Trance and Dance in Bali

A performance of the kris dance, a Balinese ceremonial dance drama in which the never-ending struggle between the witch and the dragon – the death-dealing and the life-protecting – as it is given in the village of Pagoetan from 1937-39. The dancers go into violent trance seizures and turn their kris (dagger) against their breats without injury. Consciousness is restored with incense and holy water. Balinese music forms a background for Dr. Margaret Mead’s narration.

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20 minutes


16mm, B/W


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Margaret Mead

Margaret Mead, one of the most well known anthropologists worldwide, and celebrated student of Franz Boas, pioneered motion-picture film making in Samoa, New Guinea, and Bali, where she documented the lives of the indigenous people with an anthropological perspective. Her husband, Gregory Bateson, was also a field collaborator. Together they completed seven ethnographic films. She was much honored in her lifetime, serving as president of major scientific associations. She authored more than twenty important books and coauthored at least an equal number touching on a broad range of anthropological issues. The Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival honors her contribution to ethnographic film.
Learning to Dance in Bali (1978)、Bathing Babies in Three Cultures (1954)、Childhood Rivalry in Bali and New Guinea (1954)、First Days in the Life of a New Guinea Baby (1952)、Karba's First Years (1952)、Trance and Dance in Bali (1952)、A Balinese Family (1951)