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 Important towns have great utilitarian markets of cement and galvanized tin where shrewd Arabs and Chinese keep regular shops of cloth and imported knick-knacks, but the average holds market under the shadow, of the waringin or under square shades of straw mats like umbrellas. A few people sell there everyday; the " big " market takes place every third day of the of religius calendar.

There are " market associations " organized in group of three desas that work together, holding market in rotation every day in each of the three villages. The women are-the financiers that control the market; one seldom sees men in it. except in certain trades or to help carry such a load as a fat pig. Even the money-changers are women, who sit behind little filled with rolls of small change, kepeng, Chinese brass coinswith a hole in the middle, worth a small fraction of a cent (about five to seven to a cent according to the current exchange). coins are strung into rolls of two hundred, called satak (one string of twenty-five cents) . Prices in the market vary according to the buyer; they are lowest to the villager in his home town, slightly higher for the Balinese of other villages, and considerably higher to foreigners. This is customary and understandable. one takes, into consideration the communal spirit of the village


and of the Balinese. It is significant that an average meal in the market costs a Balinese only twenty-five kepeng or about two or three American cents. The Balinese do not count in the present Dutch monetary system of guilders and cents; among themselves they use only the smallest unit, the kepeng, and the largest, the ringgit, big silver coins (worth two and a half guilders) that are normally divided into 1,200 kepeng. The Balinese cannot visualize a foreigner using kepengs and when I bought peanuts or a banana at a food-stand and they did not have Dutch pennies for change, the women vendors were amused to see me pocket a heavy string of kepengs. Accustomed to dealing in hundreds and thousands, they have acquired a surprising knowledge of mathematics, and the women can add, subtract, multiply, or divide with the speed of an adding machine. To test this ability we used to ask the women of our household for multiplications of numbers of several ciphers; with mysterious operations of a few kepengs spread on their laps, they always found a quick and accurate result.

The market reaches its height about noon, when it is bard to walk through the crowd of semi-nude women. At that time the animation is very great and the market resounds with the excited bargaining, the constant coming and going of people, and the squealing of the pigs that are mercilessly stuffed into baskets or carried in the arms of the women like babies. The thousand smells of coconut oil, flowers, spices, and dried fish combine to make the pungent smell so characteristic of Balinese markets. The soft browns and yellows of the women's skirts and the bright colored sashes they wear, the graceful movements and unconscious beauty of their poses, make of the market a show as interesting to watch as their luxurious and spectacular feasts. The excitement subsides gradually in the late afternoon, when the women return home loaded with the merchandise they have bought or with the empty baskets balanced on one corner, in the most absurd defiance of the laws of gravity, by the heavy strings of kepengs that record the day's sales. Most markets have a little shrine for the goddess of fertility and of gardens, Melanting, alsothe deity of the market, to whom the vendors make small offerings for good luck.

 

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