Believe It or not! Meet the bizarre walking corpses of Toraja In Indonesia

Around the world, existing ethnic tribal societies have weird and incredible rituals, traditions and practices that you would never even contemplate in life. Such societies are not averse to being fascinated with age old beliefs of demons, ghosts, the supernatural and the dead. Take for instance, the ethnic Toraja tribe in Sulawesi, Indonesia, which has an ancient history rooted in supernatural and spiritual beliefs. Read about the walking corpses of Toraja.


1 The Incredible Traditions of the Toraja

The Toraja are popular for their handicrafts, wood carvings and quaint ancestral homes with signature boat like peaks on the roofs of houses which are named, Tongkonan. However what sets the Toraja apart from common society is their absolutely weird and bizarre funeral and burial rituals that border on disbelief. The Toraja celebrate death and here is one society who does not adhere to the practice of R.I.P (Rest in peace).

The Incredible Traditions of the Toraja

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2 The Toraja’s Celebration of Death

For the Toraja, death isn’t the end of the road. Death is just a passing on, thus burial and funerals are celebrated with great pomp and show. The dead are buried in burial caves cut into cliffs and mountains. The entire burial site is decorated lavishly as the Toraja believe that the dead are not really dead but just resting. A burial for the Toraja is not a permanent issue and the process continues years after the corpses have decayed into skeletons.

The Troaja’s Celebration of Death

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3 Life after Death

The Toraja believe that there is life after death and the the death of a person should be celebrated. A typical Toraja funeral will last almost a week with celebration and feasting depending on the deceased’s social status and wealth. A Toraja funeral is an extravaganza and the entire village including relatives residing in neighboring villages are required to attend. Those who can’t afford the lavishness of a personal burial site actually keep the deceased in their own homes despite of decay. Now isn’t that weird.

After the ceremonies, the deceased is enshrined within a tomb and kept in a cave cut into the limestone cliffs bordering the villages. Babies are placed in coffins and hung by ropes from cliffs. If the rope decays and the coffin falls and smashes, it is redone again.

Life after Death

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4 Dead Man Walking!! The Death Celebration of the Toraja

The most bizarre element of a Toraja burial is perhaps held once a year on a day commemorating the dead. In August every year, Villagers exhume the corpses of their deceased relatives regardless of the state of decay. The bodies are neatly groomed, cleaned, breathed, and even changed into new sets of clothes. All this is done at the village.

When the corpses are fully clothed with men in suits and women in dresses, they are held by relatives and walked to the graves and back. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it, but these are the walking corpses of toraja. Sounds eerie too, but the way the Toraja do such things somehow filters out the element of eeriness to downright bewilderment and bizarre.
When the ceremony is over, the corpses are then returned to the tombs which have been repaired in a fresh makeover complete with decorations. They will remain there till August, when the ritual is enacted every year. Watch the morbid video the walking corpses of the Toraja.


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