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Aluk Todolo: The Sacred Festival Where Corpses Are Dug Up And Paraded In The Street

Aluk Todolo: The Sacred Festival Where Corpses Are Dug Up And Paraded In The Street

A sacred ancient festival has gained international attention for its interesting practices in which the people of Indonesia dig up the corpses of their ancestors and parade them around the streets dressed in their clothing.

The tradition is called Aluk Todolo which can be translated to ‘Way of the Ancestors’ and it’s practiced by the Torajan people in Indonesia.

The people believe that their relatives haven’t completely passed on but are instead asleep, so they place their bodies on top of a stone cliff until they can afford a proper funeral. However, this can take years.


For ‘The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses’ relatives kill bulls and buffalo before placing their horns outside of their homes. They then clean the corpses and dress them in clothing to get them ready for the parade.

For ‘The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses’ relatives kill bulls and buffalo before placing their horns outside of their homes. They then clean the corpses and dress them in clothing to get them ready for the parade.

The bodies are then paraded down the streets of Tana Torajain, finishing with the coffin being restored and the body placed back inside.

However, drama can arise should a husband and wife wish to be buried together. An act thought to be a ‘breach of loyalty to one’s own family’ as they’re putting their love for their partner above their family says author Michaela Budiman.

The people believe the soul of their loved one will stay with them if they keep the body close. This means that if a loved one dies far from home, they must travel to retrieve the body and bring it back.
warriorzen.com
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