Where: Indonesia, Sulawesi, Tana Toraja, Pangala
Religion: Aluk To Dolo (Way of the Ancestors)
This is a mix of images I have taken during the two times I visited Tana Toraja to document the Ma’nene ceremony.
At a Ma’nene ceremoni, families gather and open the family tombs, bring out their dead relatives, clean them and dress them up in clean clothes and dry them a bit in the sun. Before they are put back, the family members are having pictures taken with them. It is believed that it brings luck honouring your ancestors in this way. In some places the Ma’nene ceremony is held every year and in other places every second or third year – and only when the rice has been harvested.
The Torajans believe that the Ma’nene ritual is based on an old mythical tale about a hunter, Pong Rumasek, who was out wandering in the mountains. Here he came across a dead person, whom he wrapped in his own clothes and buried. Since then, luck and happiness smiled upon him and his family.