Ancestral ceremony – up in the mountains

I was lucky to be invited back up to the small village called Abang Songan in Kintamani where Ketut and Komang got married earlier this year… this time for ‘Saba Tegen’.

Because this is a ceremony for the ancestors, not for the gods, it is held just outside of the temple grounds.

Ancestral offerings

Ancestral offerings

As usual, I marvelled at the sheer amount of offerings from each and every household in the village, who all attend this annual event.

There were some traditional banten (offerings) carried on the women’s heads, but mostly the men carried a style of offering that I had never seen before.  Two heavy offerings balanced from a piece of wood carried on their shoulders, topped with a small piece of sugar cane…

Ketut and his family on the way to the ceremony

Ketut and his family on the way to the ceremony

I had a fabulous day talking to the Balinese, listening to the gamelan music and watching the Rejang Renteng dance performance.

Now this dance is performed only by the unmarried women who are related (i.e. children or sisters) to the village Mangkus (holy men).

While carrying a special rope between them in their right hand, they slowly walk around the entire area three times, clockwise.  The intricate movements of their left hand is a key part of the dance.

Rejang dance
Rejang Renteng dance

Being a witness to this particular cultural and spiritual experience that only happens in three small villages in the whole of Bali was wonderful.

Cake and fruit galore!

Cake and fruit galore!

Oh, and of course, I ate my fair share of the offerings afterwards – well, there was more cake and fruit than you could buy at Sainsburys, so why not!

Thanks to I Wayan Pasek Toko and Ketut Suparta and their families and friends for their hospitality.

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  1. Traditional Balinese dance « Julie in Bali

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