Death and Burial Procession in East Sumba

death and burial procession – www.nttprov.go.id

Death is seen from the transition between worldly life and the hereafter and is an important event in one’s journey to true happiness. Therefore burial must be carried out with a special ceremony so that the human spirit is worthy of entering Praimarapu (Heaven).

After the corpse has been stored for even years, large numbers of buffalo and horse cattle are slaughtered (depending on social status) as a funeral accompaniment. The ceremony consists of two stages, first the body is wrapped in layers of cloth and then placed in a wooden box with a diameter of 1.50 cm (in the past it did not use wooden crates, but using dried buffalo skin).

The body is placed in a squatting position (like the position of the fetus in the mother’s womb, which means “New Born”) and then placed in a traditional house while waiting for the next ceremony. The body is guarded by Papanggang / Ata Ngandi (taken servant) who also acts as a mediator with the spirit. The day before the end of the first stage there was a Pahadang ceremony led by Ratu (priest of Marapu).

Before the second stage, the grave had been prepared with a size depending on social status. The stone must be pulled from outside the village, which begins and ends with a special ceremony. The body was carried and paraded in a procession while accompanied by a procession of decorated horses ridden by his servant (Ata Ngandi) to the burial place where the corpse was placed in a megalithic tomb. You can see it in Prailiu, Pau and Praiyawang villages, as well as other traditional villages.

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