The Island Of Bali, Indonesia



With 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.

The 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:

The 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.

They 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.

links [ 1 ] - [ 2 ] - [ 3 ]


Seminyak Bali Private Villa