Surely, while traveling in Bali, you have often seen giant trees with trunks wrapped in checkered black and white fabric.
This black and white fabric with a checkered pattern is called "poleng."
The black and white pattern symbolizes the natural balance between right and left, ascending and descending, good and evil, day and night, and other opposites in the world.
The fabric "poleng," which also includes gray, is called "Poleng Sudhamala."
Additionally, in Balinese culture, there is a "poleng" fabric with the presence of the red color called "Triguna Poleng." In it, red symbolizes the energy of Rajas or movement, black represents the energy of Tamas or prohibitions, and white signifies the energy of Sattva or wisdom.
The "Triguna Poleng" fabric is in harmony with the Trimurti, a three-god system. The red color symbolizes Brahma, the white symbolizes Shiva, and the black symbolizes Vishnu.
Therefore, the tricolored "poleng" is a symbol of the idea that people should maintain balance in order to find peace and harmony in life.
In Bali, it's believed that certain trees are visited by spirits, and these trees are wrapped with the "poleng" fabric. The sanctity of such a tree is upheld by the local community through numerous offerings.
It is believed that the "poleng" fabric wrapped around such a tree is considered an expression of gratitude to God, who created the tree that has brought much benefit to humans and animals.
"Poleng" is not only wrapped around trees but also statues. This signifies that such statues cannot be destroyed or moved.
This fabric is also featured in the clothing of rural guards known as "pecalang," who patrol villages and roads.
Now, if you see the "pecalang," you will surely remember that such a pattern on the fabric is not a common occurrence, but rather a symbol of the philosophy of balance and harmony.