Monday, March 16, 2015

Ma'nene - The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses

Families in Toraja in South Sulawesi dig up the bodies of their dead relatives before washing, grooming and dressing them in fancy new clothes. Even dead children are exhumed - one of these photos show the skeleton of a baby wrapped in a print dress with a doll laid next to it. Damaged coffins are fixed or replaced, and the mummies are then walked around the province by following a path of straight lines. The ritual is called Ma'nene, or The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses. According to the ancient Torajan belief system, 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.


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