Friday, 8 June 2012

Tahnia Roberts: Ngaben

Photo © Tahnia Roberts-All Rights Reserved

Ngaben is the cremation ritual/ceremony performed in Bali to send the deceased to the next life. The bodies of the deceased are placed in elaborate sarcophagi, and cremated following rituals and ceremonies that are full of simultaneous solemn and joyous pomp. The Balinese believe that the deceased will either reincarnate or find final rest known as moksha, and that the bodies are temporary shells, considered impure.

Tahnia Roberts' Ngaben is a collection of photographs she made during the cremation of the late A.A. Mangkling, an elderly Balinese. A word of caution is necessary since there are images of the deceased in full view. I ought to add that Ms Roberts had the permission of the family to photograph the cremation ceremony. Her description of cremation ceremonies is quite comprehensive and informative.

Tahnia Roberts is a portrait and documentary photographer, originally from New Zealand, who is currently resident in SE Asia traveling extensively to experience authentic cultural activities of the region.

I suppose I ought to mention my own Ngaben gallery, which was more rural and perhaps less elaborate than the one documented by Ms Roberts.