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The Elaborate Balinese Funeral Ceremony

Bali, Indonesia
Stacey Stein

This Balinese woman says a final farewell to her mother (in photo), as the colorfully decorated coffin rests in the background, ready for the cremation ceremony to begin.
Although this was the during the large funeral ceremony of a beloved prince, this girl lovingly holds the image of her recently deceased relative, using the opportunity to honor his memory as well.
Sounds of gongs and gamelan, a large funeral orchestra comprised of men in silk turbans and formal sarongs, hammer out ancient rhythms in pentatonic tones.
For the Balinese, a cremation ceremony marks the passage from the human realm to the spirit realm. Families will spend whatever they can afford to give their relatives a good farewell, and to placate the spirit that will then occupy the family shrine at their residence.
The priest sits cross-legged, adorned with elaborate ornamentation and ritual items, blessing each offering substances.

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