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Death And Cremation

To the Balinese only-the,soul is really important, the body being simply an unclean object: no hysteria. Details which would be considered weird and shocking elsewhere are regarded naturally and with great indifference. I have seen a. corpse poked, to help it bum, by relatives who were making loud jokes and scolding the body because-it would not burn quickly enough, so they could go home. When a man dies, his relatives, near and far, are expected to assemble and bring-presents of food to the immediate family of the deceased. It is believed' that the ghost of the dead man will bring them bad luck if they are not informed within three days. Automatically all relatives of the dead man- become impure, sebel, and cannot enter the temples until. the complete purification rites have- be-en performed. This impurity extends to the house and even. to the entire village, and the higher the Position of the dead one, the greater the degree of uncleanliness of the village.

A sign of death in a house is the lamp called damar kurung, made of white tissue paper stretched over a bamboo frame and hung outside the gate. This lamp hangs from abird also of bambo and white. paper, which is suspended from the end of a tall bamboo pole, high over the roofs. Every night while the corpse is in the house the lamp is ht to show the way wandering soul. The corpse is placed in one of the pavilions the house to await an auspicious day to be treated and, for burial, or to be mummified if it is to be kept in the High priests may not be buried and it is customary to k bodies within the house until time for their cremation comes this was also done to the corpses of princes, and in the great palaces there is even a special court devoted to this purpose but this is becoming rare nowadays because of the extraordinary expenses it involves.

on the first auspicious day after the death occurs, two' are erected in the courtyard of the house for the purificaton of, the body; one for the sun and another for Pradjapati, the deity of cremation. These are decorated with lamaks and filled offerings that are renewed daily. The naked corpse is then, placed on a stretcher wit its sexual parts covered with a small, of cloth or by the hand of the wife or husband. The, sprinkles the body with holy water and recites prayers; t combed and anointed with perfumed oil and the teeth are filed off if this had not been done during life. The body is then rubbed with a mixture of rice flour and tumeric, with salt, vineger and sandalwood powder. The toes and thumbs are bound with white yarn, and rolls of kepengs are tied to the hands which are folded over the breast in an attitude of prayer. the banten sutji: shreds of mirror glass which are laid on lids, bits of steel on the teeth, a gold ring with a ruby mouth, jasmine flowers in the nostrils, and iron nails on,, limbs - all symbols of the more perfect senses with person will be reborn; stronger and more beautiful, as bright as mirrors, teeth like steel, breath as fragrant as'_' and bones of iron ", (according to Wirtz). The head is covered with a white cloth, and an egg is rolled all over -the body to signify its newly acquired purity. The corpse is next wrapped in many yards of white cloth, in a straw mat, and again in more yards of cloth, and finally bound tightly on the rant6, an external covering of split bamboo tied with rattan.

If the corpse is to be buried and not mummified, it is taken to the cemetery with music, accompanied by singing relatives, who carry offerings and bamboo tubes with holy water. Before lowering the body into the shallow grave, the offerings are dedicated to Mother Earth, a prayer is recited, and money is thrown in to pay for the ground used. The corpse is laid in the grav6 with an open bamboo tube in the place of the mouth to let the soul out, the grave is filled, and a bamboo structure with a roof of white tissue paper is erected over it. A small altar of bamboo is placed next to the grave for offerings, brought daily for a period of twelve days. Offerings are brought again forty-two days after the date of death, when it is considered, that the soul has been completely detached from the body and the cremation can take place, provided there is money available; otherwise it has to be postponed until means are obtained, often years later.

The high priest is next consulted to determine the propitious day on which to bold the cremation - a date far enough in advance to allow for the elaborate preparations. A few days before the date named, the relatives start for the cemetery to dig up the remains. The grave is opened and the body removed or as much of the body as remains after an interment which lasts from a month and seven days to even two years and longer. Sometimes there is not more than a few bones to be found, but even these are collected and arranged as nearly as possible in the form of the human body. These are wrapped in a bundle of new white cloth and carried back to the house. It was an eerie sight. when on a rainy day the men of Pemetjutan were opening the graves for a mass cremation, searching the mud-filled trenches, cavorting and shouting with delight the discovery of a blackened jaw-bone or a femur.

At home the bundle containing the remains is placed again` on the pavilion reserved for the corpse, now strewn with skils and brocades and ornamented with the family's heirlooms: go] and silver vessels, peacock feathers, jewelled krisses, and so forth

The remains are covered with many cloths bearing magic inscriptions, over which are placed the offerings and the many ritual accessories that symbolize or contain the dead:man's soul.

Among these are the kekreb sinom, a sort of lattice of coconut leaves with flowers in the crossings; and the ukur, a human representation showing the proper position of the bones and nerves, usually simply kePengs (the bones), strung on ropes of white yarn (the nerves), but the prosperous use ukurs made -of silver or gold plaques representing the head, hands, feet, and bones held together by wires of the same metal. These are used for display and are replaced by an ordinary ukur.of coins for the actual burning. An interesting accessory is the angenan, a curious structure made of a'ripe coconut filled with rice (the heart) as the base of an upright stick surmounted by an elaborate structure of. coloured threads (the brains) and a little lamp made of an eggshell (the soul) , supported by a bent piece of rattan - (the arm).

This is supposed to commemorate the love and remembrance of the dead person. Of great importance is the kadjang, a sort of, shroud, yards of white cloth covered 'with cabalistic symbol$.. drawn by the priest, who also writes the ulantaga, the credentials. by which the soul is admitted into the swarga, inscriptions on little pieces of a sort of- tapa from Celebes, a specially prescribed,',. paper made of beaten tree-bark. Offerings are made again to the sun, to Pradjapati, and for the evil spirits. There are also special offerings for the soul itself to take along on its trip to the beyond: food for the soul, for its retinue, and for presents to give out',, along its way. These are the ponguriagan, pisang djati, nasi angkab, pandjang ilan, and bubuh pirata, the essential cremation offerings.

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