Jim Rader jrader at
Wed Dec 8 16:29:39 UTC 1999

Having no expertise in Austronesian, I would like to pose a perhaps
naive question about the etymology of a presumably Balinese word:
<Barong>, the dragon/lion character in a traditional Balinese dance
drama.  I have no lexical sources available to me here in western
Massachusetts on Balinese, and very little of an ethnographic
character that would be relevant--excepting a monograph by Jane
Belo _Bali: Rangda and Barong_ (1949) that discusses the Rangda
character in quite a bit of detail and Barong much less fully.  Belo
implies that the word means literally "dragon," whatever a dragon
might be in a Balinese context, but I don't know if that's actually
the case.  Echols & Shadily's _An Indonesian-English Dictionary_
glosses "Barong" not too helpfully as "name of a character in a
Balinese play."

Any specialists in Balinese on the list or anyone who can direct me
to a specialist?  All help would be gratefully acknowledged.

Jim Rader
Etymology Editor
Merriam-Webster, Inc.

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