Trunyan Village Scent of the Dead

Trunyan is one of the culturally isolated Bali Aga villages in Bali, which is notable for its peculiar treatment of dead bodies. 

Trunyan village is located on the isolated eastern shore at Lake Batur and most easily accessible by boat. The people of Trunyan are generally considered to be the Bali Aga people, the mountain Balinese. The Bali Aga people practice ancient rituals which predate the arrival of Hinduism or Buddhism. 

Trunyan: inside the remote Balinese cemetary where corpses are caged to rot  under a 'magic' tree

Instead of cremations, the funeral for the Truyanese society is for them to be simply laid on the ground, covered with clothes and a bamboo cage and left to decompose. Originally for fear of enraging the volcano, they don’t want to burn the bodies. What about the smell coming from the dead bodies?
The ancient Banyan tree (known as “ nice smelling tree”) near the burial ground, neutralizes the smell of rotting bodies. The number 11 has a rich significance in Hinduism, therefore there are just 11 arched palm and bamboo cages in the cemetery. Once they are all filled, villages move the oldest remains to an open air ossuary. 

This ritual is only happening for married people who naturally die on the island. The people who died because of an unnatural cause or were not married will simply be buried. 


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