Don’t you think it’s creepy keeping a dead body inside your home? Who wouldn’t be frightened of such thing, right? But one community in Sulawesi, Indonesia believes that keeping the dead people in their home for years is a way of honoring them.
A video posted by National Geographic‘s official YouTube Channel features this bizarre story and further explains why do the people in the region of South Sulawesi believes such tradition.
The Toraja of Sulawesi keep the bodies of the deceased in their homes for as long as a few years, saying that “a dead person who is still at home is not dead” and only considers that person as being sick, that explains why they still give them food.
Furthermore, according to cultural expert Yacob Kakke, lower class citizens tend to keep the bodies for only a few weeks, while the middle class keep them for several months, and the upper class for a few years before they proceed to the funeral ceremony.
Following the said funeral, family members of the deceased acquire a buffalo to be sacrificed. For they believe that buffaloes are sacred creatures used for currency and vehicles in the afterlife and the higher number and best quality buffalos a family can acquire for a funeral, the better.
It is said that there are nearly half a million Torajans that live in the highlands of Sulawesi and remain true to their traditional religion Aluk to Dolo or Way of the Ancestors. However, there are also some who practices Christian beliefs, but only a few.
Below is a documentary that further explains the background of this bizarre practice.