Balinese - Settlements

The Balinese define a village as the people who worship at a common village temple, not as a territorial unit. In fact, inhabitants almost always live in a contiguous area and both colonial and national governments have sought to redefine the village as a territorially based administrative unit. Settlements are centered on the village temple and public buildings, which are usually situated at the intersection of a major and minor road. Both the village and the house yards within it are ideally laid out, with the most sacred buildings in the area nearest Mount Agung, the abode of the gods, and the profane structures nearest the sea, the region of more ambivalent spiritual beings. Families live in house yards that are open, walled areas containing buildings, including a family temple facing the direction of Mount Agung, one or more pavilions for sleeping and sitting, a kitchen, and a refuse area where pigs are kept. Wealthy families have large yards with brick, tile-roofed buildings decorated with fine carvings in stone and wood. Poor families have smaller yards with buildings and walls being made of mud and wattle.

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