"Essay", Metaphorical Site 02: Body, Rotten TV_
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Death In Life, Life In Death: The Body and Death among Javanese People

Installation view “Mati Sajroning Urip, Urip Sajroning Pati” by Enka Komariah & Dwi Oblo (2021/2022)


IN JULY 2021 the aura of death spread throughout the city of Yogyakarta. It was not long ago that neighborhoods re-opened entry portals that were built at the mouths of street alleys when the pandemic began to spread, yet now, in fact, many have met their demise. Eerie silence (tintrim) gripped once again in all corners of the city to the countryside. Ambulances with sirens blaring would speed by, requesting passage on the road. Who knows if they were on the way to the hospital or to the cemetery. These were the circumstances that occurred non-stop every day, from dawn till the middle of the night. Bodies were lined up daily at hospital morgues, waiting to be sorted and taken to the cemetery. Required coffins to carry corpses in accordance to health protocols were becoming scarce. Several people and institutions took the initiative to provide and donate the coffins free of charge, to settle the problem.

In rural and urban neighborhoods, the mosque loudspeakers delivered news of death one after another. Unlike the usual announcement that conjures hope for neighbors to express their condolences or attend the funeral (takziah), the voice from the mosque can only inform that a citizen has died and has been buried. Only the people in the closest circle, such as family members and close relatives, were allowed to attend the funeral. Even then they must keep their distance from the grave and are only allowed to approach after the body is buried. The COVID-19 pandemic has eliminated intimate and socially warm interactions between the deceased and their relatives and friends. There is no room for weeping or lamenting in front of the dead, even though it is culturally the custom to not show grief for too long.

When one of the residents in my neighborhood died and was buried in the neighborhood cemetery, the head of the neighborhood association announced through the WhatsApp group chat and loudspeakers that no one was allowed to leave the house when the deceased passes through the street towards the cemetery. The convoy only consisted of the neighborhood COVID-19 Task Force that provided the pathway while spraying disinfectant along the road followed by an ambulance carrying the corpse. All doors were tightly shut. There were no chanting of prayers and scattering of flowers that accompany the procession to the cemetery as it is usually done. The burials of victims of this pandemic have broken the traditions and customs that have long been carried out by members of the community. Death has become very private and the body is seen as merely a biological body that is vulnerable, easily destroyed, and carries the threat of contaminating the living.

The procedures and rituals of death during the pandemic were far different from the customs and traditions that are generally conducted in society. This also applied to those who died of other causes such as natural disasters. Even though there were deaths not caused by COVID-19, strict health protocols required funerals to be conducted simply and as expeditiously as possible. Before the pandemic, people who were declared dead were immediately purified by being bathed with flower infused water and accompanied with prayers by the people in the neighborhood. The body is cleansed of all stains, then wrapped in cloth, and cotton were placed to cover all the orifice of the body. For those of Christian faith, the body would be dressed in its best clothes as if attending a banquet. The body is then placed in the living room of the house to receive last respects from family, relatives and acquaintances before being taken to the cemetery or crematorium. In this environment, people may grieve and lament, but the lamentation should not be prolonged. The ritual also does not stop here. There are more funerary rituals that are held successively after 7 days, 40 days, 100 days and till 1000 days after death. During the pandemic, these rituals had to change. These changes that had occurred during the pandemic, surprised us and caught our attention.

In this joint project, we began by discussing the experiences and views of people around the phenomenon of death. We started by listening to the experience of Dwi Oblo Prasetyo who photographed the death rites of a COVID-19 patient. He joined the COVID-19 Task Force, which was always on standby to bury the dead bodies. Without any regards to time, Task Force members would encase the corpse immediately after a patient dies, put it in a coffin and bury it. Even in the middle of the night when people were asleep, common task force volunteers would take the bodies to the graves and bury them with single-use personal protective equipment (PPE) gear for hazardous materials. These volunteers must endure extreme heat for several hours while wearing the hazmat because the material is airtight and prevents penetration of the virus. After the burial task is completed, they must also be sterilized repeatedly by being sprayed down with disinfectant. Volunteers also never expected wages or honorariums for the burials. Dwi Oblo was amazed and took pictures of an incident when volunteers from different religions prayed for the bodies of COVID-19 patients in their own way. Meanwhile for funerals, family members and close relatives were not allowed to approach the grave due the risk of being endangered to contamination from the virus. To understand the shift that occurred, Oblo also re-opened his photography archive during the 2010 Merapi eruption and other photographs related to death rites/rituals. Meanwhile, to understand more about funerary attributes such as various flowers and aromas that are often used in these rituals, he explored the small shop of “Food for Spirits”. These shops generally provide materials to serve community needs in preparing for funerary rituals. 

