The boundaries which separate life from death, they say, are at best shadowy and vague, but in one Indonesian province, the boundaries are clear and the dead literally walk among the living in a ceremony called Ma’nene festival.
The weird ceremony has existed for hundreds of years in the Indonesian Island of Sulawesi.
The celebration which is also known as celebration of life features digging up of dead bodies, then grooming, cleansing and dressing them in new clothes.
Also in the zombie ceremony, old worn-out coffins which were used in burying the dead are fixed or replaced. After getting the bodies all ready and good-looking, the dead people are made to roam around the area by following a straight track.
Dead children are not left out either; their skeletons are also unearthed and treated the same way.
The Islanders do this every three years to pay respect to their late loved ones.
Though the event may seem like a scene from an apocalyptic zombie movie, people from Torajain Torajans in South Sulawesi believe the death of the body isn’t enough to get them to forget the corpses of their loves. To them, through the ritual, their late loved relatives are kept alive in their hearts and mind.
Apart from the ceremony of cleansing corpses, the province also keep late loved ones for weeks, months, or even years after death and funerals are often delayed to gather relatives and for enough money to be raised for burial.
This is because Toraja people spend much of their lives concerned with their death. So, funerals and burials are huge events, and many families spend much of their time saving for them.
The Toraja are an ethnic group indigenous to the mountainous region of Tana.
Most members of this group are Christians – many converted after the Dutch colonized the area. But old traditions and cultural practices are still held onto firmly.
See What the Ceremony Looks Like In The Video Below: