A deceased old woman was put sitting on a bamboo chair, and dressed as a dancer, before being stuffed inside a wooden coffin. This ritual is according to a local belief system in the isolated village of Simbuang in Toraja. According to main Toraja belief, a dead person is treated as a ’sick person’ before a proper funeral is conducted. The family members eat and chat around the dead body, as if it was indeed a living sick person. The unique belief is how the people of Toraja understand the concept of living and dying, and how they become less afraid of death compared to most cultures in the world.

Simbuang, Tana Toraja, Indonesia, 2016

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