Oblo’s experience aroused Enka Komariah’s curiosity. He was impressed by Dwi Oblo’s photographs of the funeral ritual of a COVID-19  victim, whose body was being prayed outside of the ambulance and when it was being taken to the grave at night. This curiosity was then poured into a sketch that was exhibited at the UOB Painting Award 2020. For this project, Enka further investigated the meaning of death. Apart from examining the photographs of Dwi Oblo Prasetyo, he also searched for reading sources, for example Serat Centhini, regarding the rituals performed after one’s death. In fact, Enka also visited several tombs to feel the magical and mystical atmosphere of silence.

Enka’s experience and significance are expressed in the form of apparel similar to personal protective equipment (PPE), painted with fragments of Dwi Oblos’ photographs of death. The painting on the wardrobe made from canvas, is in black and white. The garb is propped with an iron support on the back, as a platform for some of his imaginary funerary icons. At the very top, there is an umbrella, an object often carried to cover the coffin in a funeral procession. Underneath it, a lamp is hung to provide light like the teplok or an oil lamp which was often lit near the grave. The light also illuminates Yamadipati who is known as the god of death in the wayang universe. The apparel and other icons are not only displayed for installation, but was also worn and taken to various places on motorbike. Enka’s journey wearing his artwork to several sites was presented in video format.

Several questions that arose during the undergone process, included ‘how do people interpret death today?’ Mainly how the pandemic had fractured the customs and traditions which communities live by. More specifically, we also contemplated whether changes in death rites have changed the way people view death. What do people believe in regards to death? How do people view bodies and corpses? How do people view the changes that occurred with death rites during the pandemic? Oblo and Enka’s collaboration attempts to present death through the fragments captured by the camera and recalled memories derived from their traumatic and magical experiences.This paper presents a description and analysis of the processes in producing the work entitled “Mati Sajroning Urip, Urip Sajroning Pati” (Death in Life, Life in Death). The first part highlights the body in context to the phenomenon of death. The medical perspective regarding the body shows a different position from the cultural perspective. The medical body is a biological body that can naturally grow and decay. The cultural body is a glorified body because it is formed from rudiments of society’s cosmology. The second part describes death rites and its alterations in society. In this case, we explicate mortuary rituals among Javanese people that is very innate in our daily life.

Medical Body and Cultural Body

The medical perspective sees the human body as a biological body that is similar to other living beings. The body is made up of a network of cells and organs whose functions cannot be separated from one another. The biological body undergoes development from a fetus to an adult, and experiences a turning point when a person gets older. The body then experiences a decline in the function of its organs and tissues until they die. From a biological perspective, the human body is vulnerable. The body can die or be damaged by accidents or the invasion of bacteria and viruses. Like other living beings, death is biologically inevitable in human life. Medical technology can only delay death but cannot stop mortality. Death is inevitable and no one can deny it.

Clinically, death occurs when the body is no longer able to carry out life activities. All the functions of the body’s tissues and organs just stop and cannot be reversed. Death is currently acknowledged when the brain ceases to function (cortex). Previously, death was determined by the cessation of the heart beat. Death makes the body stiff and gradually undergoes a process of decay. In practice, signs of death are determined biologically such as loss of breath, loss of heartbeat, and total loss of consciousness (Hockey, 1993; Indriati, 2003: 232).

