Where: Tana Toraja, Indonesia People: Torajans Religion: Aluk To Dolo (Way of the Ancestors) Ritual: Ma’nene
The Ma’nene ceremony, a ritual of exhuming and cleaning the remains of the ancestors, is usually held every second or third year – and only when the rice has been harvested. The families gather and walk to the family graves, where they retrieve the remains of their ancestors, clean them and dress them nicely up in new clothes and leave them out to dry in the sun for a short period of time. Before they are reburied, the family members have their pictures taken with them.
According to the Torajans the originates from an old myth about a man who stumbled upon a deceased person while trekking in the area. He cleaned the remains and buried them and was blessed with good fortune in return.
A great thank you to the ancestors and their families and to my guides, fixers, and translators, Yacob Kakke and Yansen Ada Mangopo for their huge effort.