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Villagers dig up bodies of dead relatives and give them makeover in bizarre ritual

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JAKARTA: A village in Indonesia province of Toraja has a bizarre annual ritual where villagers dig up the bodies of their dead relatives before washing, grooming and dressing them up in fancy new clothes.

The locals believe that this act keep their relatives alive in their hearts and minds. The ritual is called Ma’nene, or The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses.

As part of the ‘zombie ceremony’, even the skeletons of children are exhumed.

Damaged coffins are fixed or replaced before the mummies are walked around the area by following a path of straight lines during the ritual.

For Torajans, the death of the body isn’t seen as an abrupt event and attempts are made to keep them part of the family.

Late loved ones are tended at home for weeks, months, or even years after death and funerals are often delayed to gather relatives.

In Toraja society, the funeral ritual is also most elaborate and expensive event.

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES

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