Villagers from Julah in Tejakula, Buleleng, tow (see photo) a pregnant cow behind a boat into open sea as part of a local traditional ritual.
The cow, which is five months pregnant, was thrown out to the sea about 3 kilometers from land Monday. The villagers believe the animal was impregnated by a village elder.
During the ritual the man, who was caught red-handed having sexual intercourse with the cow two months ago, joined the boat trip in order to throw away his clothes to to symbolize him discarding his sins.
Julah customary village head Ketut Sidemen said the ritual, called gamya gamana, or freak weeding, and had been conducted there for generations. The decision to perform the ritual was made a local residents meeting.
In line with customary regulations, the perpetrator, identified only as PS, 70, was sanctioned to fund the expensive ceremony, which aimed to cleanse him of any bad influences.
Luh Ketut Suryani, a professor and activist, deplored the sancation against PS.
She said drowning a cow was baseless because sexual intercourse between a human being and am animal could not cause pregnancy due to the different chromosomes and genes of the two.
"The cow is not guilty, why shoud it be drowned? Why don't just use a symbol like what was done by the perpetrator?" she said.
Suryani's said she was concerned dealt with the financial situation of the owner, who lives below the poverty line.
"The cow, which has a high price, had to be thrown away. It will be a pity for the owner, who is already poor and is now forced to lose his priceless belonging." -- JP/Alit Kertaraharja