HISTORY OF BALINESE NAME “Wayan, Made, Nyoman, Ketut”


For those who’ve been to Bali probably often hear names like Made, Wayan, Komang, Ni Luh and others. These names have an historical meaning and used by the society in bali till now.
We begin first with the designations I and Ni in the names of the people of Bali. The letter I in front of the name Wayan for example, is appellative for male. While the word for female is Ni. I and Ni also means a man and a woman from a family of common people, not caste or so-called “jaba” .

If he was born in the family of blacksmith, then their Bali’s name is Pande. When in front Wayan, they had Ida Bagus as their front name, he would be born in a Brahmin family. Ida Bagus mean the Handsome or Honorable. And if he was named Anak Agung, he was born in a noble family.

Wayan name comes from the word “wayahan” which means the most mature (the oldest). Made for the second child is come from the word “Madia” which means middle. The third child was called Nyoman which is etymologically derived from the word “Uman” which means “rest” or “end”. But if you talk in more detail, the people’s name in Bali which depend of their birth have synonyms; for Wayan: Putu, Kompiang, or Gede; to Made: Kadek or Nengah; for Nyoman: Komang. While special for Ketut,they have no synonyms.

So according to the Balinese way of life, should a family has three children only. After three children, they are advised to be more wise and realized that many child not good for their future. However in ancient era, traditional herbal medicine less effective in preventing pregnancy, and abortion is forbidden as what they believe in their religion, so a married couple may have more than three children.
So born the fourth child called Ketut. He comes from the ancient word “Kitut” which means a small banana at the outer edge of a bunch of bananas. They are the child who believed as a bonus and the parents usually love them so much.
Because the government’s family planning program is recommended, fewer and fewer people Bali named Ketut. That is why there is a concern of Bali’s people that this beloved Bali’s name will be the extinction one day.
When family planning failed, and a family has more than four children, they will repeat the cycle the name above. The fifth child called Wayan, Made sixth, and so on.


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