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Towards the end of the Balinese year, during the last months of the rainy season, epidemics of malaria and tropical fevers make their appearance because evil spirits and leyaks are in the ascendancy; then even the earth is said to be sick. It is believed that the fanged demon living on the little island of Nusa Penida, Djero' Gede' Metjaling, comes to Bali then in the form of a fiery ball that, upon coming ashore, explodes into a thousand sparks that spread in all directions. As their glow dies, they release evil forces that go to spread illness and misfortune. This is a propitious time for leyaks to prey on human beings; because of the predominance of evil forces, the village is then magically weakened. The dogs gather at the crossroads and howl all night and the owls hoot, predicting deaths in the village. Quantities of offerings are made to placate the devils, and the benign spirits are implored to come down to earth, through the body of a medium, to advise and protect the distressed community.

A performance of sanghyang dedari is one of the most effective exorcisms; two little girls, trained to go into a trance, are chosen from all the girls of the village for their psychic aptitudes by the temple priest, the pemangku, to receive in their bodies the spirits of the heavenly nymphs, the beautiful dedari Supraba and Blue Lotus (Tundjung Biru"). Choruses of men and women are formed and the training begins. Every night, for weeks, they all go to the temple, where the women sing traditional songs while the men chant strange rhythms and harmonies made up of meaningless syllables, producing a syncopated accompaniment for the dance that the little girls, the sanghyangs, will perform. By degrees the little girls become more and more subject to the ecstasy produced by the intoxicating songs, by the incense, and by the hypnotic power of the pernangku. The training goes on until the girls are able to fall into a deep trance, and a formal performance can be given. It is extraordinary that although the little girls have never received dancing lessons once in a trance they are able to dance in any style, all of which would require ordinary dancers months and years of training to learn. But the Balinese ask how it could be otherwise, since it is the goddesses who dance in the bodies of the little girls.

When the girls are ready, they are taken to the death temple where a sanggar agung, a high altar, has been erected, filled with offerings for the sun. The Pemangku sits facing the altar in fro of a brazier where incense of three sorts is burned. The little girls wear ear-plugs of gold, heavy silver anklets, bracelets, an rings. Their hair is loose and they are dressed in white skirts They kneel in front of the altar on each side of the priest. The women singers sit in-a circle around them, while the men main in a group in the back. Their jewellery is removed and put in a bowl of water; small incense braziers are placed in front of each girl. After a short prayer by the priest the women sing:
Fragrant is the smoke of the incense, the smoke of the sandal. wood, the smoke that coils and coils upwards towards the home the three gods. We are cleansed to call the nymphs to descend from heaven. We ask Supraba and Tundjung Biru to come down to us, beautiful in their bodices of gold. Flying down from heaven, they fly in spirals, fly down from the, North-East, where they build their home.

Their garden is filled with, golden flowers that grow side by side, with the pandanus, the scorpion orchids, the tigakantju, pineapples soli and sempol, their tender leaves gracefully drooping; drooping they spread their perfume through the garden.
Our thoughts shall rise like smoke towards the dedari, who will" descend from heaven.
Soon the girls begin to drowse and fall in a sudden faint. The, women support their limp bodies in a sitting-position, and after a while the girls begin to move again, as if suffering intense pain, then trembling all over and swaying faster and faster, their heads rolling until their loose hair describes a wide circle. From this time on the girls remain with closed eyes and do not open them until the end of the ceremony, when they are taken out of the trance. With their bare hands they brush off the glowing coals from the braziers, making inarticulate sounds that are taken to be mantras, magic formulas, mumbled by the heavenly nymphs that have entered their bodies. From now m they are addressed as goddesses. Women attendants remove their white skirts and replace them with gilt ones. Their waists are tightly bound in strips of gold cloth, and each girl is given a jacket, a golden bodice, and a silver belt, in all a legong costume. The jewellery that lay in the bowl of holy water is put on again. The holy bead-dresses of gold are brought in on. cushions decorated with fresh frangipani flowers, and the girls are guided so that they can put them on themselves while the women Sing about the. beauty of the bead-dresses and the elegance of their clothes:

The head-dress, the head-dress circled with jasmines, the garuda mungkur ornament on its back, enhanced with sempol and gambir flowers, crowned with fragrant sandat and yellow pistils of merak.

Tightly bound in their sashes they dance in the middle of the court, they dance slowly and glide from side to side, sway and swing in ecstasy.

The pemangku, until then motionless and concentrating, now takes a coconut with the holy water about to be sanctified, water in which have been placed various sorts of flowers and three small branches of dadap bound in red, black, and white thread. Then be asks the sanghyangs to turn the water into an amulet.

The sanghyangs begin to dance with closed eyes, accompanied by alternating choruses of the men who sing in furious syncopation: " Kechak-kechak-kechak - chakchakchak!_ and by the women who sing:

The flower menuk that makes one happy, the white flower, it is - it is - it is white and in rows, like, the stars above, like the constellations, like the constellation kartika, that scintillates, they scintillate, scintillate and fade away, fade away and disappear, disappear, disappear because of the moonlight.

Lengkik, lengkik, lengkik, says the plaintive song of the lonely dasih bird that was left behind. Oh, how he cries He cries, cries like the cry of a child who must be amused, amused by the dancing of the dedaris. Lengkik, lengkik, swing and sway in ecstasy. . .

The sanghyangs may suddenly decide to go to another temple or tour the village, chasing the leyaks, followed by the singing men and women. The sanghyangs must not touch the impure ground outside the temple and are carried everywhere on the'
shoulders of men. They stop at a second temple, where a pile of coconut shells burns in the center of the court. The sanghyangs dance unconcerned in and out of the fire, scattering the glowing coals in all directions with their bare feet. They may even decide to take a bath of fire, picking up the coals in both hands and pouring them over themselves.

When the fire is extinguished, the girls climb onto the shoulders of two men who walk around the courtyard, the girls' prehensile feet clutching the men's shoulders, balancing themselves and dancing gracefully from the waist up, bending back at incredible angles. In this manner they give the illusion of gliding through the air. The temperamental girls may suddenly decide that the dance is over. Then they must be taken out o the trance with more songs; and the sanghyangs become ordinary girls again, they distribute the flowers from their headdresses as amulets and sprinkle the crowd with holy water:

Beautiful goddess stand up, goddess, stand up. The singers have come and are singing the sanghyang. Come, goddess, goddess, we ask of the nymphs to come to us for a while and go around, go around. Oh, beautiful goddess! take the holy water from the altar, the holy, the clear, the immaculate water with frangipani, white maduri) white hibiscus and blue teleng. The water in the gold coconut, the liberating, water, the water made in heaven. Sprinkle it over yourself and go and spray the singers. Then go home, go home to the Indraloka. Go and bathe in the garden and adorn yourself with white orchids, then go home, goddess, go home, back to heaven, and disappear into space, go into space. The wind blows, fly with the wind goddess; the body remains to take again its human form. . . .
The ceremony lasts for two or three hours, but despite the intensity of the performance the little girls give no evidence of exhaustion and the explanation they give comes back to our minds: the dancers., fascinated by their own rhythm, move in a supernatural world where fatigue is unknown. In ordinary life the little girls are normal children. However, they are forbidden to creep under the bed, to eat the remains of another person's food or the food from offerings, and must be refined in manners and speech. Their parents are exempt from certain village duties and are regarded highly by the rest of the community.

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