The ancient kingdoms of the "Rajas" and princes of Bali were dismantled by colonial governments in the early part of this century, but many of their royal descendants still own traditional palaces and are very much respected as patrons of the arts. Art and culture are strongly bonded to Bali’s unique form of Hinduism called "Hindu Dharma". Classical dance dramas are based on the old Hindu epics of the Ramayana and the Mahabarata, but contain an element of local folklore peculiar to the island . The very soul of Bali is rooted in religion and is expressed in art forms that have been passionately preserved over the centuries. It seems that almost every person is an artist. Whether expressed through beautiful and intricate paintings and dances, extraordinary carvings, superb weaving or even in decorations made for the myriad shrines, the island is alive with art.

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