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UNKNOWN ARTIST, NORTH BALI, THE SERVANTS ORDAH AND TWALĖN IN DANCING ATTITUDES

LOr. 3390-161

Drawing on Dutch paper, watermark Concordia, countermark VdL., 34.5 x 42.2 cm

Two servants are dancing. They both have a opium pipe in their girdles. A text in Balinese script bottom left says: “hordah”, Ordah, this is a variant of Wredah or Mredah, the second servant of the right party. In North Bali he has green skin. A text bottom right says: “sangut”, He has light violet-grey skin, which is also typical of North Balinese wayang figures. He is the second servant of the “left” party.

Two types of opium pipes are shown in the drawing. The (bamboo) pipe belonging to Ordah has a a round (metal) bowl on top of it, which is meant for smoking little balls of pure opium. The (bamboo) pipe of Sangut on the right meant for smoking a mixture of opium, tobacco and sadang, the leaf of a kind of low growing palm-tree. The mixture is put in the narrow (bamboo) pipe mounted perpendicularly on the stem. Reserve leaves and tobacco can be put in the pipe itself, which can be closed by small lid at the outer end, called “tabeng”.

Jacobs (1883: 114) tells us that there were many opium addicts at the end of the 19th century in Bali, in particular men from the higher classes. Opium was imported without restraint until the Opium Restriction Act was introduced on Bali by the Dutch in 1908.

Literature:
Jacobs, J, Eenige tijd onder de Baliërs, Kolff, Batavia, 1883.

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