The religion of Indonesians is generally designated as a typical animism; in fact the cult of the spirits of the dead almost never fails, even occasionally develops as a true cult of the ancestors, very evident in Nias and in the eastern islands; to Nias, p. eg, for each dead person you leave descendants, a wooden image is erected in which the priest transfers the soul of the deceased. Generally, souls are attributed to all nature, animals, plants and stones; nevertheless animism is not the only element of the religion of Indonesians; in addition to the veneration of the spirits of the dead, of the spirits of sicknesses and of minor demons, one encounters at least the acceptance of gods or beings of a higher order, especially a god of the sky who presents himself as creator. The forms of worship (sacrifices, feasts, dances) are of an infinite variety; particularly noteworthy are the festivals and masked dances.
Priests and priestesses are found everywhere; they chase away the spirits of diseases, direct the most important sacrifices, guard the wisdom of ancestors and gods, and predict the future by a number of different methods, among which the examination of the entrails and the observation of birds at the Daiaki. Some animals (tiger, crocodile, calao rhinoceros) are almost always given a kind of veneration; among some Daiake tribes the cult of omens-birds is of great importance and among the Iban (Sarawak) the belief in bowel examination and bird observation by the Daiaki. Some animals (tiger, crocodile, calao rhinoceros) are almost always given a kind of veneration; among some Daiake tribes the cult of omens-birds is of great importance and among the Iban (Sarawak) the belief in ngarong (rescuer animal) is widespread. Lo ngarong he reveals himself for the first time in a dream to his master and the latter, like his descendants, avoids killing animals of that species. The burial system varies from tribe to tribe and even within the tribe it differs according to the social status, age and fortune of the dead. Simple burial in the ground, deposition in boxes of various shapes, display on platforms, on trees and in caves are practiced. For Indonesia religion and languages, please check ezinereligion.com.
The feasts of the dead are highly developed; Everywhere there is an attempt, on the one hand, to make it impossible for the soul of the deceased to return and, on the other, to facilitate its journey into the land of the dead. Also common is the concept, which cannot be attributed to Islamic influences, that the soul on its journey must cross a dangerous bridge thrown over a lake in which threatening crocodiles lurk. The fate of the soul in the hereafter generally depends on the social position on earth and the manner in which death occurred. The concept of soul migration is rarely missing. The widespread custom of headhunting is connected to religious concepts, it is often related to the cult of the dead, because slaves are to be given to the deceased nobles in the hereafter; at other times it is connected with agricultural rites: the skulls buried in the fields miraculously ensure their fertility. This belief is also shown in a creation myth among the Kajans (Borneo). It seems that human sacrifice and cannibalistic practices were also connected with headhunting (eg in Mindanao); the latter was especially widespread among the Bataki; some Batake tribes practiced it as a legal punishment and ate the wounded or killed enemies, thieves and adulterers; the meat was prepared in various ways. The mythology is very rich and varied: in addition to the myths in which the highest god or the entire pantheon appear as creators, there are cosmogonic myths in which there is some principle of natural philosophy.