The second half of the day was an altogether different experience. At the risk of sounding melodramatic I have to provide a warning about these next photos. Some of you may find them rather disturbing.
On the previous afternoon Nymoan spoke to me about the people across the lake (insert eerie music here) who reside in the village of Trunyan.
The residents are reputed to be descendants of the Bali Aga, the original inhabitants of the island that predate the arrival of Hinduism. They are well-known for, among other things, their unique ‘burial’ methods, which is to say no methods at all. Bodies of the recently deceased are merely placed on the ground in the ‘cemetery’ to decompose naturally. The dearly departed are first laid within a bamboo enclosure and allowed to decay slowly.
When the process reaches a certain stage or if more space is required (I was told there is room for eleven bodies at a time in separate bamboo pens) the bones are placed in a pile adjacent to the enclosures until most of the flesh has rotted away and the bones are relatively dry. When all the flesh has dissolved they stack the bones in the designated area, lining up the skulls in a nice neat row.