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In Search for the Head  

by on Monday, 2 March 2009No Comment | 801 views

Balinese People

Last night, my uncle came to my house and talked about the rumor that circulating among my clan members, questioning the status of my family in the clan, whether my family is really belong to the Arya Belog clan or not. Though the rumor has been circulating for a long time but there is no open discussion on this problem in the regular clan meeting, at least not yet.

This kind of problem is common in Bali. Lineage, clan membership and ancestral temple are important for Balinese since ancestor worship is important part of Balinese Hindu. The ancestor worship can not be done when one does not know his own ancestor, and Balinese believe that the neglect of ancestor worship will result various misfortunes and sicknesses. The holy water from clan temple or ancestral temple is needed in cremation ceremony or other big ceremonies, no ceremony is considered complete without the presence on this holy water and it cannot be obtained without knowing one’s clan and where one’s clan temple is.

The membership on a clan is an important identity for the Balinese. It is important information to answer various questions imposed by others on one’s origin or ancestral line. A Balinese without a clan membership and ancestral line is considered a man without “head”; his or her identity is vague and doubtful. A Balinese will be ashamed if he or she cannot answer the question on his origin and ancestral line. Therefore many Balinese give their best effort to trace back their ancestry, to find their “head” and to regain their identity.

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