pasar malam - night market

The traders selling these rings come from Java. They are wearing a peci hitam, the black hat signifying their Islamic faith. Balinese, on the other hand, are Hindus. The fact that this jewelry came from mother Java across the water, made them all the more exotic.

Night life in Australia during the seventies was pretty dull to the point of being almost non existent. Yes there was the occasional party in peoples' homes, but if you drove down a major thoroughfare in the middle of Melbourne, it all looked rather dead. Television ruled our evenings. I was astounded to see how vibrant and exciting the world at night could be on my second evening in Indonesia when I visited Denpasar's 'pasar malam' or 'market of the night'.

A collection of men's rings with semi-precious stones. No doubt the stories about the ability of these rings to protect the health of the wearer and ward off evil and misfortune, are all part and parcel of the sales pitch. The milky opalescence of these stones, however, was quite beautiful and each did have some magic qualities to it in terms of the way it refracted light.

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