Zombie Love: Torajas Dig Up Relatives to Freshen Them Up During Ancient Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses (MaiNene)

Torajas zombie love: Every year, in Toraja, an Indonesian village in Sulawesi, residents dig up their dead to give them a wash, groom and dress them in new clothes.

This ancient ritual called MaiNene, or The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses, takes place in South Sulawesi.

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Torajas love their deads… And on one day they even dig them up for a zombie parade.

I once lived with a Toraja family during 10 days. We were invited at a funeral and it was a fantastic experience. But I did not know that in some of these villages, probably depending on the family, they were digging up their relatives – even dead children and babies – to freshen them up.

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Two open curfews with mummies in clothes.

Torajas believe that the dead live on in our hearts and minds. And in one Indonesian village, the deceased continue to walk the earth in a zombie-like fashion. Families in Toraja in South Sulawesi dig up the bodies of their dead relatives before washing, grooming and dressing them in fancy new clothes.

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Hi mom! How are you?

Damaged coffins are fixed or replaced, and the mummies are then walked around the village by following a path of straight lines.

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They are ready for the zombie parade

The ritual is called MaiNene, or The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses, and takes place every August. According to the ancient Torajan belief system, the spirit of a dead person must return to his village of origin.

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Yes, even babies are exhumed and ‘prepared’ by their brothers and sisters.

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. Torajas graves are dug in large rock walls and each dead has its own doll representing him! Rocks become then colorful and mystic:

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I lived 10 days with my borther in these reversed boat homes. To help the soul of the dead to go to heaven, we killed 20 buffles. It was bloody but an incredible experience!

Do you share this zombie love? I find it amazing!

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