the fire is extinguished, the girls climb onto the shoulders
of two men who walk around the courtyard, the girls' prehensile
feet clutching the men's shoulders, balancing them selves
and dancing gracefully from the waist up, bending back at
incredible angles. In this manner they give the illusion
of gliding through the air. The temperamental girls may
suddenly decide that the dance is over. Then they must be
taken out of the trance with more songs; and the sanghyangs
become ordinary girls again, they distribute the flowers
from their headdresses as amulets and sprinkle the crowd
with holy water:
goddess stand up, goddess, stand up. The singers have come
and are singing the sanghyang.
Come, goddess, goddess, we ask of the nymphs to come to
us for a while and go around, go around.
beautiful goddess! take the holy water from the altar, holy,
the clear, the immaculate water with frangipani, white maduri,
white hibiscus and blue teleng. The water in the gold coconut,
the liberating water, the water made in heaven.
Sprinkle it over yourself and go and spray the singers.
Then go home, go home to the Indraloka.
and bathe in the garden and adorn yourself with white orchids,
then go home, goddess, go home, back to heaven, and disappear
into space, go into space.
The wind blows, fly with the wind goddess; the body remains
to take again its human form. . . .
The ceremony lasts for two or three hours, but despite the
intensity of the performance the little girls give no evidence
of exhaustion and the explanation they give comes back to
our minds: the dancers, fascinated by their own rhythm,
move in a supernatural world where fatigue is unknown. In
ordinary life the little girls are normal children.
However, they are forbidden to creep under the bed, to eat
the remains of another person's food or the food from offerings,
and must be refined in manners and speech. Their parents
are exempt from certain village duties and are regarded
highly by the rest of the community.
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