There are not only goats on trees: In Tibet and Sulawesi dead infants are buried in trees

This is no joke! In some parts of Tibet and Sulawesi, dead infants are buried in trees... This is for us as weird as climbing goats. Or am I wrong?

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Tibetan tree burial and hanging tombs

Although Tibetans are known for sky burial, they bury their young in trees. Tree burial is popular with Tibetans in Nyingchi and Kangbei, and applied mainly to the dead infants. The ‘tree coffin’ is generally made of cedar board, and wood inlay, though different vessels hang from the trees, baskets, cloth-wrapped bundles and even plastic containers. The body is cleaned with salt water before being placed in the vessel in a fetal position. The family then hangs the ‘basket’ from a specially pre-selected tree in the dense woods at the junction of two rivers.

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Tree burial is a Tibetan tradition most commonly practiced with dead infants to dead children up to thirteen. Photo: Deformutilation

Females are commonly hung lower on the tree and males at the top. Once the basket holding the body disintegrates, the remains will fall to the forest floor and left there. The Tibetans believe tree burial allows the dead child’s spirit to be reborn to heaven, and prevents the another child death or misfortune in the family.

Baby grave tree in Sulawesi, Indonesia

Not only Tibetans bury their dead infants in trees. Baby graves are also found by the Torajas in Sulawesi, Indonesia. The smallest of the Toraja burial grounds are the “Baby Trees” where the tribe’s young are placed. If a child dies before he has started teething, its mother wraps his body in cloth, makes a another hole in the Baby Tree and places the dead infant inside.

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A baby grave trees in Tana Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photo: http://mmesurly.tumblr.com/

The hole is then sealed and as the tree begins to heal, the child is believed to be absorbed.

To come back to my title, not only goats live on trees, but also souls of dead infants. Here a video of these climbing goats:

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