FunWhere are the dead still worshiped?

Where are the dead still worshiped?

Every three years and always during the month of August, the Indonesians of the island of Sulawesi celebrate a ritual called Ma’nene, in which people exhume the bodies of their deceased relatives to clean them, comb them and change their clothes; they also make offerings to them and display them, in a reclining position or tied so that they appear as if they were standing.

Afterwards, they are buried again with all solemnity. For these people it is a way of honoring the memory of their relatives and ensuring the protection of their spirits ; If they do not comply with the ritual, misfortune will come in the form of bad harvests, economic setbacks, diseases …

The periodic nature of this custom requires a lot of work to be done to preserve the bodies in the best possible way. Upon death, the deceased are wrapped in several layers of tightly woven cloth, and their coffin is changed each time they are unearthed, in addition to removing the decomposed organs over time. The corpses must hold for future Ma’nene.

And Halloween came

In many other countries there are also rituals of veneration of the deceased. This is the case of Mexico and its Day of the Dead, a festival where music, light and food serve to remember the moments shared with the deceased relatives . Or Japan, where there is a nightly ceremony called Bon, in which participants dress in traditional costumes and gather to worship and welcome the spirit of their ancestors with joyous dances and parades. They are celebrations closely related to that of All Saints’ Day, in Spain, although in western countries their religious character is losing and they are increasingly a reason to party with no other intention than to have a good time, as is done in the now global Halloween .

According to some experts, ancestor worship could also explain the origin of some very ancient megalithic complexes. Thus, a team of researchers from the University of Munich suggests that the stone structures of Zorats Karer, erected on a central Asian plateau near the town of Sisian, were an immense necropolis. In fact, in the surroundings tombs of different antiquity have been found.

The ancient capital of the ancestors

However, other scientists suggest that this enclave, also known as the Armenian Stonehenge, could have an astronomical purpose. Built 7,500 years ago, it is made up of 220 basalt menhirs that are distributed in a central circle and in several adjacent arms. Thus, a spatial correlation has been found between some stones and the position of the Sun at sunrise and sunset at the solstices and equinoxes .

In addition, some have a circular hole in their upper part, about 4 centimeters in diameter, which could serve as an anchor for some type of structure. Curiously, none of the pieces of the central circle have this perforation, which has also led to the belief that they may have had a ritual purpose, but nothing is certain.

The monoliths could have also served to reinforce an ancient wall formed by rubble that would protect a city, a kind of capital from the dead. If true, this could explain why the place is dotted with rocks, which today are scattered on the ground, but have not yet been cataloged.

Images: CC0 / Wowarmenia – GNU

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