Following our previous installment on the royal cremation, with this photo essay we take a look at the big day, the peak of all the preceding rituals. For more details please see our two previous blog posts.
By Rio Helmi, with thanks to photographer Agus Suka Adi Surya for his additions.
A priest consecrates the sarcophagus and the tower prior to the procession. photo©Agus Suka Adi Surya
Members of the military guard of honor assigned to the cremation. photo©Agus Suka Adi Surya
The body is carried out of the inner courtyard gate and turned over from the military guard, to waiting members of the community. photo©Rio Helmi
Tjok Gede Raka Artha Sedana, a close relative, holds the bird of paradise emblem on the ramp to the tall tower, which he will ride alongside the remains for the procession to the burning grounds. The 5-meter tall bull sarcophagus is below. photo©Rio Helmi
And off we go: siting astride the coffin, three relatives are perched high above the ground for the trip to the cremation grounds. photo©Rio Helmi
While hundreds of bearers actually carry the massive cremation tower, a symbolic rope is attached for relatives to ‘pull’ the tower to the cremation ground. photo©Agus Suka Adi Surya
A sense of scale from above… photo©Rio Helmi
And a sense of reality on the ground. photo©Agus Suka Adi Surya
Carrying the bull is no easy matter either. photo©Rio Helmi
No funeral procession is complete without a couple of young princesses…. photo©Rio Helmi
A member of the military guard of honor wears a traditional “destar” out of respect – in camouflage of course. photo©Rio Helmi
A Salvo in salute to the achievements of this Son of Ubud. photo©Agus Suka Adi Surya
And finally the fire. photo©Rio Helmi