Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tribe That Keeps Its Dead Around

These corpses are the loved ones of tribe members in New Guinea. They were smoked and placed in these wooden baskets on the hillside. 

The Anga tribe are in the remote mountains and their practices have been largely uninfluenced by others. They take the dead, cut open the body to drain fluids. The skin and hair are coated with oil by the loved ones. The cuts are sewn shut. The spouse gets to keep the tongue, heels and palms as mementos. The body is then covered in clay and smoked.

Just so long as they can still see their loved ones faces on the hillside, they feel their spirits are with them. If they begin to show decay, they take them down, fix them up and prop them back up on the hillside.

This process of sewing the orifices shut, covering the bodies in red clay and smoking them has been strangely effective. Some of the corpses are over 200 years old.

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