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Kepus Pungsed 3 - 7 Days Old

The first post-natal ceremony - ‘Upacara Kepus Pungsed/Puser’ - takes place when the baby’s umbilical cord falls off. The cord is put into an egg-shaped container made from coconut leaves, called a tipat taluh. Some parents prepare a special trinket made from silver or gold that is ceremoniously hung around the baby’s neck, serving as a good luck charm and also to protect the baby. Occasionally, this ceremony is termed ‘Upacara Ngelepas Aon’, so-called because in former times parents used to forcibly remove the cord to by using soot (aon) from the embers of the kitchen’s hearth. They would rub this soot mixed with salt onto the cord and then tie it up with cotton, dividing it into three sections. After the cord became soft and thin, the cord would be cut using a turmeric-smeared bamboo knife called a ‘ngaad’. Balinese believe that the dead cord has special healing powers, and the water from a soaked umbilical cord may be administered to a sick child.

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