Melaspas Bringing Buildings to Life Bali

Melaspas – Bringing Buildings to Life in Bali

Melaspas - Bringing Buildings to Life in BaliAll buildings must be brought to life and purified before they can be occupied in a ceremony called melaspas.

Melaspas - Bringing Buildings to Life in BaliThe wood, stone and thatch, cut down and killed for the construction, are, as it were, reincarnated.

Melaspas - Bringing Buildings to Life in BaliAll parts are symbolically unified; posts and beams are ‘married’.

Melaspas - Bringing Buildings to Life in BaliMelaspas – Bringing Buildings to Life in Bali requires many offerings  and there are animal sacrifices. If a ceremony is not carried out the house lacks luminosity. Evil forces can enter and cause sickness. The ceremony is nearly identical to the ritual required to bring a sacred wooden mask to life.

Melaspas - Bringing Buildings to Life in BaliIn A House in Bali (1947) Colin McPhee recounts his conversation with the priest prior to his own house ceremony:

You need the great ritual, he began, the highest one, and it will take many offerings, and a month to prepare. For this you will slaughter one young bull, one goose, one goat, one dog with a three-coloured hide, one duck with similar markings, one young male pig, one chicken with feathers growing the wrong way, five hens of different colours, and twenty-five ducks. You will also need six hundred duck eggs, six hundred bananas, and five thousand Chinese cash. The offerings prepared in advance will include two roast pigs, ten roast chickens, ten roast ducks, five baskets of rice, flowers and cakes, and five skeins of thread in five colours.

Melaspas - Bringing Buildings to Life in BaliNot quite as elaborate as that but a full day nevertheless and the new building at Murni’s Houses, complete with swimming pool, elevator and gallery was brought to life.  It is recommended that someone sleeps in the building the same night, and that was done too.

Melaspas - Bringing Buildings to Life in BaliThe new building with its luxury rooms facing the mountains of Bali is ready to take guests now.

Melaspas – Bringing Buildings to Life in Bali