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Domestic Animals of Bali  

by on Sunday, 7 June 2009No Comment | 12,296 views

The enormous water-buffaloes, which in Bali appear in two colors, a dark muddy gray, and a pale, almost transparent pink, an albino variety are usually found in the river with their masters, small boys wearing only oversize sun-hats. A water-buffalo will not hesitate to attack a tiger; their ponderous calm and their gigantic horns are awe-inspiring to Europeans, who have been told that their odor infuriates the buffaloes. They have often charged white people for no apparent reason, although the smallest Balinese boy can manhandle the great beasts. They love to lie in the water and be scrubbed by their little guardians, who climb all over them and hang from their horns when they take them for their evening bath. The buffalo tolerates the children perhaps as a rhinoceros tolerates the birds that eat the ticks on its back.


The Balinese raise a fine breed of cattle, a beautiful variety of cow, with a delicate legs and long neck, which resembles overgrown deer more than ordinary cows. Cows are sacred for Balinese, and has special place in Balinese-Hinduism. Ducks are driven in flocks to the rice fields, where they feed on all sorts of small water animals. Their guardian is a boy or an old man who leads them with a little banner of white cloth on the end of bamboo pole topped by a bunch of white feathers. This he plants on the ground and he can then go away for the rest of the day, sure that his ducks will not wander away. At sundown the trained ducks gather around the flag waiting to be taken home. When the duck-guardian arrives, the flock is all together, and at a signal from the flag, they march home, straight as penguins and in perfect military formation.


All Balinese domestic animal are rather extraordinary; chicken are wander freely and killed constantly by rushing automobiles, but their owner make no provision to keep them from the road. Pig which in Bali belong to monstrous variety that surely exist nowhere else was also used to wander freely in Balinese house compound but the ferocious health campaign in 1980s, put the Balinese pig in the pen. The Balinese pig, an untamed descendant of the wild hog, has an absurd sagging back and fat stomach that drags on the ground like a heavy bag suspended loosely from its bony hips and shoulders is now a rare species, can only be found in the the mountainous region of Karangasem.


The roads are particularly filled with wandering dogs, the night-watcher of the island. Most dogs are attached to the house they protect and keep clean of garbage, but sometimes they reproduce unchecked and there are hundred of wandering dogs on the street of Bali especially in rural areas, they bark and wail all night in great choruses. The Balinese are not disturbed by them and sleep peacefully through the hideous noise. The curs are supposed to frighten away witches and evil spirits.


Most of the materials for this writing are taken from Covarrubias’ The Island of Bali

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