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Pejeng

There are no great ruins here or ancient palaces. The remains of the old kingdom are mostly statues kept in many temples. One of the most impressive antiquities in Indonesia, however, is the monumental bronze drum called the "Moon of Pejeng", loftily enshrined upon a high pavilion in the Pura Penataran Sasih. It is a thousand years older than the Pejeng kingdom, for it survives from the Bronze Age in Indonesia which began about 300 B.C.

First made known to the West in a book published as long ago as 1705, it is the largest drum in the world to be cast as a single piece. Shaped like an hour glass and over 3 meters long, the drum is of a rare type, decorated with eight stylized heads. A stone mold for a similar found in Bali proves that a highly sophisticated technique of bronze casting was used in ancient Indonesia.

The old Balinese, however, tell a different each year instead of twelve. One night, one of the moons fell to the earth and was caught in a tree. It shone so brilliantly that it prevented the local thieves from their nocturnal depredations. The boldest among them determined to extinguish the light.

He climbed up the tree and urinated on it. The "moon" burst, killing the thief, and fell to the ground in the form of a drum, explaining why it is now broken at the base. The large stones lined in back of the pavilion are said to be fallen black stars. Besides in the Pura Penataran Sasih, which was the state temple of Pejeng, important antiquities are found in three other temples. Pura Kebo Edan (Crazy Buffalo) houses a giant statue 3.6 meters tall. In Pura Puser ing Jagat (Navel of the World) a remarkable stone vessel tells in carving the story of the Churning of the Ocean by the gods and demons to obtain the elixir of life.

 

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