In Toraja, Indonesia, Corpses Are Dug Out And Cleaned During A Bizarre Ceremony. Tourists Are Flocking There, By The Way

toraja manene ritual

Have you heard of Toraja, a province in South Sulawesi, Indonesia? If you have, you probably know that the place ┬áhas a love for death. Being a corpse in Toraja does not mean resting in the grave – quite the opposite.

sulawesi indonesia

Once every three years, the community holds a unique ceremony called Ma’nene, or The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses, in which they reclaim the soul of the deceased. They dig the bodies from their graves, clean and wash them, dress them in new and luxurious clothes and travel with them throughout the village as if they were alive again.

manene ritual

This is their way of honoring their deceased ancestors, a belief that has taken root over generations and is made out of love and respect for the dead, and a sign that they have not forgotten them. The ritual is not limited to the bodies of adults, by the way; the bodies of children and babies are dug out and cleaned as well.

Bonus fact: There are tours available for those who’d like to visit the province and witness the ritual firsthand.