We already know that burial rituals vary from culture to culture. Both on the level of the rite itself and of acceptance. While in some cultures death is the end of something, in other cultures it is just the beginning of another. In Indonesia, the Toraja tribe from Sulawesi has a very special rite.
And especially when death chooses to take the youngest of them: the babies! We Westerners may find it strange, but it’s one of their customs: they hang dead babies in trees! Explanations.
For the Toraja people, death is a synonym for gigantic celebrations, for which the deceased saves his whole life! The celebrations last for several days and every year during the “Ma’Nene” the corpses are exhumed and exhibited in a large parade in the city!
On the other hand, when a child dies, the ritual changes completely! In France, if we are just starting to bury urns at the foot of trees, this is not the case with these Indonesians!
Why do they hang babies in trees?
When a baby is killed, the parents wash it, wrap it in sheets, and then put it in a small wooden box. This box is then in the trunk of a tree specially dug for this purpose. According to the beliefs of these people, the tree hollows are attached to the baby’s body, and the baby is therefore one with nature. This ritual is reserved for babies who do not yet have teeth, as the tooth is considered impure and therefore cannot return to nature.
The burial rite is accompanied every evening by the sacrifice of a pig. Sensible soul to hold back! The pig is killed inside the animal by means of a burning bamboo torch. We will inform you of the details! One tree can hold up to 12 babies! From our Western point of view, this burial rite in the background is cold, but the habits and customs are all different and must be respected by everyone!