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Tourists Pose At 'Zombie' Festival Where Locals Dig Up Dead Relatives

Adnan Riaz

Published 
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Tourists Pose At 'Zombie' Festival Where Locals Dig Up Dead Relatives

Just when you think that you've seen it all, you'll be pleasantly thrown a nice curveball that could - and would - make anyone's jaw instantly drop. That's exactly what we have here.

Tourists who travelled to Tojora, Indonesia recently were able to see a three-day ceremony where people decked out corpses in their finery.

That's right, the Torajan tribe decided that it's time to dig up the deceased, wash them down and dress them for the occasion.

No, we're honestly not making this up. It's as real as real can be, and certainly a far cry from any means you're familiar with when it comes to honouring or remembering deceased loved ones.

Credit: Caters
Credit: Caters

The tourists were at the Ma'nene harvest festival, which took place at the Lembang Lempo Poton village in South Sulawesi.

You must be thinking how did something like this even come about? The Sun reports that the tradition for carrying these loved ones through the streets goes back through the centuries. It's said that an animal hunter who stumbled across a decomposing corpse decided to use his shirt to dress the body and provide a proper burial.

A nice gesture - we can all get behind that. The Torajan people, however, were hooked on the idea that the hunter was blessed after the burial.

Credit: Caters
Credit: Caters

The dead are walked down a path of straight lines in the village - a spiritual entity with supernatural power, known as a 'hyang', is supposedly connected to the lines, meaning that the dead can reach the afterlife by following the path.

It's fair to say that the Torajan tribe is very much into this ritual - according to local beliefs, their connection with their loved ones doesn't end with death.

There are no restrictions as to whose bodies are exhumed for the event either - even babies and children may be dug up and dressed up.

Credit: Caters
Credit: Caters

While the ceremony may seem chilling to outsiders (anyone who's seen too many zombie movies might feel themselves shuffling uncomfortably), it's a positive experience for the inhabitants of Tojara - crying and mourning are strictly prohibited.

But anyone left scratching their heads after learning of this ancient ritual might take comfort in knowing that there's a strong approach to maintenance after celebrations die down - coffins are repaired, before the bodies are washed, groomed and dressed in fancy new clothes.


Featured Image Credit: Reuters / Caters

Topics: World News, Interesting

Adnan Riaz
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