Penjor of Bali
(Kabar Media 2023)
In Penjor of Bali, Susan Ruddy invites us on a vivid exploration of Bali’s rich cultural tapestry, through the island’s evocative ritual decoration: the penjor. These intricately ornate bamboo poles are emblematic of the island’s spiritual life — but what exactly do they symbolize, and what hidden meanings can be found in their various styles?
Brimming with evocative photography and illustrations, Penjor of Bali offers us a unique encounter with the traditions and beliefs of an island deeply connected with nature and the divine. Ruddy’s very personal narrative demonstrates that the penjor, more than just an object, is a living testament to Bali’s unique culture and unwavering reverence for the beauty of life’s grand symphony. A must-read for cultural enthusiasts and travel lovers alike.
On her first visit to Bali, Susan was captivated by the breathtaking sight of penjor arching over village roads. Over the next decade, she went on to explore the hidden corners and bustling centres of Bali, seeking out these delicate works of art, and delving into the stories and traditions behind them.
Previously in Alaska, Susan founded the Alaska Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, directed the Providence Alaska Foundation, and served as vice chancellor for University Advancement at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Susan possesses an eye that never fails to capture beauty, wherever it may be found.
But she desires more. She wishes to uncover the meaning within beauty.
– jean couteau, cultural historian & Writer
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