Culture Weird

Death Doesn’t Mean Goodbye For Indonesia’s Toraja Community

Halloween in Western countries  is often associated with activities like trick-or-treating, ghost tours, bonfires, costume parties, visiting haunted attractions, carving pumpkins, reading scary stories, and watching horror movies. Local people in province of Toraja in South Sulawesi, Indonesia have their own halloween-like day and they don’t need to design any spooky costumes or watch scary films. 

According to famous saying the dead live on in our hearts and minds – but in this Indonesian province, the deceased continue to walk the earth in a rather more literal, zombie-like fashion.

the-ceremony-of-cleaning-corpses-1photo:BarcroftMedia / TASS

Families in Toraja in South Sulawesi dig up the bodies of their dead relatives before washing, grooming and dressing them in fancy new clothes. Damaged coffins are fixed or replaced, and the mummies are then walked around the province by following a path of straight lines. 

the-ceremony-of-cleaning-corpse3photo:BarcroftMedia / TASS
the-ceremony-of-cleaning-corpse5photo:BarcroftMedia / TASS

The ritual is called Ma’nene, or The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses.

the-ceremony-of-cleaning-corpse9Selfie with grandpa. photo:BarcroftMedia / TASS
the-ceremony-of-cleaning-corpse4photo:BarcroftMedia / TASS

From ancient time local people believe that  the spirit of a dead person must return to his village of origin. So if a person died on a journey, the family would go to the place of death and accompany the deceased back home by walking them back to the village. In the past, people were frightened to journey far, in case they died while they were away and were unable to return to their village.

the-ceremony-of-cleaning-corpse2photo:BarcroftMedia / TASS
the-ceremony-of-cleaning-corpse10photo:BarcroftMedia / TASS
the-ceremony-of-cleaning-corpse8photo:BarcroftMedia / TASS
the-ceremony-of-cleaning-corpse7photo:BarcroftMedia / TASS
the-ceremony-of-cleaning-corpse6photo:BarcroftMedia / TASS

source:lenta; featured image: nationalgeographic

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