UBUD IS A MOOD
A Bali Purnati Book directed and designed by Leonard Lueras
The South-Central Bali Town of Ubud has always been a pleasant place that was good for what ails you. Originally, this rice-rich village was more well-known to Balinese people as a cool and inland retreat where they went to consult local medicine men (balian-balian) and to purchase herbs and other types of medicinal plants. Hence the place name, Ubud, which is a derivation of the Balinese word ubad, (or obat in Indonesian), which means medicine. Ubud was indeed an early Balinese-style health spa where you went to be diagnosed and treated, and where you comfortably rested and recuperated until you felt well again. Beginning in the late 1920s and early 1930s this herb-rich village also began attracting visiting artists, writers and other creative types who enjoyed spending time in Ubud because it tended to be cooler and healthier than the more malarial lowlands or coastal plains of South Bali. It was also a much more socially amenable place than more urban parts of the island because it was quietly and tastefully governed by tolerant, sophisticated, amiable and fun-loving Tjokordes (or princes), the renowned Tjokorde Agungs of Ubud , who were always fun, amiable and who also enthusiastically welcomed and patronized artistes who wandered into their highland milieu. They were in marked contrast to the stuffy and sometimes harsh Dutch colonial bureaucrats who sternly ruled from the helter-skelter City of Denpasar and its flatland suburbs. Because of its natural beauty and stimulating ambience, Ubud soon began developing into an Eden-like colony of colorful artists, authors, filmmakers and world travelers. Life here was easy (both economically and physically) — and Ubud’s administrators were arts patrons who reveled in your eccentricities. What could be better, so this paradisiacal scene, and its hedonistic denizens, soon began attracting international attention and the world’s beautiful people? Other Bali towns that were politically more important were overlooked and within a few short decades the town of Ubud blossomed, boomed and was always mentioned when one spoke of Bali, art, artists and a fine place to be. There is, however, much more to Ubud than meets the eye, so with that in mind please enjoy Ubud, the book, in which you will join a number of local and insightful folks who will relate — in telling words and arresting photographs — what the special “mood” of Ubud is really all about.
Rio Helmi, Djuna Ivereigh, Leonard Lueras, Gil Marais, Jason Childs, Rama Surya
Tara and Odek Ariawan, Rucina Ballinger, Jamie James, Goenawan Mohamad,
James Murdoch, Stefan Reisner, Andy Toth, Cindy and Lynn Shwaiko
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