Here, Living With Dead Bodies for Weeks—Or Years—Is Tradition | National Geographic

Here, Living With Dead Bodies for Weeks—Or Years—Is Tradition | National Geographic

On the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, the Torajan people believe that a person is not truly dead until water buffalo have been sacrificed at their funeral, serving as the vehicle to the afterlife. Until that time, the bodies are may be kept at the family’s home for weeks, months or years and are fed and cared for as if they were alive. Some Torajans continue their relationship with the dead through a ma’nene’ ceremony, a type of “second funeral” in which families bring out their ancestors every few years and change their clothes and clean their bodies and crypts.
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VIDEOGRAPHERS: Kaylee Everly & Brian Lehmann
EDITORS: Kaylee Everly & Kathryn Carlson

Here, Living With Dead Bodies for Weeks—Or Years—Is Tradition | National Geographic

National Geographic


  1. Disturbing yet fascinating did not like the imagery much but I could understand why these people would want to hold on to their family but find it kind of disturbing that they do

  2. imagine if you play this documentary in the tv of the resturant or fastfood while they are eating soup and bbq or meat stew lol

  3. everybody has to die their time in this world is decided but why tf would you sacrifice animal. they have nothing to do with someone’s death. Stop doing this to poor animals.!!!

  4. So to pay respects to a lost life, your culture takes a life in a painful way? Thank god I live in a first world country..

  5. The soul passes to the next body or to heaven. There is no point preserving the body. Hindus cremate the body based on this concept. I am not this body I am not this mind.

  6. If you believe in Karma, then there is no question as to why Indonesians live in the state they do, and have so many insanely catastrophic disasters.

  7. Why is Everyone a little mean to us? (Im an indonesia) i know our culture is bit weird and rude to the other living thing, but the way of our to have the buffalo is only on torajan vilage so were not always torture the buffalos and its likely happen 1 or 2 yearsafter the dead of an people not in our entire country and they most likely is not an Muslim but an Hindu or something like that. We know Our culture is a little bad but this a Tradition sorry this just for an Info 😀

    Imma check you comment :v

  8. None of these people were able to get past the first stage of GRIEF they still denying that the loved ones are even dead, somebody send an entire coalition of Psychiatrists and psychologists. Just kidding.

  9. Life without TV or Internet folks……I’d probably be doing the same. Granpa can we play hide and seek but no hiding in your coffin again as it took me a whole year to find you last year! !

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