These are the Toraja people. Dead and alive. Like in “really dead” and “previously buried.” The “really dead” in this picture were exhumed, washed, dressed and celebrated in the uniquely original ritual Ma’nene, or The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses, no other people but Toraja observe.Toraja are an ethnic group indigenous to a mountainous region of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Their population is approximately 650,000, of which 450,000 still live in the regency of Tana Toraja (“Land of Toraja”). Most are Christian, others are Muslim, and a minority still retain the local beliefs known as Aluk Todolo (“Way of the Ancestors”), which are most visible during funeral festivities and burial customs.
The images of the Ma’nene ceremony are rather unsettling, unless you are a habitual viewer of dead corpses in various stages of decomposition and enjoy watching zombie movies, relishing the sight of decaying flesh, which I’m not.
Read more about Toraja and their peculiar custom on page 2, where I intentionally hid the images, since most of them aren’t for the fainthearted, thus readers’ discretion is strongly advised.