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Literacy in Bali

A short presentation to a group of Rollins' faculty on when and how literacy arrived on the island of Bali, Indonesia, the history of written languages and writing systems on Bali, and contemporary literacy on the Island.

Jonathan Miller

on 9 April 2010

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Transcript of Literacy in Bali

Early Literacy in Bali India Hinduism Trade Balinese Language Balinese Script Sources
Jean Gelman Taylor. Indonesia: Peoples and Histories. Yale. (2003)
Raechelle Raminstein. "Leaves of Palm: Balinese Lontar." In Illuminations: the writing traditions of Indonesia(1996)
F. D. K. Bosch. "The problem of the Hindu Colonisation of Indonesia." In Selected Studies in Indonesian Archaeology (1938)
http://www.omniglot.com/soundfiles/udhr/udhr_balinese.mp3 Writing Materials Indonesian Language Austronesian Languages Old Kawi (from Java) Arrived in the archipelego between the 1st and 5th centuries CE. Brought by a small group of priests, enticed by pilgrims from a ruling elite. Conquest India- China trade routes passed through the archipelego. There is no written evidence in India or Indonesia of conquering heroes Original inhabitants from Taiwan http://www.ringingrocks.org/projects/lontar_vol3/usada%20rare/pages/page01.htm
After a ritual cleansing at a temple, a Lontar is sung to evoke its ancient wisdom. Each Lontar has a specific keeper responsible for singing it on appropriate holidays or when someone has need of its knowledge. In addition, this individual is responsible for copying the Lontar when it begins to deteriorate and for passing the responsibility on to a successor, usually within the family. Since not all of the information related to a Lontar is written down on the palm leaf, without the assistance of the keeper, nuances and secret information are lost.

During the Dutch occupation of Bali, many Lontar were removed to Dutch museums. Some were returned in a repatriation effort several years ago. Other Lontar have been lost due to a lack of interest by keepers' descendants.

Borassus Flabillifer Latin script Contemporary Literacy in Indonesia Youth (15–24 years) literacy rate, 2003–2007*, male and female = 99% (http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/indonesia_statistics.html) Buddhism Powerful pull towards India and also missionary zeal in 1st centuries CE Based on an Indian Tradition of palm leaf writing. Perhaps introduced as early as the 1st century CE by Indian traders. Bronze
"copperplate" (oldest extant 882 CE) Stone Lontar (palm leaves) Paper (20th century) Scripts Nagari (north India) Sanskrit But not Chinese Lontar
Reading Practices Not silent or private Access (used to be) restricted:
mediation Collective/Communal:
reader/translator Clip on lontar reading practices from "The Three Wolrds of Bali" (1979.)"
Full transcript