Fiery Farewell: Cremation Rituals in Bali. A Talk by Garrett Kam



The Hindu-Buddhist Balinese in Indonesia cremate their dead in spectacular rituals that are very similar to yet at the same time quite distinct and different from Thai practices. As a follow up of the recent royal cremation of the late Thai king Bhumibol Adulyadej, this presentation with images and videos of funerary rites in Bali will enable the audience to compare and contrast the ways in which the Balinese and Thai treat the deceased for their journey to heaven. The extensive use in Bali of cremation offerings and effigies of the departed will also be covered and explained.

Mr. Garrett Kam is from Hawaii but has been living in Indonesia for nearly 35 years, 30 of them in Bali where he has served as the only non-Balinese ritual assistant and offerings maker at one of the island's most important temples since 1990. As a Fulbright grantee he researched Balinese ritual art, focusing on temporary forms that are burned for cremations. Garrett is the author of "Ramayana in the Arts of Asia" and is currently teaching Javanese dance at Chulalongkorn University as artist-in-residence. He previously presented a program of Javanese court dances in 2006 at the Siam Society.

Date: Tuesday, 21 November 2017
Time: 7.30 p.m.
Place: The Siam Society, 131 Asoke Montri Rd, Sukhumvit 21

Non-members donation: B200. Siam Society members, members’ spouses and children, and all students showing valid student ID cards are admitted free of charge. For more information, please contact Khun Arunsri or

Office Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 9:00am. – 5:00pm.

The Siam Society is deeply grateful to the James H.W. Thompson Foundation for its generous support of the 2016-2017 Lecture Series.