The Unique Trunyan Graveyard

Published: 14th July 2010
Views: N/A

Trunyan is a village in Lake Batur at Kintamani district, Bali. Trunyan has a unique funeral ceremony.

Unlike the Balinese people, the people of Trunyan do not cremate or bury their dead, but just lay them out in bamboo cages to decompose, although strangely there is no stench. A macabre collection of skulls and bones lies on the stone platform and the surrounding areas. The bones would remain there until the nature has dissolved the body tissues and only the skeleton remains.

There are 3 types of "sema" or grave location in this place. When the Trunyanese died in a natural death, the body will be covered with white cloth, then placed in a location called Sema wayah. However, if the people died caused by unnatural death, such as accidents, suicide, or murdered, the corpse will be placed at a location called Sema Bantas. The third grave location called Sema Young. This is a place to lay the deadbody of babies, children, or residents who have grown but not married.

The dead bodies don't produce bad smells because of the perfumed scents from a huge Taru Menyan tree growing nearby. The scent neutralizes the smell of the rotting bodies. Taru means 'tree' and Menyan means 'nice smell'. The name of Trunyan village itself was also derived from these two words.

Then the skulls are placed on a stairs-shaped stone altar which is located some 500 meter north of the banjar Kuban. It's a special place which can only be reached by boat.

There is a local rule that not allow women to attend the funeral ceremonies and bring the deadbody to the taru menyan tree or to the cemetry. It because the Trunyan believe if this rule is violated, the village will be struck by disaster, such as an earthquake, a volcanic eruption, or a land slide. There's no one knows how and when this rule begin.

Report this article Ask About This Article

More to Explore

You might like