BALI CULTURE INFORMATION

 

 
 
The Island Of Bali, Indonesia

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RITES AND FESTIVALS

SOCIETY AND RELIGION

The office of the pemangku is often hereditary, but he ma,. also be chosen by some mystic while inspired by the spirits. He dresses in all-white clothes with a characteristic coat with high sleeves and wears his head-cloth in the old-style high crest Pemangkus lead a normal routine life without great religion restrictions, attending to their personal affairs until the date for the feast of the temple approaches, when they will become the entre of all activity.

Every temple celebrates its birthday (odalan) on the anniersary of its consecration, with a great feast that constitutes the principal social event for the entire community and in which verybody in the village takes part with equal enthusiasm.

For days before the temple feast of Kengetan, as typical as my, the men attended to the decorations of the temple, building the temporary bamboo altars, erecting awnings for enter-tainers, adorning the shrines with flags, pennants, and penyors, ooking the food for the feast, and dressing up the statues of -Ire demons that guard the entrance with a skirt of chequered black and white cloth and a great red hibiscus behind each ear. V the same time the women prepared the offerings and made lamaks.

The pemangku was on duty from early morning to receive and bless the offerings that each woman brought. By after1 non a great crowd of people in festival dress had gathered and the dagangs had set up their food-stands. All day long the women arrived with offerings on their heads, walking like sail114 ships, requiring the help of two other women to support the fifty pounds of fruit and flowers so that the bearer could come oat from under the heavy load to deposit it on the special shed erected for the purpose.

The pemangku sat in front of the central god-house praying and ringing a bell, surrounded by the new arrivals, who sat in rows behind him after leaving their offerings, the men cross-legged, with bared heads, behind the kneeling women. They )raved (mabakti) three times, taking a flower between the niddle fingers of their joined hands, bringing it to their foreheads, and flinging it in the direction of the shrine. The women sang wangesari songs in chorus while the pemangku and his asistant went around the praying people pouring holy water with long-handled ladles into their outstretched hands, drinking it with reverence, and wiping their wet hands in their hair.

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