Graphic photos: Villagers dig up dead relatives for annual festival


An Indonesian community has begun celebrations of an annual festival that honours their dead which sees hundreds of centuries-old corpses exhumed, dressed in clothes and put on display.

The annual festival is called Ma’nene festival which translates to ‘the Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses’. What happens is the preserved bodies of ancestors of the Toraja people are groomed, washed, dressed in fashionable new clothes and even sunglasses and paraded round the village.

The scenes might appear gruesome but for the Toraja people, who consider funerals the most important event of their lives, the festival is a celebration.

Photographer Herman Morrison made the trip from Indonesian island Lombok, where he lives, to capture the peculiar ceremony on camera. Photos continue after the cut.


DailyMail reports Mr Morrison, 33, said:

 ‘I live in Lombok, Indonesia, and I travelled to Sulawesi to photograph the Ma’nene festival. The ritual is held yearly and is regarded as a manifestation of the Torajanese’s love for their ancestors, leaders and relatives who have died.

‘The age of the corpses varies, but some are more than 100 years old. The bodies are taken from their graves by their families then cleaned and washed. Their clothes are replaced and then the bodies are put back in the ground.

‘Some of the deceased men are dressed up in suits and ties. It was an amazing sight to witness.’




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