YouTuber spends a week living with tribe that digs up corpses of their dearly departed - here's how it went
The Toraja Tribe in Indonesia's South Sulawaesi region follow a tradition that can come across a shock to any outsider.
The tribe digs up corpses of their loved ones every year to give them a good tidying up.
It is a unique ritual that usually takes place in the month of August.
With strong belief that life and death are part of a bigger journey into the spiritual world, they dig up corpses of their dearly departed to give them a good tidying up.
Once the exhumation process is over, the people of the tribe dress up corpses in new clothes, give them a cigarette and even take pictures with them. According to them, it’s a great way to remember the good memories they had with the deceased family member.
The activities are not just limited to tidying up. People of the tribe pretend to talk to the corpses and even feed them during this time. The ritual, which is called 'Ma'nene', is a complete family experience for Torja people because the dead are effectively treated like a family member.
Ma'nene, which translates to 'care of ancestors', takes place at the end of August every year. The bodies exhumed every year do not decompose easily because they are preserved in formalin.
The ceremony lasts for three days, during which tourists from around the world see corpses dresses in fashionable clothes. Despite increasing modernisation in Indonesia, the tradition has continued for centuries in the Sulawesi region.
The population of Torajan people in Indonesia is about a million, and most of them are concentrated in South Sulawesi. Interestingly, most people in the tribe believe that the soul of their dead relative stays in the house.
Until now, we've only read reports, seen photos and regular videos of the ritual. But recently, a popular YouTuber documented the entire thing by spending a week with the tribe.
Travel YouTuber Mike Corey, who runs the channel Fearless and Far, gave his subscribers an in-depth look at the Indonesian island of Sulawesi and the Toraja people.
This is Tana Toraja, also known as "The Land of the Dead"
In the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, the Torajan people have some of the music elaborate funeral rituals on the planet. They are one of must unique tribes I've ever come across. After experiencing death in my own life, I wanted to tackle the discomfort head on, and went out in search of answers.
Corey wrote the Torja are one of the most unique tribes he came across. The clip he posted on October 18,2021 now has over 5 million views.
Corey was among the curious few who got to learn about the Torja tribe's approach to death and the afterlife.
"The Torajan people have some of the music elaborate funeral rituals on the planet,” he explained. They are one of must unique tribes I've ever come across. After experiencing death in my own life, I wanted to tackle the discomfort head on, and went out in search of answers,” he explains in his vlog.
The YouTuber went on to say that he had been warned that animal sacrifice was also an important part of the Torajan death rituals.
In the end, he said it is very common for families within the tribe to save money for decades in order to give their loved ones a good