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Balinese Palanquins

This video depicts two members of the Ubud royal family being carried on palanquins in a cremation procession. Being transported aloft like this proclaims the status of a ruler and reflects the tradition of transporting god images on smaller palanquins, like one located in the last gallery of this exhibition. The palanquin on view in the Bali exhibition at the Asian Art Museum features three elaborately painted panels depicting Arjuna, one of the heroes of the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata. In the story, a demon threatens heaven and the Hindu god Indra seeks Arjuna's help. The back panel shows Arjuna, seated in the center, proving his worthiness by resisting the celestial maidens sent by Indra to distract him from his meditation. The Bali: Art, Ritual Performance exhibition is on view at the Asian Art Museum from February 25--September 11, 2011. For more information:
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