Friday, April 22, 2016

Indonesian community celebrates feast with the dead

Indonesian community celebrates feast with the dead

An Indonesian community has begun celebrations of an annual festival honouring the dead which sees hundreds of centuries-old corpses exhumed, dressed in clothes and put on display.

The preserved bodies of ancestors of the Toraja, an ethnic group from the mountains of South Sulawesi in Indonesia, are lovingly dug up from their graves as part of the ancient Ma'nene festival.

The annual festival, which translates to 'the Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses', then sees the dead groomed, washed, dressed in fashionable new clothes and even sunglasses and paraded round the village.

'The ritual is held yearly and is regarded as a manifestation of the Torajanese's love for their ancestors, leaders and relatives who have died.

'The age of the corpses varies, but some are more than 100 years old. The bodies are taken from their graves by their families then cleaned and washed. Their clothes are replaced and then the bodies are put back in the ground.

'Some of the deceased men are dressed up in suits and ties. It was an amazing sight to witness.'

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