Such parameters are in contrast to the Javanese view and knowledge of death. For the Javanese, death is believed to be the separation of the soul from the body. The soul leaves the body and begins the journey to the realm of eternity. Death is not seen as destruction, but a return to the origins of life. The body will return to its constituent elements consisting of earth, water, fire and wind (Soepomo, 1980: 96-97; Ciptoprawiro, 1992: 46). In this case, the decaying and disintegrating body is not headed for extinction, but returns to its origins. Therefore, death does not occur spontaneously or suddenly. It is accompanied by signs such as omens and natural phenomena that accompany it. The foreboding may also be felt by those close to the deceased. They may experience a loose tooth or witness sick people who suddenly become healthy again, and other demeanors that are often called nganeh-anehi (unusual or strange). Signs from nature that appear are often associated with a whistling bird at night; crows flying around the funeral home. Whilst, symptoms of a person’s body who is about to die are characterized by ear canals closed; heartbeats stop; excretion of black stool (tai kalong), and cold body temperature that spreads from the feet up, until the the person experiences total loss of consciousness. Javanese people believe that death occurs when the soul leaves the body (Subagya, 2005).

Medicine can only delay death by prolonging one’s life, but can not eliminate it. Related endeavors include handling and treating diseases, whether they are caused by accidents, bacteria or viruses that harm the human body. COVID-19 is a new virus that does not yet have an antidote model, hence patients are isolated to prevent transmission. Isolation is mainly conducted so that the virus is contained and does not contaminate people who are still healthy. Meanwhile, people are required to conduct sterilization practice by following health protocols, which includes wearing of masks, avoiding physical contact, washing hands and spraying disinfectant on items in public spaces that are easily exposed to the virus.

When death occurs to a COVID-19 patient, isolation of the patient’s body is strictly conducted without any escaping air gaps. In processing the corpse for burial, the body is immediately wrapped in a shroud and airtight plastic, then put in a body bag before being placed in a tightly sealed coffin. Assigned task workers of the burial, mostly volunteers, must wear protective gear when handling and burying the corpse.[1] Their garbs are made from strong materials, impermeable to liquid and even air. The outfit is made of Hazmat (hazardous material) which can only be used once. It is indescribable how burial task volunteers had to bear the heat for a few hours being wrapped in such hot clothing. Afterwards, they must sterilize themselves by spraying disinfectant all over their bodies before bathing and changing into their daily clothes.

It is not surprising that the status of COVID-19 patients were considered stigmas in society. This stigma was intimidating because each person who was stigmatized were treated explicitly, restricting their movement and isolated. The stigma also bears the threat of contamination or transmitting the virus, whether intentionally or unintentionally. The stigma is an empty signifier that can be stamped on anyone. At the beginning of the pandemic, the social stigma towards COVID-19 patients were very severe. Patients and their families tended to be ostracized because people were afraid of being infected. This stigma led to many burial rejections of deceased COVID-19 patients in neighborhood cemeteries, even though the family members and the deceased were registered citizens of that neighborhood. In fact, the fear of being stigmatized had caused many people to reject the COVID-19 designation of their family members. In some areas, mass media reported occurrences of forced retrieval of dead bodies from hospitals. It was most likely that family and relatives of the deceased patient were unable to receive special services provided to COVID-19 patients. It may also be that they wanted to avoid stigmatization that were imagined to have frightening effects. However, this stigmatization is gradually changing as the solidarity movement continues to advocate for those who experienced hardships from segregated isolation. Its decline was also made possible due the increasing number of infected patients -indiscriminately and unexpectedly, in addition to a sense of humanity mixed with fear, that the virus can infect anyone.

In the suburbs and village districts of Yogyakarta region, people independently closed all access to their neighborhood, leaving only one route for passer-byers by installing checkpoints. Everyone who passed through were sprayed with disinfectant. People from outside the area would have their identity cards (KTP) checked. If they are without a vaccination certificate or proof that they are free from COVID-19, they are not allowed to stay overnight in the area. Even villagers who traveled to red zone areas (in which the number of sufferers is statistically high) were asked to quarantine themselves at home after returning from their trip from another region. People took turns guarding the village portal all day. The patrol schedule was more intense than the common patrol schedule under normal circumstances (night watch schedule only). The threat of COVID-19 to the village made everyone more cautious of their surroundings, such as anticipating possible occurrences of crime at any time without knowing who the perpetrators are.

