Pakudui village in Tegallalang, Gianyar, does not only offer beautiful and cool atmosphere, but also keeps a strong indigenous wisdom. Most of the residents work as a sculptor, specializing in the making of Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) or literally golden eagle bird mounted by Lord Vishnu. Therefore, Pakudui village is often dubbed as ‘Garuda Village’ of Bali.
Location of Pakudui village is not far from the Ceking rice terrace tourist attraction that has been famous for the uniqueness in the form of terracing system. To reach the location, it takes about 60 minutes with a distance of approximately 50 km from Denpasar City.
Apparently, the name is not excessive because the beautiful village with a population of 116 families is able to improve their life by making a statue. At this village, visitors can see in person the making of GWK sculptures. Children, teenagers, housewives or parents are capable of undertaking the works. When passing through the road of this cool village, we will never get bored. The society is friendly and always looks optimistic. Each house passed through is always busy with the activities of making sculptures. They can express their ideas through various sculptures on a piece of wood with the help of a chisel.
Chief of Pakudui customary village, I Ketut Karma Wijaya, said that since the 1960s the Pakudui people had been familiar with the eagle statue. Of the existing 116 households, nearly 90 percent worked as a sculptor. The remaining worked as clerks, merchants and businessmen. “Making a statue has become a tradition handed down by the ancestors of Pakudui,” he said.
The GWK statue had become a mainstay, but they remained to make innovation by other kinds of sculpture. “There are three common types of sculpture we made. They are the statue of GWK, lion and beast with human body,” said the man who relied on his life in that profession.
Size of the statue varied. They could have the height of 2 meters, 1 meter, 60 cm, 50 cm and 30 cm. The wood in use was specially brought in from various regions in Bali and even from Java. “It has been ingrained and Pakudui residents can make it easily. It is different from people from other areas, they will get difficulty,” said Karma Wijaya.
Interestingly, they never marketed the statues to outside the region. However, the buyers themselves came directly. They were mostly foreigners such as from Thailand, Japan, United States and Europe. “Our village is frequently visited by travelers to buy statue, have a cycling or just enjoy the atmosphere of rural streets,” he said.
Similar opinion was also revealed by I Made Ada. This owner of the Made Ada Museum said that Pakudui village was dubbed as a ‘Garuda Village’ because it could produce GWK statues in large quantities. This activity could change the economy of community where they were formerly sharecroppers, cattle raiser and rice cultivators, then changed into an entrepreneur. “In the 1960s, our society was mostly sharecroppers, but on entering the 1980s they had a better fate,” he said.
Moreover in the 1980s, the eagle statues were hired by the President Suharto to promote Indonesia overseas. The statues were placed in Indonesian embassies. “Since then, we have promoted Indonesia overseas through the activities of this statue,” he recalled.
Since 1986, he had frequently promoted abroad including the time during the administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. A lot of his works as well as those of the local community encouraged him to make a museum. “On the motivation of President Mrs. Megawati, I managed to set up the Made Ada Museum at Pakudui,” he concluded. (BTN/015)