Aesthetics in Balinese

Want to rid yourself of evil and structure your present life? There is a natural way to accomplish this. Consider following the religious beliefs of the Balinese of Indonesia. The Balinese look with disgust upon coarse behavior, appearance, and feelings. This is the reason Matatah is so important. The Balinese follow this Matatah to gain entrance to the afterlife. It’s a quick procedure of 5-10 minutes and is done according to your liking of appearance. It’s a beautification rite.

9 responses to “Aesthetics in Balinese

  1. Great Abstract and straight to the point. Makes me want to read more about it. What’s a “Matatah” I may ask? What kind of procedure do they do within those 5-10 minute intervals? Sorry for so may questions. I’m just curious. I want to read your paper if you don’t mind uploading it to the open lab site. Thank you. =)

    Lawrence Lee

    • I will upload my paper within the next two days . A Matatah is a ceremony of tooth filing. It’s dulling the maxillary anterior teeth, the mandibular teeth are left untouched. The actual filing is performed by a priest known as a “sangging”.The sangging proceeds by “tapping with a small hammer, a little metal rod, a peet (carver’s chisel), that he places upon one of the upper teeth” (Eisemen Jr., 2009). The amount of filing done depends upon the wishes of the individual.

  2. Ouch… Chiseling with a hammer. I feel the pain now…. O_O

  3. do they balinese perform this mattah only on the maxillary anterior teeth? what about the mandibuar? what is the connection between the after life, evil and filing the teeth?

  4. I find your abstract to be very interesting. I would like to read your paper to learn more about this. What I would like to know is how does the “Matatah” connect to dental aesthetics in America today.

  5. Very good and well written abstract. Seems like we have done the same culture. I have noticed during my research that the Balinese culture really didn’t consider the tooth functioning after filing their teeth. I wonder how they expected to eat chicken after that lolzz.

  6. @ Shantel: The Matatah is performed only on the maxillary anterior teeth because they symbolize “six enemies”. The mandibular anterior teeth are left untouched because they belong to the lower world, and it’s not good to extinguish the passions altogether. Filing the teeth insures an orderly transition of his or her spirit from birth to death and later reincarnation. The filing is also done so that they wouldn’t be mistaken for wild animals in the afterlife.
    @ LRicknauth: With regards to dental aesthetics, Americans want perfect teeth; straight, leveled and white. By having the Matatah performed it would be seen as an imperfection and not appeasing. Although Ameruca is slowly beginning to see imperfections of anterior teeth as beauty, the Matatah may be too drastic for Americans to consider that beautiful. Hope I answered your question. If not please let me know.

    @ James: Thank you. And lol to your comment about eating chicken. Guess they must have had to peel off the meat from the bone. Boring lol.

  7. thank you, thats very unique and interesting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *