This is morbid. Our world is full of all kinds of different people and cultures….seriously different.
A group of people called the Torajans, live in Indonesia. They have a not so secret little secret that they exhibit with PRIDE.
Have you ever had the unfortunate experience of having a loved one pass? Most people have, and someone in this grand country came up with the awesome idea of cuddling with the dead.
Their oh-so-dead relatives are dug up, they then bathe and dress them, like decayed mannequins. YUM.
As it turns out the ancient ritual is meant to show some kind of crazy respect for their late loved ones, because everyone wants their dead bodies manhandled.
Every three years, the tribe from Sulawesi Island excavate their dead, they then proceed to wash their bodies and prepare some clothes for them to wear… then pose for family photographs in a festival known as Ma’nene.
This ceremony, which translates into ‘The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses,’ is about a century old.
The funeral and burial of their loved ones are a big deal. In fact, it’s not uncommon for these people to accumulate money for their own funerals.
The more money they can save, the more extravagant the funeral. What a crazy type ‘retirement’ fund.
Another important element of the Ma’nene festival is replacing and repairing the coffins to stop bodies from decomposing.
The Torajan people live high in the mountains of Sulawesi in Indonesia. The area is so remote that many of the villages were completely autonomous until the 1970s, when the area was exposed to the outside world by Dutch missionaries.
The villagers are encouraged to marry within their family – but only beyond the fourth cousin.
In the Torajan belief system, death is not a final step, but just one step in an ongoing spiritual life.
In some cases the deceased’s funeral is held several weeks or even years after their death so the family have can have time to save up and pay for an extravagant funeral.
But the funeral is never the last time their relative’s body is seen. Whenever an elderly villager dies, their body is wrapped in several layers of cloth to prevent decay.
Then, they are dug up every three years, admired by loved ones and dressed in different clothing.
The Torajan people are not wealthy by any means, so often times they are forced to just bury their family without a funeral. They do things a tad backward, they collect the money which could take weeks or years, then dig them back up and throw them a party that would make ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ look pathetic.
I wonder if they smell….in order to be able to dig up their kin without them being a massive pile of bones, they wrap the dead in layers upon layers of cloth.
In this culture, death is not the end, because once you die your body get’s played with like a life-size Barbie…or Ken.
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