Weird funeral Rituals: The way we moan, recognize and bury our dead changes incredibly from culture to culture, yet a few customs truly take funerals to the next level. Here are some of the oddest death rituals of the world.
For few tribes, the best way to honour their dead is by eating them. This practice is called as “Endocannibalism”. It’s also a cathartic way to express the loathing and fear associated with death and its tragic aftermath. It is no longer practised now (at least not that we know of). The people from Wari of Brazil.
2-Tibetan Celestial Burials
Another weird funeral ritual is from Tibet. It is also known as Sky Burials. Tibetan Buddhists practice this ritual where they chopped up the dead into small pieces and giving the remains to animals, particularly birds. Sometimes the body is left intact — which is not a problem for advantageous vultures. They have no desire to preserve or commemorate a dead body, something that is seen as an empty vessel. In fact, the ritual is seen as a gesture of compassion and charity.
Though now (mercifully) banned in India, Sati was a funerary practice in which recently widowed women immolated themselves on their husband’s funeral pyre. The custom was seen as a voluntary act, but there were many instances in which women were forced to commit Sati — sometimes even dragged against their will to the fire.
The Dani people of West Papua, New Guinea at the death of their loved one use to cut off their own fingers. This strange ritual was applied to any woman related to the dead and to the children in the family. This ritual was performed to both gratify and drive away the spirits while showing as an expression of sadness and suffering. The ritual is now banned in New Guinea, but you may see its effects in old people with cut fingers.
The Malagasy tribe of Madagascar have another bizarre way. Malagasy people dig up the remains of their relatives and put them in new clothes. Then, the Malagasy then dance with the corpses around the tomb to live music, known as “Famadihana”, or “Turning of the Bones”. This ritual has been around for three centuries.
6-Australian Aboriginal Mortuary Rites
This weird funeral ritual is from Australia. In this ritual, the family members get to keep bones as the souvenir of the deceased. After the death, the body was placed on a raised platform and covered with leaves and branches. It was left to decompose which takes months. In some cases, the liquid from the decaying body was collected and rubbed over the bodies of young men. It was done so that good qualities of the deceased will pass to the young person. After, the bones were retrieved and painted with red ochre. The bones were then either placed in the cave or inside a hollowed out log. In some cases, these bones were worn by their relatives for up to a year.
7-The Zoroastrian Funeral
Zoroastrians funeral is to some extent similar to Tibetan Sky Burial. The funeral ritual starts by having the corpse cleansed in bull’s urine (which can only be done by a specially trained member of the community). Then the body laid in linen and visited twice by the “Sagdid” — a dog that can cast away evil spirits. Once the relatives visit the corpse, it is placed on top of the “Tower of Silence,” where the body is quickly devoured by vultures.
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