• Home
  • News
  • Entertainment
  • LAD Originals

U OK M8?
Free To Be
Extinct
Citizen Reef

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK
Advert

The Indonesian Tribe That Exhumes Their Dead Each Year To Spruce Them Up

Published 

The Indonesian Tribe That Exhumes Their Dead Each Year To Spruce Them Up

WARNING: This article contains graphic images

It's that time of the year again, and by that we don't mean time to start checking out from work and getting prepared for a big bank holiday weekend, we mean the time of the year that Indonesian families start digging up their dead loved ones, dressing them up, and giving them cigarettes.

It's a long-standing tradition, and rightly well-documented each year.

Of course, everywhere is different, and everywhere has their own traditions, but to most observers, this one might seem a little bit out there.

Advert

Anyway, imagine what the folks in this particular tribe in Indonesia would think of some of our stranger traditions, eh?

So, in case you're not familiar with it, at this time of year the Toraja Tribe, who live in South Sulawesi, dig up their dearly departed loved ones in order to give them a right old sprucing up.

Credit: Hariandi Hafid/ZUMA Wire/Shutterstock
Credit: Hariandi Hafid/ZUMA Wire/Shutterstock

They take family pictures with them, dress them in fine new clothes, and - as mentioned - give them a cigarette if they have one to hand.

Advert

It's a great way to think about death, and a great way to remember the good memories you had with your deceased family members, too.

There are about a million Torajan people in Indonesia, and they're heavily concentrated in South Sulawesi, and most of them believe that the soul of a dead relative stays in the house after they pass on.

That means that they're effectively treated like a member of the family, meaning that they get clothes, food, and - should they so desire - a fag, too.

The ritual is called 'Ma'nene' and it is basically a time when family members exhume and clean the bodies of their dead.

Advert
Credit: Hariandi Hafid/ZUMA Wire/Shutterstock
Credit: Hariandi Hafid/ZUMA Wire/Shutterstock

Unlike over in the western world, where the dead are handled by professionals and largely only for a short time, families have been known to keep their dead in the house for weeks - even months - after their death.

In that time, they'll be treated as if they've never died, including being spoken to and being fed, before a lavish funeral at a later time.

It's rooted in the belief that a person's death is just one more step in their journey through the universe as a whole.

Advert

Quite nice, really, isn't it?

Credit: Hariandi Hafid/ZUMA Wire/Shutterstock
Credit: Hariandi Hafid/ZUMA Wire/Shutterstock

In 2016, one Torajan women told National Geographic: "My mother died suddenly, so we aren't ready yet to let her go.

"I can't accept burying her too quickly."

Advert

When you put it that way, it's actually quite an understandable reaction to the inevitable grief of losing a loved one.

We can all get behind that, surely?

Featured Image Credit: Hariandi Hafid/ZUMA Wire/Shutterstock

Topics: World News, Interesting, Weird

Tom Wood
More like this
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Sport

Gary Lineker admits he's worried about his memory loss after career in football

9 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Archie Battersbee's family demand inquiry following his death

13 hours ago