Unique Facts About Names & Castes of Residents in Bali

Unique Facts About Names & Castes of Residents in Bali – If you go to Bali, you will find that most Balinese names have the frill, Wayan, Made, Nyoman, or Ketut. The use of the word is not limited to men but also to women. No wonder if you call someone Ketut, no one may turn around.

Regarding the use of names by Balinese, some things must be considered. The words are not used at the same time. They have a tradition for each child’s name. 3 factors influence the name assigned to a child, namely gender, caste, and birth order.

Caste Order in Bali

Like Hindus, Balinese people have a caste system. The caste system is inherited from generation to generation. There are 4 caste divisions in the Balinese social system, namely:

Brahmin caste

The Brahmin caste is the highest. In ancient times, people in the Brahmin caste were the first people. They become religious leaders or are part of a family of religious leaders.

Usually, religious leaders in this highest caste live in a complex called a griya. Furthermore, they passed down the house to their descendants.

However, that condition has changed. Not all members of the Brahmin caste have a profession as religious leaders. Some work in other fields. Even so, they still have the privilege of living in a griya.

People belonging to this caste usually use the name Ida Bagus for boys. Meanwhile, women usually attach the name Ida Ayu abbreviated as Dayu.

Knight Caste (Kesatria)

The caste of knights is intended for nobles who are members of the kingdom. Like the brahmins, they live in the area around the ancestral castle. However, now the situation has changed. There are also members of the knight caste who live abroad, and their profession is not only in the field of government.

The use of names for people belonging to this caste is also quite a lot. Anak Agung, abbreviated as Gung, Cokorda abbreviated as Cok, Desak, and Gusti, are the types of names they often use. In addition, there is also the embedding of the words of Dewa and Dewa Ayu.

Vaisya Caste

The third caste, namely Vaisya, works as traders and industry. Generally, they use the names Ngakan, Si, Sang, and Kompyang. However, the name is rarely used because it assimilates with the Sudra caste.

Sudra Caste

Sudra is the lowest caste in the Balinese system of society. Unlike other castes, Sudra is a caste that does not have a title. The naming of people in the sudra caste refers more to the order of birth.


The second factor that affects the name is gender. Men have a different type of name from women. I am the type of prefix used for baby boys, for example, I Gede and Dewa. Meanwhile, Ni is used for women.

In the sudra caste, Luh is often used as the gender of a girl’s sex. Ayu, which means beautiful, is also a name often used to identify girls. Meanwhile, castes other than Sudra also often use wives, the equivalent of Ayu in women.

Birth order

Finally, birth order is also the way the Balinese name their children. The first child usually uses the words Wayan, Putu, or Gede. For the nobility, the record usually prefers to use the name Putu rather than Gede or Wayan.

Meanwhile, the second child is usually given the name Made, which comes from madya, which means middle. Alternatively, you can also use the name Kade, Kadek, and some areas in Bali use the name Nengah.

Furthermore, the third child tends to be named Nyoman or Komang. This name has a young meaning which comes from the word anon. Finally, the fourth child is generally named Ketut. Ketut has a root word, ketuwut, which means to follow.

Then, what if there are more than 4 children in a family? Easy. The use of names in order will be repeated. Unique, right?

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