more dominant Balinese culture, especially those located in less remote parts of the island. There is now a movement among the Baliaga to try to preserve their unique culture and maintain their distinctive identity. Baliaga people are found primarily in the mountain villages of Pedawa, Tigawasa, Sidatapa and Sembiran in Buleleng District area of north-central Bali. They are also found in Trunyan village in Bangli District area. In addition they are also found in east Bali in the villages of Bugbug and Tenganan in Karang Asem District area.

What are their lives like?
Although they are small in population, the Baliaga maintain a strong sense of cultural identity and still practice unique rituals found nowhere else. For example there are many burial rituals among the Baliaga. In the village of Trunyan, the inhabitants do not bury their dead underground, but instead put the bodies in bamboo cages and place them under a massive sacred banyan tree located within the village. The fact that there is no stench from the decaying bodies is attributed to the power of ancestral spirits. In another Baliaga village, the bodies of the dead are cremated in mass cremations of 100 or more corpses. These cremations will often take place long after the person has died. Because of the large number of people being cremated at once, it is not unusual to have thousands of friends and family members attend these events. Another unique aspect of the Baliaga culture is the Banua and Ulu Apad social religious network. Banua are historical geographical areas whose borders usually encompass several Baliaga villages which are clustered around regionally important temples. Traditionally, each Banua is overseen by a council of elders (the Ulu Apad), especially in regards to communal decisions and religious ceremonies.

What are their beliefs?
It is difficult to distinguish between the culture and religion of the Baliaga people because these two aspects are so intertwined. Everything about their culture has religious overtones and meaning; from their dances, to their music, even to the way they farm. Although they practice the Balinese form of Hinduism, they are also animistic in their belief system. They are similar to the Balinese in that they worship at family temples, clan temples and at the Balinese sacred temples such as Besakih and Ulu Danu. However, unlike the Balinese, the Baliaga practice a form of ancestor worship and also incorporate many animistic beliefs into their religion.

What are their needs?
Because of the relative remoteness of the Baliaga villages, they have not profited as much economically from Bali's famed tourism. Also, since most of their villages are located high in the mountains instead of near the fertile rice fields, they are limited in the kinds of crops they can grow. Their mountain remoteness and lower economic status causes them to be looked down upon by most Balinese.

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Country: Indonesia
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:49 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Bali Province, widespread throughout entire island, including Penida; to east, Nusa Tenggara Barat Province, Kota Mataram and Lombok Barat regency, west central Lombok island.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Baliaga, Highland Bali
People Name General: Baliaga, Highland Bali
ROP3 Code: 116015
Joshua Project People ID: 20285
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 62,000
Population all Countries: 62,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
People Cluster: Bali-Sasak
People Name General: Baliaga, Highland Bali
Ethnic Code: MSY44a
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Bali (62,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ban    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Highland Bali
Dialect Code:7606
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.15 %(Evangelical: 0.15 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism99.85 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1910-1988
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1990
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoHelp From Heaven
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Bali
Text / Printed MatterBible: Today's Bali Bible
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Baliaga, Highland Bali in Indonesia

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Bali-Sasak     Asia, Southeast    
      Baliaga, Highland Bali Indonesia    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Baliaga, Highland Bali in Indonesia          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Bali  
    All Religions                              

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