Despite its ferocious appearance, Barong Ket is a welcome sight in Bali, Indonesia. Barong Ket is the village protector in Bali, the force that fights off the witch, Rangda, and restores the balance between chaos and order. This large, shaggy creature is also a common sight. Dancers in Barong costume often appear in ritual dramas and performances and interact with villagers and tourists alike.

Image credits: main image, AMNH/Sean Murtha; Laurel Kendall: courtesy of AMNH.