Secrets of Bali


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Secrets of Bali, Fresh Light on the Morning of the World
by Jonathan Copeland
Ni Wayan Murni
Published by Orchid Books

The magical isle of Bali has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions, ever since visitors from the West began to arrive in the early 20th century.

Incredibly, ancient Balinese cultural traditions remain richly intact today, in the face of, and alongside, 21st century modernity and a highly developed tourist industry. Yet few visitors ever really begin to understand the colourful pageantry that surrounds them virtually everywhere they travel on the island.

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Unpretentious and easily readable in its approach and encyclopaedic in its coverage, Secrets of Baliis the key to this understanding. From Balinese life, religion, festivals and offerings, architecture, music, dance, textiles, dress, carvings and paintings, masks, manuscripts, meals and much, much more, this is the book to which the visitor can turn for the answers.

Each chapter is written both as a part of the overall narrative, and as a ‘stand alone’ reference on the topic addressed.

If you buy only one book in addition to a standard travel guide, this is the volume for you. Simply a ‘must read’ for foreign visitors, residents, and those everywhere who have fallen under the spell of ‘The Morning of the World’.

Jonathan CopelandJonathan Copeland

Ni Wayan MurniNi Wayan Murni

  • 424 pages
  • 110 line drawings
  • 1 map
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
What they said about Secrets of Bali

“In Secrets of Bali Jonathan Copeland and Ibu Murni present a wonderfully fast moving account of Bali – from the outside in and from the inside out. Secrets of Bali places Bali into the warp and weft of the rich tapestry of historical context and ever changing contemporary life. It generously offers us a feast of rare and passionate insights from a man who has so obviously fallen in love with Bali and from a woman who, in so many ways, is Bali.”

Dr Rob Goodfellow
Author, journalist and academic, Australia

“From Balinese Gods to Balinese gamelan, difficult subjects are simply explained in this beautifully written and illustrated work.”

Bill Dalton
Author of Bali Handbook, USA

“Eloquent, enthusiastic, and jargon-free.”

Dr Angela Hobart
Visiting Reader at Goldsmiths College, University of London and Honorary Research Fellow at University College London

“Fortunately for the reader, the author of Secrets of Bali is not in the slightest bit secretive. The outcome is an accessible and wide ranging guide to the island’s culture and history. The casual reader can dip into it to answer specific questions, whereas the enthusiast can read with equal pleasure from cover to cover.”

Professor Michael Hitchcock
Deputy Dean (Research and External Relations)
Faculty of Business, Arts and Humanities,
University of Chichester, England

“In Bali they say…when the durians come down, the sarongs go up.”

Julia Suryakusuma
Author of Sex, Power and Nation

Secrets of Bali is the best book about the island written and published since 1990 …”

Roy Thompson
The Bali Times, 18-24 June 2010

“This book will definitely go with me on my next trip to Bali.”

Michael Clugston
South China Morning Post, 22 August 2010

“This 412-page book tries to summarize every aspect of Bali. Starting from the creation of the universe from a Hindu approach (the major religion in Bali), Balinese architecture, rituals, and the arts and up to the paradigm shift among the modern Balinese. All are explained in the 60 chapters.”

Ni Luh Dian Purniawati
Bali & Beyond, January 2011

“I feel that Secrets of Bali will join the ranks of the definitive and authoritative volumes of reference books for lovers of Bali everywhere.”

Andrew Charles
Tropical Life, September – December 2011

“One of the most readable books about Bali, its people and its traditions.”

Lonely Planet Guide to Bali & Lombok, 2015





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Secrets of Bali, Fresh Light on the Morning of the World