Culture

Wonders of the Toraja Tribe

There are many rituals and festivals observed in different parts of the world that often leave us in wonder.

And here’s a practice that the people from Toraja, Indonesia follow, that you probably could have never imagined.

Once in every three years, they take their deceased loved ones out of their coffins, clean them and dress them in new clothes, to commemorate their lives.

This ritual is known as Ma’nene and it is one of the most heart-touching celebrations for the Torajans to stay connected to their closed ones for long, even after their death.

The Torajans offer food, water and new clothes to the departed after taking them out of their coffins

The Torajan people on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi treat the corpses as an essential part of the family.

The Ma’nene ritual, in English, means ‘the ceremony of cleansing corpses’. People in the island believe that after death, the spirits of their closed ones remain near and deserve care.

Therefore, they offer them food, water and even cigarettes. After the demise of a person, the family members and relatives use preservatives to mummify the body and slow down the process of decomposition, so that they can exhume it after three years.

People of Toraja do not treat death as the end of life. Rather, they consider it as a beginning of the spiritual life.

After opening the graves, they remove the debris from the corpses and dress them again in new clothes. They also keep the personal items of the loved ones like jewelry, spectacles and more near them. On that note, there is also an offbeat death-themed cafe in Thailand.

The burial process begins with the sacrifice of buffaloes and bulls. The Torajans then use their horns to decorate the home of the deceased. More horns signify more respect for the departed. Also, the corpses are usually buried in wooden coffins inside rock tombs, instead of grounds. The deceased bodies are also kept in the hollows of the trees. The people wrap the bodies in multiple layers of clothing to prevent them from decaying.

Titilayo Kupoliyi

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