That kind of fear was alarming because of the unimaginable changes, especially concerning the differences of views towards the body. Unlike the medical view of death, which sees the body from a biological perspective, the villagers view the body culturally. The dead body will return to its basic elements while the soul will begin the journey back to its origin. Culturally, lifeless bodies will soon rot and return to dust, but, to reach that perfection, the process of returning is accompanied by rituals that engage them. Therefore, as soon as a person is declared dead, the body will be purified by being bathed in water infused with flowers, leaves and other cleansing fluids such as soap and shampoo. In this purification, the body is bathed in the nude, and the procession is carried out privately by the village religious leader who is accompanied by family members and close relatives of the deceased. After being bathed, for those who are Muslim, the corpse is draped in a shroud that is wrapped around the body, while the nine orifices are covered with cotton. Furthermore, the wrapped body is tied with ropes (pocong). The ropes will be loosened when the corpse is placed in the grave. For Christians, the body is made up and dressed in the best clothes possible as if attending a banquet. People of other religions and faith treat the corpse according to their view of salvation and after life. The body that has been purified is placed in the main room of the house that is spacious enough for relatives, friends and acquaintances can offer prayers and pay their respects. Through this ritual, people reveres the body that has been separated from the soul as the journey to the realm of eternity begins.

Interpreting Death and Mortuary Rituals:

The Dwi Oblo and Enka Komariah Collaboration

As mentioned above, this collaborative work started from the photographs taken by Dwi Oblo Prasetyo who captured moments of the funerary rite of the corpse of a COVID-19 patient. This moment showed a new phenomenon in the ritual of death, namely the burial of the bodies of COVID-19 patients, by approximately six COVID-19 Task Force volunteers. Unlike the usual funeral practice which are generally attended by relatives, friends and acquaintances, only few family members of the deceased watched the process from a distance and approached the grave after the coffin was covered with earth. There was no sense of mourning. The atmosphere was flat, quiet and desolate, illuminated by the light of the task force carrying the coffin to the burial pit. This moment was interesting because it conveyed an extremely private atmosphere of contained, unreleased mourning. Dwi Oblo captured the atmosphere of the funeral: prayers for the bodies by COVID-19 Task Force members of different religious faith, conducted outside the ambulance; the coffin carried by the task force dressed in PPE until it was lowered into the grave in silence; and the light shining in the darkness of the night.

During the discussion process, Dwi Oblo also showed his collection of photographs of natural disaster victims and their funerals related to the Yogyakarta earthquake that hit in 2006, and the Mount Merapi eruption in 2010. This collection served as a comparative reference for the COVID-19 pandemic situation. From the earthquake disaster photographs, it can be seen that many people suffered injuries from the impact, where as from the eruption, the wounds from the pyroclastic cloud was prominent. Most of the bodies from both the earthquake and the Merapi eruption were buried in mass graves, in which the funerals were carried out collectively in one place. Some victims at the grave site had identification, but the majority did not. Compared to the photo documentation of the disasters, the photographs of COVID-19 victims revealed that the corpses received special funerary treatment, even though some of them were also buried in mass graves. Unlike the victims of natural disasters, victims of COVID-19 were identifiable.

Dwi Oblo strives to interpret death from the moment he is witnessing it. In reference to a concept by Roland Barthes (1981), he reveals the studium that emerges from the spectrum produced by his camera. The studium portrays cultural fragments such as gestures and expressions that people display in their lives. Dwi Oblo investigated the significance of death rituals that people practice in their daily lives. He recalled memories, had discussions, and researched symbolic devices and ritual icons associated with death. In addition to asking questions, Dwi Oblo also visited a vendor that provides special supplies for funeral rituals. The shop has a sign above its door that reads “Selling food for the spirits”. There Oblo found various necessities for funeral proceedings such as traditional flower accessories, flower petals, and accouterments for bathing the body after a person is declared dead.

