This Tribe Digs Up Its Dead And Gives Them Makeovers Before Living With Them

Every culture has their own sacred death rituals, but some are far more frightening than others.

Take the Torajan people, for example. On the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, dead bodies are seen very differently than they are in the States. Corpses aren’t actually considered to be dead until a water buffalo is sacrificed to accompany them into the afterlife. It takes years for some families to be able to afford the expensive ceremony, so many keep their loved ones inside their homes until they can.

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But even after their deceased relatives are properly buried, some families decide to keep their memory alive by digging the bodies up in a bizarre celebration.

The residents of Toraja proudly display the dead as part of their Ma’nene ritual.

Every year, the villagers dig up their late family members in order to honor them.

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The decaying bodies don’t spook them at all — they prefer to see them so they can mourn.

They carefully clean their ancestors to preserve their dignity.

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Then the corpses are actually groomed and dressed up.

And the families even pose with them for photos as if they were still alive.

Though they are undeniably creepy, some of the bodies have pleasant looks on their faces like they approve of the ritual.

But others are just terrifying.

These people see all of this as a beautiful process, but it’s more than a little disturbing.


Would you ever consider going to a celebration like this? Me neither. I’m all for expressing your culture, but this is way, way too morbid for me.

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