Balinese wedding attire looks very beautiful, ornate, and regal, especially the costume of the royalty and wealthy couples. And the most eye-catching part of the bride’s outfit is the headdress in the shape of a huge and intricately made crown. It seems like you could stand for hours near the bride and survey this gorgeous headpiece because it has so many tiny details. Come on, let’s take a closer look at the wedding headdress used by blushing brides in Bali.
This golden crown worn by Balinese brides originates from a local royal headdress. It is sometimes called “Gelungan Agung”. And it is extremely elaborate.
In the past, only the royals could afford such a crown and it was their prerogative. But later, wealthy noblewomen started to use it as well. And today – thanks to the existence of modern materials that are cheap but look very similar to gold – ordinary Balinese women also can wear this headgear for their wedding. Of course, it would not be made from gold, while the royals in Indonesia still are able to wear gold crowns for their marriage ceremony.
The shape of this bridal crown resembles a high peeked, triangular crown. It consists of a myriad of golden sandat flowers, leaves, other floral shapes, and even some gems. Above the forehead, there is a specific piece of the crown called “srinata” – it is a flat arc with two symmetrical teardrop-shaped elements at the temples. The srinata is usually adorned with gems, stamping on metal, or other jewelry techniques.
At the back of the bride’s head, her hair is made in an updo and adorned with fresh flowers and gold hairpins. While the front of the headdress looks totally golden and man-made, the back has a very natural and fresh appearance because of all of the flowers.
It is said that a real gold crown weighs about 3 kg (over 6.5 lbs). And the bride has to wear it for several days, many hours every day. So, it’s hard, to say the least. But still, what woman wouldn’t want to feel like a queen on her wedding day?! And this headdress really makes you feel regal and royal.
The traditional Balinese golden crown is also worn by the local folk dancers, although, it’s not made from gold but a cheap replica, obviously. Luckily, even such simple reproduction looks gorgeous on any woman.
By the way, Balinese grooms also sometimes have similar golden headdresses. They’re smaller but just as intricate. Though, not all males wear these traditional crowns, some prefer other headwear. For example, a traditional wrap called “udeng” embellished with some gold jewelry.