The Three Worlds of Bali

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Releasing the Spirits: A Village Cremation in Bali
Cremation rites are the most elaborate rites of passage performed by Balinese householders. Poor families may wait years before accumulating enough resources to cremate their dead, who are buried in the meantime. In 1978 many more cremations than usual were carried out because of the great purification cermony, Eka Dasa…
A Balinese Trance Seance and Jero on Jero
A Balinese Trance Seance Bringing offerings of rice, flowers, and woven coconut leaves, clients visit Jero in her household shrine to determine the cause of their son's death. Jero lights an incense brazier, sprinkles holy water, and recites mantras as preliminaries to trance. Several ancestors and finally the young son…
Bungalung - A Dreaming of Cannibals
Around a campfire, on a moonlit night, two Anmatjere Elders, Patsy and Jane Briscoe, sing and re-tell an epic Dreaming story told to them by their father and grandfather. It is a story of two young men who are forced into action when a clan of demon Cannibals devour their…
Sight Unseen
Every morning at dawn, Ida Pedanda, a Balinese Hindu priest, sets out to gather flowers that he will use in religious ceremonies throughtout the day. His daily journey takes him by the houses of people he has lived near all his life. He walks by the ocean he has fished…
New Tribes Mission
Part of the Series: Yanomamo Collection
The mission in Bisaasi-teri has a style and orientation quite different from the Salesian mission shown in Ocamo is My Town. The New Tribes Mission has been in this region since the early 1950s. Their main goal, the missionary-teacher in the film explains, is spiritual: to bring the message of…
The Feast in Dream Village
The eastern Indonesian island of Sumba is the last island in the Malay archipelago where the majority of the people still follow their ancestral religion, called marapu. This film, shot in 1986, focuses on a challenge to the authority of the spirits and ancestors in a village ritual to restore…
YƔkwa, The Banquet of the Spirits
This is a four-part documentary about the Yakwa, the most important ritual of the Enauene- Naue Indians of Brazil. For seven months every year, the spirits are venerated with offerings of food, song and dance so they will protect the community. The World Outside the Rock - The Yakwa festivities…
The Goddess and the Computer
For centuries, rice farmers on the island of Bali have taken great care not to offend Dewi Danu, the water goddess who dwells in the crater lake near the peak of Batur volcano. Toward the end of each rainy season, the farmers send representatives to Ulun Danu Batur, the temple…
Balinese Requiem
In a Balinese village, families go to great trouble and expense for their extravagant cremation ceremony. They provide special foods to mourners and prepare a bounty of offerings for the deceased, from gifts of money to symbolic baskets. The atmosphere is almost festive as a shadow puppet show is performed…
Dances at Aurukun
This film is a record of traditional Aboriginal dancing at Aurukun Mission on Cape York Peninsula in far north Queensland. Filmed in 1962 for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, it showcases and preserves Wik ritual dances and ceremonies at a time when customary Aboriginal life was changing and adapting…
Good-Bye Old Man
At the request of a dying Tiwi man and his family on Melville Island, this film was made of the pukumani (bereavement) ceremony to follow his death. The film observes the family through the long period of preparation for the ceremony, following age-old traditions. Dancing and face-painting are rehearsed, to…
Gods and Kings - Mass Media and Tradition in Guatemala
In the muddy market square of Momostenango, Guatemala, where shamans burn offerings in the shadow of the Catholic church, prehispanic gods dance beside horror movie monsters and dictators from the dark days of the Cold War. Unlike the folkloric performances long studied by anthropologists, this new dance won't show up…