Religious ceremonies in Balinese society: A case study of a cremation ritual in Tabanan

Anom Rajendra, Nicholas Temple

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper considers the cremation ceremony in the context of the life of the inhabitants of a Balinese community, tracing relationships between ritual itinerary and topography, and highlighting tensions and conflicts that have emerged between these ritual traditions and recent developments in tourism. The unique feature of the cremation ceremony is not only its procession, and particular architectural forms, but also the accompanying festival events that parade from the house of the deceased to the cemetery. In the investigation I will explore the historically important site of the Tabanan Palace that forms the geographical and symbolic focus of the ceremony and the route of the procession in the context of the cremation service with its community of participants/onlookers. The processions, and their related rituals, have long been recognised as an integral part of the civic life of the community, which is increasingly being jeopardised as a result of the impact of commercial use. The investigation asks if the preservation of these ceremonies can exist in harmony with these recent developments, without undermining the still vibrant traditional practices of Balinese society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-22
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Indonesian Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


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