Cremation ceremony in Sebunibus village 1

A mass cremation ceremony in this year 2013 in Sebunibus village actually on 30 August which followed by hundred of local villagers. It may the  busiest cremation ceremonial in Nusa Penida island. Administratively Sebunibus is still belong to Sakti Village, Nusa Penida district in Klungkung regency. It’s quite easy to reach this village from Nusa Penida harbour,  Buyuk or Toyapakeh village.

Ngaben (Cremation Ceremony)

Ngaben is the ritual performed in Bali to send the deceased to the next life. The body of the deceased will be placed as if sleeping, and the family will continue to treat the deceased as sleeping. No tears are shed, because the deceased is only temporarily not present and will reincarnate or find his final rest in Moksha (freeing from the reincarnation and death cycle).

The proper day of the ceremony is always a matter of consulting a specialist on ceremony days. On the day of the ceremony, the body of the deceased is placed inside a coffin. This coffin is placed inside a sarcophagus resembling an animal such as a buffalo (Lembu), lion, tiger, wild boar, dragon or elephant-fish and in a temple structure (Wadah or Bade) made of paper and wood. The sarcophagus or Bade will be carried to the cemetery in a procession of offering and lead by the priest. The procession is not walking in a straight line. This is to confuse bad spirits and keep them away from the deceased.

The climax of Ngaben is the burning of the whole structure, together with the body of the deceased. The fire is necessary to free the spirit from the body and enable reincarnation.

Ngaben is not always immediately performed. For higher caste members it is normal to perform the ritual within 3 days. For lower caste members the deceased are buried first and later, often in a group ceremony for the whole village, cremated.

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