The funeral ritual photographs of displayed by Dwi Oblo can be categorized into several segments. The first segment is an icon when a person is declared dead and bathed. The photographs feature telon flower arrangement (three types of flowers: red and white roses, cantilever flowers and ylang ylang) and betel nut which are placed in a besek (woven bamboo basket). The flowers are presented when a person has just died and is placed in one of the rooms in the deceased’s house. Then the setaman (garden) flowers are placed in a container to bathe the corpse along with cleaning tools that consist of turmeric, straw, soap, shampoo, comb and glass. Also shown is the banana leaf midrib (gedebok pisang) which served as the seat for the corpse to be bathed. The second segment shows items when the body has been washed and usually placed in the center of house to be prayed upon and for visitors to pay their final respects. In the same room, flower garlands (ronce) are strewn, bouquets and flower petals mixed in water that are placed around. Offerings in the form of plantains with flowers and betel nut, red and white porridge, a lantern (teplok) and burning incense in a canister are placed near the corpse. In this segment of the funeral, parents often distribute singgul to children, to be smeared on the forehead and nails. Singgul is made from turmeric (Curcuma Domestica), dlingo or sweet flag (Acorus Calamus) and bangle (bengle/Zingiber Cassumunar) which are ground together into a paste. The smell of singgul is pungent. It lingers in the memory. Its imprint is believed to be an antidote for sawan (disease or danger brought by death). Additional attributes includes an umbrella, flower petals, jugs, and coins mixed with yellow rice, are prepared for the procession when the body is carried from the house to the cemetery[2]

However, those items are generally utilized for funeral rituals unlike emergency situations such as disasters or COVID-19 patients. It seems that people were able to justify and understand this condition because, as witnessed by Dwi Oblo, the funeral of non-COVID-19 patients had followed funeral ritual practice that was more commonly known. Obviously, for the adherents of certain religions and sects, many aspects of these customs have already been dispensed with because they collide with the teachings of their faith. Saiful Hakam (2021) observed that the Bunga Selasih Foundation, which provides services to Muslims in handling matters of death, does not carry out the customs practiced by the Javanese. Even so, some ritual practices, although not fully conducted, are often tolerated. Thus, the rituals run dynamically according to the needs of their supporters. Changes in rituals inevitably occur in a constantly changing society.

Dwi Oblo’s photographic works sparked his curiosity about the symbolic meaning of death and the changes of its rituals that break traditions and customs in Javanese society in Yogyakarta. These works left a deep impression on Enka Komariah’s mind. He transferred the studium of the photographs into a black and white painting. The painting is arranged in the form of a collage and made on canvas which is then sewn to resemble the PPE gear worn by the COVID-19 Task Force. Enka then placed an iron frame behind him to support the Yamadipati (god of death) on it. Here the light is placed in a higher place, and an umbrella shades the three elements as an icon of death. Enka interprets death as the inevitable, marked by the presence of the god of death, Yamadipati, who is ready to take the life of anyone, anytime, and anywhere. Instead of being seen as darkness, death is illuminated by the light of eternity and shaded with serenity.

Enka tries to share his expression of the punctum, seized after seeing Dwi Oblo’s photographs. Roland Barthes (1981:43) describes the punctum as something that pierces the photo like an arrow darting out its spectrum. Punctums emerge from details that are not intentional or uncontrollable by the photographer. Punctum makes a deep impression when people look at the photographs and close their eyes. Punctum points to photographic details that convey meaning without reference to a recognizable symbolic system. This meaning is subjective in nature – depending on the response of the individual viewing the photographic images. In this sense, it is understandable that Enka did not stop at producing the installation work as described above, but he also brought the installation piece to sites that he perceived as the source of disaster. He tries to reveal the meaning of death through means to feel its aura, and at the same time invites his audience to experience it through his actions (laku). His journey and actions were documented into a video piece that were screened as part of the exhibition.

