Kut Entrance Ceremony of Brahmin the Cham people

The Cham people believe when the bones were put in Kut, then that the soul of the dead can join with the ancestors and go into the eternal world of the ancestors, family and gods.

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Traveling along National Highway 1A, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, visitors will see houses with red roofs, in the middle of the vast field… These are the Kut graveyards of the Brahmin Cham people, or also known as the Cham Ahier.

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After death, the body is buried more than a year. After that, the remains are taken to the cremation ceremony, except for 9 pieces of the brow bone are retained to conduct the Kut ceremony later. 9 bone pieces are castigated by a small coin and being put in a box called “klaong”, which will be buried in the forest until the ceremony. House of the chieftain will be the place to gather the “klaong”, and to bring the boxes to the Kut cemetery.

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When the families in the village can gather about 15-20 “klaong” boxes, then the Champa will initiate the Kut Ceremony. It usually takes 5 to 10 years, so the Kut ceremony is considered very important rituals and rare in the community of Champ. After the ceremony process in the house is completed, the families and the dignitaries will be responsible for ceremonies and processions of bringing the “klaong” to the cemetery.

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It takes many years and it is an important ritual to the descendants of the family, so when the ceremony is initiated, everyone returns to their roots.

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The Kut cemetery is located far away from the villages so the crowd has to move across many terrains. Using motorcycles or cars to carrying the “klaong” palanquins from the house of the chieftain are prohibited but the villagers have to walk.

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Arrived at the Kut cemetery, the “klaong” are lined up according to rank, while waiting for other rituals to complete.

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Along with betel and areca, goat, chicken and duck are dishes offered to the dead. They are required for the Kut initiation, however Cham don’t eat pork.

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Kut is fenced and separated into two sections, one side is the good death, reserved for those who don’t have any disabled, disease or married to the people outside of the Cham community, the rest is for the bad, for those who die on the street, and crippled body…

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“Klaong” are usually splendidly decorated by brocade fabric from My Nghiep traditional textile village.

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The “klaong” will be baptised by dignitaries, then the name will be added to avoid confusion and to comply the order from old to young.

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Baptism ritual and ceremony in the Kut ceremony.

 

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When the small rituals are finished, the bones are again being placed carefully in the “klaong” to prepare for an important ritual. At 0h, the highest dignitary of the nation is Po Adhia will make this sacred ritual. Now only dignitaries and the people outside the clan can participating in the ceremony, but the families are not allowed to come. Ceremony took place at night because they believe this is the time when Shiva incarnates on Po Adhia, leading the souls of the deceased back to the family, ancestors and to the eternal world.

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