Kehidupan Bala Qhova (The Life of Bala Qhova)

  • Linear Location

    Off the shore of Les Village, Bali, Indonesia (8°7'43"S 115°22'6"E)


That Kcymaerxthaere has two kinds of aquatic humans is, in a sense, really due to the efforts of one person–Bala Qhova–who, as a young man, domesticated this creature at this very location.  For every story like the evriat once found at Harlacy–the Lagoon of Justice, there are many more like Nascyera’s people who were able to live under and with the rhthym of the sea and waves.


The site is in about 12 meters of water. Snorkelers or very good free divers can get pretty close–or at least see the shapes.  But to really experience it and read the words, it would be best to scuba dive.  At Segara Lestari Villas and through Sea Communities you can arrange for diving equipment.  It is a shore entry. There are plenty of nice hotel/homestay in this, the far less touristy part of Bali.

Public Dedication

The Blessing and Purification Ceremony was July 6, 2015.  After that we installed one subset of the installation to be in the ocean for a year–to see if it could survive all the seasons.  Sure enough, it was knocked down by the heavier waves of December/January (yes: it is underwater, but close enough to the shore to be affected by wave action).  So in 2016, we tried another approach which did not work with the sandy bottom.  Finally in 2017 the installation was reimagined with the same shapes, but fanned out low to the ocean bottom and was installed in late January 2018.

What is written under the waves

The part of the story installed here:


Most people in his culture studied the ocean from the land or from a boat, but Bala Qhova was a young man who loved the richness of the world beneath the waves. He could hold his breath for a long time, but never long enough. He was envious of the sea creatures—and especially certain humans—who could breathe underwater.

He especially loved watching the Water Moles, roughly as big as a medium-sized cow, because they were gentle, yet surprisingly nimble in their swimming. He also realized that they were like him, in a way, because they were visitors to the underwater world. They had to breathe air too.

As he watched them he saw that they secreted a mucus that hardened on contact with water and this formed a tunnel that brought air down to the sea floor, so the Water Mole could breathe air for as long as it wanted.

Bala Qhova had seen those tunnels floating on the surface and had wondered what they were. Now he realized the Water Moles could help him with his dream—he could breathe underwater too. So he studied them carefully and learned that sometimes, when the waves were big, the Water Moles used a multidimensional membrane to keep out the water.

It took him years, but he gradually got the creatures to make tunnels where he wanted and he figured out a way for the Water Mole to swim out of the tunnel and him to enter it. He also taught his village to take care of the Water Moles, to leave the tunnels alone. And then one day it happened, on a calm day he climbed from a boat into a tunnel, crawled down and studied the underwater world to his heart’s content (and brought up a nice meal too for his family). It was said to be over this very stone.

After that, until his old age, he carefully raised Water Moles, breeding them to be more and more suited to the task of creating tunnels for people. As word of his discovery spread, more and more gwomes (a cognate term meaning footprint of the nation) adopted the practice—even some who never knew the name: Bala Qhova.

The story in Bahasa Indonesia . . .

Kehidupan Bala Qhova

Kebanyakan orang dalam budayanya mempelajari samudra dari darat atau dari sebuah perahu, namun Bala Qhova adalah seorang pemuda yang mencintai kekayaan dunia di bawah gelombang. Ia dapat menahan nafasnya untuk waktu yang lama, namun tidak pernah cukup untuk sangat lama. Ia iri terhadap mahluk-mahluk laut- dan khususnya manusia tertentu – yang dapat bernafas di bawah air.

First version

Second Version





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Bala Qhova and the Water Moles