Trunyan cemetary, Kintamani, Bali.
11 May 2018,
In Trunyan village, the habitants follow a different ritual than in the rest of the island, the bodies are not cremated but left to rot without being buried.
The main cemetary is located on the the border of the lake Batur and is only accessible by boat. There are three separated burial sites for this village, the first for natural deaths, a second one for those who died in an accident or because of unnatural causes and the last one is for children.
At the entrance you’ll find a plate filled with coins for offerings and 4 scarecrows watching over the gate.
The bodies are laid down under bamboo cages, to avoid animals scavenging, and lined up under a giant smelly tree that covers the putrid smells. The name of the village is derivated from the words “Taru menyan”, the nice smelling tree.
When the bodies are fully decomposed, the skulls are placed on a stone altar a few meters away.
Only men have access to the cemetary as, according to the villagers beliefs, women entering the site can lead to an earthquake or a volcanic eruption.
On the way back, we were not allowed to enter the village and the temple as a cleansing ceremony needs to be performed after a visit of the cemetary.