Death Ritual (Hegh'bat) - On the sci-fi adventure STAR
TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/SYN/1987-94 the Klingon warrior race
have rituals that complement situations dealing with death.
When Klingon warrior Worf (Michael Dorn) received a severe spinal
injury in 2368 episode No. 116 "Ethics," he tried to perform the
Hegh'bat ceremony (translation: "The Time to Die") to end his
life and thus die with honor (since he could not longer stand
and face his enemies as a warrior should).
The ceremony required
a trusted friend to impale the victim in the chest with a knife
("d'k tahg"), remove it and then wipe the bloodied blade on his
sleeve. At the last minute Worf chose to live and undergo a
radical and dangerous genetronic replication therapy.
when a Klingon warrior is killed in combat, the eye lids of the
fallen warrior are pried open by his comrades who then howl to
the heavens to warn the afterlife that soon a Klingon warrior
will arrive. (first seen on episode No. 20 "Heart of Glory").
The body of a dead Klingon is simply discarded, for the force
that made it special was gone.
In the spirit of the Klingon's
fascination with death, all Warriors use the refrain "May you
die well!" as they depart from one another.
TRIVIA NOTE: In a related ritual
on the episode No. 96 "Half a Life" the people of the planet Kaelon II ended their lives at the age of sixty, whether they
liked it or not.
Practiced for a millennium, the cultural
suicide helped preserve planetary resources and thus enhance the
cultural life of its people. Before killing themselves, the
targeted Kaelon, gathered with friends and relatives to
reminisce over old times.
Back to Top