Ni Wayan Ariati (Bu Ary), PhD


Bu Ary holds a PhD from Charles Darwin University (CDU) of Darwin, Australia. She comes from a small rice-farming community in the Tabanan region of Bali and is still involved in the social and religious life of her native town. She received a Fulbright grant in 1996 to teach the Indonesian language at Arizona State University (ASU) for the Southeast Asian Summer Study Institute (SEASSI). She was a language instructor at CDU Darwin Australia until 1997. She returned to SIT in 1999, serving as academic director in Bali and co-director in Samoa and India program in 2001-2003. Her experiences in North India made her interested in pursuing her higher education on a comparative study of female images in the Hinduism of India and Bali. She received full scholarship from CDU to complete her dissertation in history and women’s studies titled “Journey of a Goddess: Durga in India, Java, and Bali”, which published as book entitled The Journey of the Goddess Durga: India, Java, and Bali, was published in December 2016 by Prakashan Publisher, New Delhi, India. She is an active member of her community and women organization in her village whose roles as motivator for children education, health, waste management and other socio-religious events.

Courses Taught

Field Methods and Ethics
Geophysical Background of Java and Bali
Overview: History of Indonesia
History of Hinduism in Indonesia
Hindu Ceremonies in Bali
The Roles of Traditional Healer and Medicine
Prospects and Challenges of Balinese Women Drastic Social Changes in

Select Publications

Ariati W. & Laurel K., 2020. “Scary Mask/Local Protector: the curious history of Ida Ratu Gedé Gombrang (a.k.a. Jero Amerika).”  `Anthropology and Humanism. Anticipated publication, Winter, 2020

Ariati Wayan & Laurel K., 2021.  “Animism? Animated? Ensouled? The active lives of Balinese masks,” Handbook of Material Religion. Ed, S. Brent Plate. Routledge, Abington, UK

Ariati W. & Thomas H., Slouber M. (editor), 2020. Rangda in the Calon Arang: A Tale of Magic (pp.219-249) in A Garland of Forgotten Goddesses, Tales of Feminine Divine from India and Beyond, University of California Press, USA

Ariati W., 2016, The Journey of the Goddess Durga: India, Java and Bali. Aditya Prakashan Publishers, New Delhi, India

Ariati Wayan P. 2011a, “The Goddess Durga in Java: Two Forms of Representation pp. 219-283” in a [book chapter] Tracing Transactions, an Anthology of Critical Essays on India and Southeast Asia. Kolkata: Centre for Advanced Study, Department of Literature, Jadavpur University, India

Ariati W., 2011b, “The Demonic Image of Women in Bali pp 173-182.” In Manjushree (ed.) Beyond the Eastern Horizon, Essays in Honour of Professor Lokesh Chandra. Aditya Prakashan Publisher, New Delhi, India

Ariati W. 2010. “The Journey Of The Goddess Durga: India, Java And Bali.” [Ph.D. dissertation, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia.], Darwin, Australia

Ariati W. 2009. “Theodicy in Paradise pp. 47-63.” South and Southeast Asia Culture and Religion, the SSEASR Journal, Vol. III, New Delhi, India

Ariati W. 2005. “Food”, “Social Customs and Lifestyle”, “Art and Literature”, “Oral Traditions”, Gender, Courtship and Marriage” and “Festivals and Holidays”. In Indonesia—Daily Life Module 1: Culture and Customs, an Online Database. Greenwood Publishing Group, Westport, Connecticut

Ariati W.  1995 “The Art of the Offering”. In The Gallimard Guide to Bali. Paris: Gallimard Editions and Singapore: Editions Didier Millet, Singapore

Select Presentations

Ariati W. & Laurel K., “Scary Mask/Local Protector: the curious history of Jero Amerika, a Balinese mask,” (July 1-4, 2019) as part of session on “Popular Religion on the    Rise: New Landscapes, New Gods, New Cosmologies,” Association for Asian Studies in Asia, “Asia in Motion: Asia on the Rise?” Bangkok, Thailand

Ariati W. “Between Tradition and Modernity, Women in Contemporary Bali (June 20, 2014).” A seminar presentation for the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Ariati W. “The Indonesian Massacre of 1965 and Reconciliation Efforts in Contemporary Indonesia.” (Jan 11, 2012). A seminar paper delivered for the International Symposium on Conflict and Resolution, Kigali, Rwanda

Ariati W. “The Role of Traditional Healers and Medicine in Bali (15-16 August 2010).” A Power Point presentation and paper presented for the Academic Director’s Symposium of SIT Study Abroad, Brattleboro, Vermont, Vermont

Ariati W. “The Myth of Durga and the History of the Indonesian Women’s Movement (Gerwani).” (22 – 25 June 2010). A seminar paper presented for the Annual Seminar of the International Association of Historians of Asia (IAHA), convened at the National University of Singapore, Singapore

Ariati W. “Hindu Rituals in India and Bali.” (7-14 August 2008).  A Power Point presentation for the Regional Workshop on Identity, Multiculturalism and Arts of SIT Study Abroad/World Learning, held at The Institute for African Studies, Accra, Ghana

Ariati W. “The Transformation of an Indic Goddess: Durga in India, Java and Bali.” (11 January 2007).  A seminar paper presented for the Donnerstagskolloquium of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin/Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin, Germany

Ariati W. “The Transformation of an Indic Goddess: Durga in India, Java and Bali.” (24 May 2007)  An audio-visual presentation for The Attic, a Space for the Living Arts, Amarjit Bhagwant Singh Charitable Trust, New Delhi, India

Ariati W. “The Transformation of an Indic Goddess: Durga in India, Java and Bali.” (22 May 2007). A lecture presented for the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi, India

Ariati W. “The Courtship of Language and Culture.” (1-3 October 2001). A seminar paper and workshop presented for the Fourth Annual International Conference for the Teaching of Indonesian Language to Non-native Speakers” (Konperensi Internasional Pengajaran Bahasa Indonesia bagi Penutur Asing) convened by the Indonesian-Australian Language Foundation, Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

Research Interests

Sacred masks of my village: a collaborative project with Dr. Laurel Kendall, curator of AMNH, New York.


  • PhD, History and Women Studies, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia
  • MA, Interdisciplinary, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia
  • BA, English Literature, Udayana University, Bali
Ni Wayan Ariati (Bu Ary), PhD

SIT Study Abroad

Academic Director

INDONESIA: Arts, Religion, and Social Change

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