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Photographer's Note

While I was staying in Denpasar, the major city on Bali, in 1976 my host told me that the next day I should go to Ubud, a village a short distance away, to watch the cremation of an important local chief. He had died some three years ago and had been buried while his family was waiting for the best moment to cremate him, as is the custom among Hindus. Now the priests had decided the auspicious time had arrived.

So I went to Ubud and found a village hopelessly crowded, not only with the deceased's family and friends and other locals, but by probably thousands of tourists. I had actually hesitated whether I should go, because I expected every tourist on the island to come to Ubud that day. It turned out to be worse than I had thought.

I spent hours there, watching various ceremonies preceding the cremation, walking among the crowds to take photos, but when they had finally lifted the coffin onto a tower made for the occasion, and were about to carry the tower to the actual cremation ground, I had had enough and left.

I quote from my diary:

"By this time the street was terribly crowded. A number of policemen made fruitless efforts to clear the street from the crowds. Members of the committee organizing the ceremony tried in vain to make the tourists understand that they had to stay back, but neither messages in English and French through megaphones, nor the wailing sirens of police cars had much effect. Most of them seemed to believe this was arranged mainly for their amusement. I felt deeply ashamed of being there, so I left. But I had to walk past a kilometer of parked tourist buses and taxis before I could find a bemo". (Bemo = mini bus.)

Today's main photo shows the tower where the coffin was to be placed on a platform. One WS shows a small detail on the richly decorated tower. Another WS shows local boys and girls watching the proceedings. All photos were scanned from Kodachrome slides.

I will show more pictures from this event in my next posts. Only yesterday I suddenly remembered that I had also taken a number of B&W photos, before I got too fed up.

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11798 W: 564 N: 22637] (98042)
  • Genre: Gente
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 1976-08-26
  • Versión de la foto: Versión original, Workshop
  • Date Submitted: 2020-11-10 0:37
  • Favoritos: 2 [Ver]
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Points: 56
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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11798 W: 564 N: 22637] (98042)
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