The first site that Enka visited with his installation piece was the junction of Opak and Oya Rivers in Bantul. The second site is Kepuharjo and the third is the tomb of Sasonoloyo in Yogyakarta kerkop (cemetery). The Opak and Oya River junction is assumed to be the epicenter of the Yogyakarta earthquake on May 6, 2006 at dawn. The earthquake claimed at least 6,000 lives and injured thousands of others. Kepuharjo is the path through which the pyroclastic clouds of the 2010 Merapi eruption passed. Hundreds of victims who stayed in the area were swept away by the clouds, including the oracle of Mount Merapi, Mbah Maridjan. While at Sasonoloyo, THR Kerkop, Enka visited the graves of patients who died due to COVID-19. These sites are located in marginal areas, rarely or hardly visited by people without a certain intention as what Enka Komariah did. Nor is it in the center of activity or social interaction, or the hustle and bustle of daily activities. In these areas, the boundary between life and death, existing and non-existent, real and virtual, is ambiguous. Some researchers categorized such sites as sacred (Durkheim, 1965; Eilade, 1959) or liminal (Turner and Abrahams, 2017). Hence, this action and his journey becomes more of a pilgrimage considering the sacredness of the locations visited.

The video documentation of the journey to the sites, is musically accompanied with a Javanese death song from Kembara Sunyi and sung by Ki Sudrun (https://youtu.be/YPEUkCU3W3U and https://youtu.be/9nwMuSBYmis). The lyric of the song is in Javanese with Indonesian subtitles. The Indonesian translation presented below is modified from the translations that appeared in the video based on the meaning we were able to capture. The verse reads:

Dununge wong urip pun iki
Lamun mbenjang yen wus palastra
Wong mati nyang endi parane
Upamakno peksi mabur mesak saking kurunganipun
Upamakno wong lungo sanja
Jang sinanjang wong lungo sanja, wajibe mulih

Mulih neng ngisor semboja

The truth where life is
When the time comes to die
Where will the dead go 
Like a bird that flies out of its cage
Like people who leave for a gathering
Surely people who leaves to gather, must make their way back home 
Back home under the plumeria tree

The verse above emphasizes that death is the nature of every human being. People who leave will definitely return. Death will happen sooner or later to every human being.

At the sites he visited, Enka invites us to feel the atmosphere of silence (empty, suwung), the exact atmosphere when death occurs, when people return to zero, to return home. At the conjunction of Opak and Oya Rivers, the silence was between the sound of rushing water and the wind. The atmosphere was then forged by the sound of the bell in the rhythm of titir “Rajapati” – a rhythm made up of tonal beats to announce a death. Before loudspeakers were used in mosques, let alone social media, it was common for people to use kentongan (slit-wood or bamboo drum) that served as a messenger for the community. Different beats were produced for different incidents. Enka declared Rajapati (death) while wearing his installation piece – a PPE inspired outfit with a painting of death and Yamadipati, illuminated by light and shaded by an umbrella. He walked in circles around the place. The same thing was done in Kepuharjo – the area that was swept away by pyroclastic clouds from Merapi 2010. Here the sound of the wind stands out in the silence. In Sasonoloyo, Enka visited the graves of COVID-19 victims, to offer flowers sprinkled on the surface. He reenacted the same activity pattern as the previous sites. Behind his pursuit to seek the meaning of death, lies a will to remind the audience and those who are still living, to experience death (Mati Sajroning Urip). Death is not in vain but natural. When we die, we return to zero, suwung awang-uwung (emptiness), which is both the end and the beginning of life.


Death is inevitable in human life. No human being can deny that. Even medical technology can only delay its arrival. Medically, people are perceived no differently than other living beings that will experience death. This is different from a cultural perspective. In Java, death is seen as a separation of the soul/spirit from the body. The life returns to its origins while the body will decompose into its initial elements such as water, fire and earth. Therefore, death rituals have an important meaning because they lead the spirit to eternity and reveres the body to its elements. Socially, funeral rituals with their symbolic devices and practice, assist mourners to overcome their grief –to sincerely let go of those who were once a part of their lives. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the mortuary procedures changed due to the emergency conditions. For the sake of mutual safety, namely breaking custom to prevent transmission of disease, isolation and sterilization were carried out by preventing the bodies to come into contact, in particular patients who died from the plague. Funeral ceremonies became a very private affair and far from the overflowing emotions of people who have built social bonds. Sadness and sorrow are restrained and can not be released. However, people seem to understand the nature of the emergency because when the spread of the disease decreases and deaths are no longer caused by the plague, the traditional rituals will resume once again.The works presented by Dwi Oblo through his photography, highlight symbols in the rituals and their significance in the lives of community members. Meanings can change according to the context and the people who invariably provides them to the ongoing dynamics. Dwi Oblo’s works show that life is always filled with death (Mati Sajroning Urip). Meanwhile, Enka Komariah further invites us to explore and experience death (Urip Sajroning Pati). Through his works, we are invited to reflect on seeking and returning to the atmosphere of silence back to and zero – when we become no one and nothing.


