"The Hindu-Balinese believe the body is impure, a temporary shell, having no significance at all, except as a container of the soul and its anchor to the earth. All thoughts at the time of death are concentrated upon the spirit and its passage to heaven. The body is just there to be disposed of, and, instead of grieving, the Balinese prefer to throw a great celebration, in the process hastening their dead friend’s soul to oneness with god." -Tahnia Roberts
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.
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.