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Ngaben (Cremation Ceremony)

After the Ceremony

Ngaben or the Cremation Ceremony is the ritual performed to send the dead through the transition to his next life. The village Kul Kul, hanging in the tower of the village temple, will sound a certain beat to announce the departure of the deceased. The body of the deceased will be placed at Bale Delod, as if he were sleeping, and the family will continue to treat him as if he were still alive yet sleeping. No tears are shed, for he is only gone temporarily and he will reincarnate into the family.

The Priest consults the Dewasa to determine the proper day for the ceremony. On the day of the ceremony, the body of the deceased is placed inside a coffin which is then placed inside a sarcophagus in the form of a buffalo (called Lembu) or a temple structure called Wadah made of paper and light wood. The Wadah will be carried to the village cremation site in a procession.

The climax of Ngaben is the burning of the Wadah, using fire originating from a holy source. The deceased is sent to his afterlife, to be reincarnated in the future.


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