Bebandem, Karangasem

Bebandem, Karangasem

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Nine km west of Amlapura. Every three days there’s a big cattle market (pasar hewan) here where you can mingle with the ‘petani’ amidst the market smells of dirt, dung, coffee, cloves, and cattle. Arrive by 0800 to see the auction, shop, and enjoy Balinese drinks. The market reaches its peak of activity at 0800 or 0900, depending on the season.

Unless it’s a long distance, farmers walk their cattle to the Bebandem market; you’ll see them strung out all along the Subaga-Rendang road before the dawn. With their long necks, soulful eyes, and fine rusty brown coats, Balinese cattle resemble overgrown deer. Bali’s special breed (bos banteng) is found only on this island and no crossbreeding is allowed.

Cattle are raised for many purposes: as beasts of burden, for export, for ceremonial purposes, and for meat. The Balinese farmer will only reluctantly sell his cow if he needs money for a ceremony.

This is no public auction. Deals are struck between owners. Cattle are sold according to weight. Only after per kilo price is agreed upon is the beast weighed and the price adjusted accordingly. One section of the market is devoted to pigs. There are baskets of bobbing chickens, pigeons, and ducks.

See ironsmiths forging inexpensive ‘padi’ sickles using hand-pumped billows in the open workshops opposite the ‘pasar hewan’.

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Suckling Pig

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