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Tales of Bizarre Burial Rituals
Tibetan Buddhist Burial
There was a people known as the "Bo" who suspended their dead's coffins from the sides of cliffs in southwest China. They had three different ways of displaying the coffins 1) would be placed inside caves 2) set upon wooden pegs that jutted out of the sides of the cliffs 3) they would place the coffins on pieces of rock that protruded out of the side of the cliffs. These mysterious people disappeared much in the same way as the Maya of Brazil. The Bo were an ethnic minority; they were well known by others for their hanging of their coffins. At the coffin sites there was also cliff paintings found which helped in the understanding of these lost people. There has been over 200 coffins found hung on the limestone cliffs between Mantangba and Sumawan in southwest China.
Tibetan Buddhist Celestial Burials
Since Buddhists believe that the body is just a shell of sorts that houses the sole or spirit when someone passes they see the body as an empty shell. They don't see the purpose of putting a body in a coffin for example and then burying it. But instead they believe that it makes more sense to feed the wild animals the dead body or shell. Sometimes they will chop the body up and disperse the pieces randomly or they will leave it intact for the animals themselves to take apart. I guess they feel the dead body is filling the need to feed the hungry animals.
Aboriginal Funeral Cylinder
Australian Aboriginal Burial Rituals
The Aboriginal people of Australia are not only ancient people but they have also managed to keep many of their ancient rituals still to this day. One of these rituals is the burial ritual of family member or loved one. This involves putting the corpse of the deceased up onto a platform and covering it with leafs. They paint their bodies and sing chants and songs that have symbolic meanings as well as cutting themselves in a show of their grief. The body is left for a couple of months on the platform. When it is fully decomposed the loved ones then take the bones of the deceased and scatter them in various places; sometimes they use a "funeral cylinder" to carry the bones in as shown in the picture.
Keeping Fingers Attached Much Better!
Ritual Finger Amputation
There is a tribe in New Guinea known as the "Danis" tribe that used to practice amputating fingers in a show of grief for the loss of their loved one. This ritual was expected to be performed by the women and children that were related to the deceased. They believed that this would appease the spirits and keep them away. This ritual is no longer prohibited which I can honestly say thank goodness for that! I can't imagine chopping my fingers off to show my grief! That would just be adding more pain to the pain I would already be feeling for my loss. I would then not only be grieving for the loss of my loved one but my finger as well!