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Bali is an island in Indonesia, at the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands.It is renowned for its highly developed arts, especially music, dance, sculpture, painting, batik and ikat cloth, wooden and stone carvings, silverware, and leather- and metalworking. The name “Bali dwipa” (Bali island) goes back (as "Walidwipa") at least to the Blanjong pillar (Prasasti Blanjong) inscribed in 914 by Sri Kesari , a Buddhist king who established the Warmadewa dynasty. A half century later the Balinese king Udayana Warmadewa married the daughter of his suzereign, the king of Medang in East Java, who probably introduced the Hindu cult of Durga to the island (though there had been a substantial Hindu population for a millennium); from that time, Javanese influence on the island grew. The Hindu Majapahit Empire on eastern Java founded a colony in Bali in 1343, and a mass Javanese immigration to Bali occurred after Majapahit fell in 1520, and the island became an independent collection of Hindu kingdoms. Though the rest of modern Indonesia is predominantly Muslim, over 80% of the Balinese practice a local form of Hinduism which combines Indian deities with Buddhist heroes, the spirits of ancestors, animism, and indigenous agricultural gods and sacred places to form a complex system of theology, philosophy, and mythology that pervades nearly every aspect of traditional life and is deeply interwoven with art, ritual, behavior, and society; Islam and European Christianity have had some influence on the local culture, but the Chinese mixture of Buddhist, Christian, Taoist, and Confucian beliefs and practices have been the most closely integrated. In the 1840s the Dutch began to pit the Balines states against each other and in 1906 launched a naval and military invasion that was met by a suicidal puputan defensive assault, leadsing to the end of independence. In the 1930s, anthropologist Margaret Mead and her husband Gregory Bateson, artists Miguel Covarrubias and Walter Spies, and musicologist Colin McPhee spent time there and promoted the place as "an enchanted land of aesthetes at peace with themselves and nature" (in the words of Theodore Friend); the resultant tourist industry has made it one of the richest regions in Indonesia. The island was occupied by the Japanese during World War II, but Gusti Ngurah Rai formed a Balinese “freedom army,” which he then led against the Dutch after the war, but his Balinese forces were annihilated in a new suicide attack in 1946. Meanwhile, Sukarno proclaimed an independent Republic of Indonesia, but the Dutch maintained their control over a separate State of East Indonesia (including Bali) until they formally recognized the "Republic of the United States of Indonesia" at the end of 1949.
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