The premiere of The Walking Dead got me thinking about a couple of ancestor rituals where the dead rise from their graves to commune with the living. During both of these ceremonies the dead are given fresh attire and paraded around the village or tomb. They are a celebration of life and death that bring together large families in a festive atmosphere.
The Indonesian ritual walking of the dead
The people of Tana Toraja, in South Sulewsi, Indonesia, have a ritual called Ma’Nene that takes place every few years-depending on the village. As part of a larger grave cleaning ritual, the Toraja people exhume the mummified bodies of their family members so that they can be washed and dressed in fresh clothes so that they can celebrate the spirits of their ancestors. In some cases the bodies are close to a 100 years old. After the ritual…
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