Home Journey Writings Photos Talkback Wedding
About Us About the Site Credits

A Perfect Balinese Wedding   1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 

Woman of the Day

It was 12:30 by this time, and I was starting to get a little anxious. The dressing women were supposed to arrive at 1pm, and we still needed to eat lunch. Plus, I had nothing else to occupy my mind (like how ridiculous our wedding pictures would look with flowers painted on my nails), so I started to get a little nervous. Thank God Alison recognized the signs, and began to do some of the little things, like order lunch. Just about this time, the dressing women showed up, so I was spared further nervousness and was plunked down on the stool, as they began hovering around.

Click to enlarge
Start at the Top

First came the hair — a big ponytail was placed on top with an abundance of bobby pins to hold my not-quite-long-enough-to-stay-in-the-ponytail hair. Then they wrapped this really vile fake hair around the ponytail, more bobby pins, and then a bigger fake hair and real flower wreath. Then the fun really started — the makeup. I looked a little jaundiced at first with the foundation, but the overall effect was nice: tons of makeup, heavy eyebrows, lots of mascara! Then, of course, they gave me a bright pink lipsticked "third eye", coinciding with the other 95% of Bali that is Hindu. They even used eyebrow pencil to color in a lower hairline that shows on my forehead after the big crown (the gelungan) is in place.

Speaking of crowns, after they finished with the makeup it took both women to place the individual gold leaves into my faux-hair. The leaves are wired onto a metal spike that they insert into the fake-hair wreath. There is also a leather and metal crown piece they tied around my head. In all, I think there were something like 30 gold leaves in my head, topped with a very leafy piece on top. To "top" it off, they put these huge gold earrings in my ears — they had giant cone shaped backs that looked slightly scary! I was totally transformed into a Balinese princess. I loved it!

Click to enlarge
My Wife the Burrito

Next, we kicked the men out of the room (thankfully only out to the balcony, so Keith didn't have a chance to run for it!) so we could be dressed, or rather, wrapped. My outfit started with a sheer slip with a purple and gold border at the hem. Next came the sarung, made of bright pink fabric, and painted with gold. They pinned and tucked and pinned and tucked.... Next, they began wrapping the top of me in a bulang. They used a narrow strip of fabric about 25 feet long with all the colors of the Balinese rainbow: pink, purple, gold, green, etc. They started at the top and wrapped me very tightly down to the waist, folding and pinning as they went. Then came a wider sash in gold — the bulang parada — that was wrapped around my chest, then up and over my left shoulder. The tail hung off my back like a miniature train. About this time, I was feeling a little like the Thanksgiving turkey, but the jewelry at least made me feel like an expensive turkey. Arm bands and bracelets (gelang kana), a large gold necklace, and a plate of flowers (the canagsari) finished everything off. Voilà! Now if I could just bend over to put on my shoes....

Next page...  

Copyright © 2002
Last updated: 31 May 2002 23:22:33