their bare hands they brush off the glowing coals from the
braziers, making inarticulate sounds that are taken to be
mantras, magic formulas, mumbled by the heavenly nymphs
that have entered their bodies. From now on they are addressed
as goddesses. Women attendants remove their white skirts
and replace them with gilt ones. Their waists are tightly
bound in strips of gold cloth, and each girl is given a
jacket, a golden bodice, and a silver belt, in all a Iegong
costume. The jewellery that lay in the bowl of holy water
is put on again. The holy head-dresses of gold are brought
in on cushions decorated with fresh frangipani flowers,
and [lie girls are guided so that they can put them on themselves
while the women sing about the beauty of the head-dresses
and the elegance of their clothes:
The head-dress, the head-dress circled with jasmines, the
garuda mungkur ornament on its back, enhanced with sempol
and gambir flowers, crowned with fragrant sandat and yellow
pistils of merak.
Tightly bound in their sashes they dance in the middle of
the court, they dance slowly and glide from side to side,
sway and swing in ecstasy.
The pemangku, until then motionless and concentrating, now
takes a coconut with the holy water about to be sanctified,
water in which have been placed various sorts of flowers
and three small branches of dadap bound in red, black, and
white thread. Then he asks the sanghyangs to turn the water
into an amulet.
sanghyangs begin to dance with closed eves, accompanied
by alternating choruses of the men who sing in furious syncopation:
" Kechak-kechak-kechak - chakchakchak-chak! - and by
the women who sing:
flower menuk that makes one happy, the white flower, it
is - it is - it is white and in rows, like the stars above,
like the constellations, like the constellation kartika,
that scintillates, they scintillate, scintillate and fade
away, fade away and disappear, disappear, disappear because
of the moonlight.
Lengkik, lengkik, lengkik, says the plaintive song of the
lonely dasih bird that was left behind. Oh, how he cries!
He cries, cries like the cry of a child who must be amused,
amused by the dancing of the dedaris. Lengkik, lengkik,
swing and sway in ecstasy. . .
The sanghyangs may suddenly decide to go to another temple
or tour the village, chasing the Ieyaks, followed by the
singing men and women. The sanghyangs must not touch the
impure ground outside the temple and are carried everywhere
on the shoulders of men.
stop at a second temple, where a pile of coconut shells
burns in the centre of the court. The sanghyangs dance unconcerned
in and out of the fire, scattering the glowing coals in
all directions with their bare feet. They may even decide
to take a bath of fire, picking up the coals in both hands
and pouring them over themselves.
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