the women, unconcerned with the pranks of the men, rush
to the cremation place in a disorderly stampede, quite in
contrast with the solemn procession of the day before. Instead
of silks and gold, they wear ordinary clothes and most of
them go with uncovered breasts. They carry the accessories,
offerings, and the pots of holy water. The decaying evilspirit
offerings that lay for days near the corpses are piled up
on bamboo stretchers and rushed to the cemetery, followed
by hordes of hungry dogs that fight for the rotten food
that falls on the ground.
there is no organization committee, the procession is soon
under way. The orchestras that have played incessantly since
the day before march at the head of the parade followed
by the spear-bearers, the baris dancers, and the men who
carry the cows; then come the women with the effigies, then
the towers and the bridges, carried bv a wild mob of half-naked,
shouting men who deliberately choose the most difficult
paths, falling into ditches and splashing each other with
mud, almost toppling the towers over, and whirling them
to further mislead the dead.
high priest rides in a dignified and mystic attitude amidst
all this hullabaloo. Each tower is led to the cemetery by
a long rope tied at one end to the platform where the corpses
are fastened, the other end held by the hands of relatives.
This rope has a special significance, and J in cremations
of members of the royal family, the descendants of the Dewa
Agung of Klungkung, it takes the shape of a great serpent
that serves as a vehicle for the souls. The noisy procession
dashes along in disorderly fashion, raising clouds of dust,
accompanied by fireworks and war music, until it reaches
the cemetery, just outside the village.
the cows are placed on the bale pabasmian, the cremation
pavilions, their final destination; a canopy of new white
cloth, a " sky," is stretched under the paper
and tinsel roof directly over the funeral pyre, and detachments
from the procession walk three times around the pavilions
to do them honour. The bridge is placed against the tower
and men run up the runway while the attendant who rode on
the tower releases two small chickens that were tied by
the feet to the posts of the stage where the bodies are
fastened. They are used as a substitute for the doves that
in olden times were released by the widows that were sacrificed
and cremated with the corpse of a prince. Their significance
was probably symbolic, although the Balinese now say that
they are only " to teach the soul how to fly. This
may be a typical tongue-in-cheek Balinese answer to dodge
a complicated explanation for outsiders.
remains are then handed down by the men lined along the
runway until they reach the ground. Each group carrying
a corpse is attacked again by another party of yelling men
who aim to take the body by force in fierce hand-to-hand
battles. Clothes are torn to shreds and men are trampled
upon until the victorious party makes away with the corpse.
Meantime women attendants spread the kadjang, the long white
shroud which they hold stretched over their heads, attaching
one end of the cloth to the corpse, held up high by as many
hands as its length permits.
led by the kadjang, the body is taken to the coffin, now
opened by lifting the lid that forms the back of the animal,
and the corpse is placed inside. Relatives crowd around
it to supervise the last details and have a last look at
the body, which they expose by cutting the many bindings
with a special knife inscribed with magic syllables.
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