Tihingan Village is a Balinese craftsmen’s village in Klungkung, East Bali, which is renowned for producing most of the island’s full range of original gamelan instruments. These range from gongs, the different metallophones that make up most of the gamelan ensemble, as well as two-sided drums. They even produce the ritual objects and brass and copper items used by Balinese priests in general prayers and holy blessings. Throughout the village are different gamelan smith households with workshops and galleries. Items crafted here carry the distinctive heritage mark that identifies the family that produced it.
Witness Gamelan Production at Tihingan Village
You can reach Tihingan Village in around a 15 minute drive west of Semarapura, the capital of the Klungkung regency. Some of the notable studios that are just off the main road of Jalan Raya Tihingan include, Gong Windu, Gong Kembar, Sutama Gamelan and Asta Guna. Behind the lavish galleries of each, they usually allow visitors to witness the creation of the gamelan pieces in their backyard workshops. Here you can witness the usual blacksmith’s techniques of forging, bending and welding metal pieces, as well as how each metallophone is fine tuned to the perfect pitch.
However, gamelan sets are not made up of only metal pieces. The intricately carved wooden pedestals, complete with gold and lacquer finishing, are also produced in Tihingan Village. Common three-dimensional motifs that make up the pieces include barong faces and floral patterns. While most of the gamelans are sold to local artists, schools and village community halls island-wide, the Tihingan craftsmen also export to universities and art collectors worldwide. A fine quality full gamelan set sells well over IDR 200 million (USD 14,800). Smaller items such as brass priest’s bells (looks good for the living room back home) sell for around IDR 350,000 (USD 26) each.
- Location: Tihingan Village, Banjarangkan, Klungkung, East Bali