Pendet |

Pendet is a traditional dance from Bali, Indonesia, in which offerings are made to purify the temple or theater as a prelude to ceremonies or other dances. Pendet is typically performed by young girls, carrying bowls of flower petals, handfuls of which are cast into the air at various times in the dance. Pendet can be thought of as a dance of greeting, to welcome the audience and invite spirits to enjoy a performance.

Traditional Balinese dances are the oldest form of performing arts in Bali. Traditional dances can be divided into two types, sacred dance called Wali and entertainment dance called Bebalihan. Wali (sacred dance) is usually performed in some ritual ceremonies only because it has strong magical powers and only can be performed by specific dancers. Bebalihan are usually performed in social events. In addition to entertain, Bebalihan also has other purposes such as: welcoming guests, celebration of harvests, or gathering crowds. Bebalihan has more variations than Wali.

Pendet is the presentation of an offering in the form of a ritual dance. Unlike the exhibition dances that demand arduous training, Pendet may be danced by anyone. It is taught simply by imitation.

Younger girls follow the movements of the elder women, who recognize their responsibility in setting a good example. Proficiency comes with age. As a religious dance, Pendet is usually performed during temple ceremonies.

All dancers carry in their right hand a small offering of incense, cakes, water vessels, or flower formations. With these they dance from shrine to shrine within the temple. Pendet may be performed intermittently throughout the day and late into the night during temple feasts.

The original Pendet dance is performed by 4-5 young girls (before their puberty) in temple yards. Pendet dancers bring flowers in small Bokor (silver bowls containing flowers in a ceremony). They spread the flowers around the temple. This dance is a symbol of welcoming God in some ritual ceremonies in Bali. Pendet actually has simple dance movements. These movements are the basic dance movements of Balinese dance. Pendet has undergone later development with variations and now is not only performed in ritual ceremonies but also in some social events. Pendet since has been known as a welcoming dance.
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Javan Rhinoceros |
The Javan Rhinoceros (Sunda Rhinoceros to be more precise) or Lesser One-horned Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) is a member of the family Rhinocerotidae and one of five extant rhinoceroses. It belongs to the same genus as the Indian Rhinoceros, and has similar mosaicked skin which resembles armor, but at 3.1–3.2 m (10–10.5 feet) in length and 1.4–1.7 m (4.6–5.8 ft) in height, it is smaller than the Indian Rhinoceros, and is closer in size to the Black Rhinoceros. Its horn is usually less than 25 cm (10 inches), smaller than those of the other rhino species.

Once the most widespread of Asian rhinoceroses, the Javan Rhinoceros ranged from the islands of Indonesia, throughout Southeast Asia, and into India and China. The species is now critically endangered, with only two known populations in the wild, and none in zoos. It is possibly the rarest large mammal on earth. A population of as few as 40 live in Ujung Kulon National Park on the island of Java in Indonesia and a small population, estimated in 2007 to be no more than eight, survives in Cat Tien National Park in Vietnam. The decline of the Javan Rhinoceros is attributed to poaching, primarily for their horns, which are highly valued in traditional Chinese medicine, fetching as much as $30,000 per kilogram on the black market. Loss of habitat, especially as the result of wars, such as the Vietnam War, in Southeast Asia, has also contributed to the species's decline and hindered recovery. The remaining range is only within two nationally protected areas, but the rhinos are still at risk from poachers, disease and loss of genetic diversity leading to inbreeding depression. None are held in captivity.

The Javan Rhino can live approximately 30–45 years in the wild. It historically inhabited lowland rain forest, wet grasslands and large floodplains. The Javan Rhino is mostly solitary, except for courtship and child-rearing, though groups may occasionally congregate near wallows and salt licks. Aside from humans, adults have no predators in their range. The Javan Rhino usually avoids humans, but will attack when it feels threatened. Scientists and conservationists rarely study the animals directly due to their extreme rarity and the danger of interfering with such an endangered species. Researchers rely on camera traps and fecal samples to gauge health and behavior. Consequently, the Javan Rhino is the least studied of all rhino species. On February 28, 2011, a video was released by WWF and Indonesia's National Park Authority which captured two rhinos with their calves. This motion triggered video proved that these animals are still breeding in the wild.
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Sumatran Tiger |
Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) is a subspecies of tiger found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Recent genetic testing has revealed the presence of unique genetic markers, which isolate Sumatran tigers from all mainland subspecies. About 400-500 wild Sumatran tigers were believed to exist in 1998, but their numbers have continued to decline. According to the RSPB in March 2008 there were approximately 300 Sumatran Tigers remaining in the wild.

The origin of fauna in Indonesia is heavily affected by geographical and geological events on the Asian continental landmass and the Australasian continental landmass (now Australia). The present New Guinea island was connected with the present Australia continent, forming a supercontinent called the southern supercontinent Gondwana. This supercontinent began to break up 140 million years ago, and the New Guinea region (previously known as Sahul) moved towards the equator. As a result, animals from New Guinea traveled to the Australian continent and vice versa, creating many different species living in different ecosystems. This activities continued to occur until the two regions separated completely.

The influence of the Asian continental landmass, on the other hand, was the result of the reformation of the Laurasia supercontinent, which existed after the breakup of Rodinia around 1 billion years ago. Around 200 million years ago, the Laurasia supercontinent split completely, forming Laurentia (now America) and Eurasia continents. The mainland of the Eurasia continent, including China, was not separated completely from the Indonesian archipelago. As a result, animals from the Eurasia mainland could travel to the archipelago, and, under a different ecosystems, new forms of species were formed.

In the nineteenth century, Alfred Russel Wallace proposed the idea of the Wallace Line, a notional line dividing the Indonesian archipelago into two regions, the Asian zoogeographical region (Sundaland) and the Australasian zoogeographical region (Wallacea). The line runs through the Malay Archipelago, between Borneo and Sulawesi (Celebes); and between Bali and Lombok. Although the distance from Bali to Lombok is relatively short, only about 35 kilometres, the fauna distribution is still affected by the line. For example, a group of birds would refuse to cross even the smallest stretches of open water. A second line, lying east, known as the Webber Line, has also been proposed to separate between "transition species" and species of Australian origin.
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