|Photo: Auke Sonnega|
While on an official trip to Bali on February 28, 1954, President Sukarno of the Indonesian Republic requested that Sampih dance for him later that evening at a festival near the town of Sayan. When the 28-year-old dancer failed to appear, messengers were dispatched to his home and were informed by Sampih's wife that he left on his motorbike earlier that afternoon. Either that afternoon or three days later (accounts vary), the dancer's body was found floating in the Lauh River that flows past Sayan. Sampih had been strangled and his face beaten almost beyond the point of recognition. His motorbike, the apparent symbol of the dancer's sin against Balinese society, was smashed and buried nearby. Sampih's murder remains unsolved.
Bowers, Faubion. "Letter from Bali," New Yorker, 31(7): 114, 116-26, Oct. 29, 1955.
McPhee, Colin. A House in Bali. Singapore; New York: Oxford University Press, 1979.