[1] The COVID-19 task workers in Yogyakarta and other regions of Indonesia consist of volunteers. They are called volunteers because they genuinely help without expecting anything in return. Of course in some areas, these volunteers are also given an honorariaum or incentive, however compared to the relentless hours and health risks associated to their activities, this term is more appropriate. ⤴️

[2] This ritual setting varies in different places in Java and has changed over time. For example for Muhammadiyah or Protestant communities, offerings and ceremonial objects are no longer used. Instead, these communities tend to use modern tools that are more practical. For instance bathing a corpse, only soap, shampoo and chlorine are needed. Flowers are used only to decorate funeral homes or graves. However, there are others who continue to utilize them even though it is not as complete as the tradition mentioned above. ⤴️


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Ciptopawiro, A. (1992). Filsafat Jawa. Semarang: Balai Pustaka.

Durkheim, E. (1965). The elementary forms of the religious life [1912] (p. 414).

Eliade, M. (1959). The sacred and the profane: The nature of religion (Vol. 81). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Hakam, S.(2021). Kota & kematian: Konteks historis dan sosial kemunculan Yayasan Bunga Selasih. Pustaka Aksara.

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Soepomo, P.  et al (1980). Studi Kepustakaan tentang Menelusuri identitas Kepecayaan terhadap Tuhan Yang Maha Esa. Jakarta: Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan.

Subagya, Y. T. (2005). Menemui ajal: etnografi Jawa tentang kematian. Kepel Press.

Turner, V.(2017). The ritual process: Structure and anti-structure. Routledge.

https://youtu.be/YPEUkCU3W3U diunduh 20 Februari 2022, 23.28

https://youtu.be/9nwMuSBYmis diunduh 20 Februari 2022, 23.30

About the Author

Yustinus Tri Subagya is a lecturer in the Graduate Program of Cultural Studies, University of Sanata Dharma. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Anthropology at the University of Gadjah Mada in 1996. From there, he graduated from the Master programme in Anthropology and Sociology at Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines in 2001. His doctoral degree was completed at Radboud University Nujmegen, The Netherlands, 2010-2015. Since his undergraduate studies, Tri has been actively involved and researching for National Consortium for Forest and Nature in Indonesia (Konphalindo), Dian Desa Foundation, and Oxfam (GB). He was also a researcher for Center for Cultural Studies and Center of Asia Pacific Studies at Gadjah Mada University. From 2003-2009 he was the program officer at Center for Political History and Ethics (PUSdEP). His research interests are in several fields including Human Rights, Conflict Resolution, Ecology, Ethnic and Religious Issues, Arts and Pop Culture. Some of his published books and articles, either written himself or collectively, includes Perbincangan Umum tentang Rencana Pembangunan PLTN di Indonesia; The Development Impact of Solar Home System in Indonesia; Menemui Ajal, Etnografi Jawa tentang Kematian (Kepel Press, 2005); Pergulatan Identitas Dayak dan Indonesia: Belajar dari Tjilik Riwut (Galang Press, 2006); Jerat Bantuan, Jerit Pengungsi: Kesehatan Reproduksi Masyarakat Poso Paska Konflik Bersenjata(2005); Women’s Agencies for Peace and Reconciliation: Voices from Poso, Sulawesi(2009); and Support for Ethno-Religious Violence in Indonesia (Sanata Dharma University, 2015). 

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