Photo by Viacheslav Smilyk
Lamas direct the entire ceremony, with their number determined by the social standing of the deceased. They decide the direction the entourage will travel with the body, to the specific day and time the ceremony can happen.
Mongolians believe in the return of the soul. Therefore the lamas pray and offer food to keep evil spirits away and to protect the remaining family. They also place blue stones in the dead persons bed to prevent evil spirits from entering it.
No one but a lama is allowed to touch the corpse, and a white silk veil is placed over the face. The naked body is flanked by men on the right side of the yurt while women are placed on the left. Both have their respective …show more content…
No after life. Photo by Demosh
The Maasai of East Africa are hereditary nomads who believe in a deity known as Enkai, but this is not a single being or entity.
It is a term that encompasses the earth, sky, and all that dwells below. It is a difficult concept for western minds that are more used to traditional religious beliefs than those of so-called primitive cultures.
Actual burial is reserved for chiefs as a sign of respect, while the common people are simply left outdoors for predators to dispose of, since Maasai believe dead bodies are harmful to the earth. To them when you are dead, you are simply gone. There is no after life.
Skull Burial – Kiribati
Chilling out. Photo by aargh
On the tiny island of Kiribati the deceased is laid out in their house for no less than three days and as long as twelve, depending on their status in the community. Friends and relatives make a pudding from the root of a local plant as an offering.
Several months after internment the body is exhumed and the skull removed, oiled, polished, and offered tobacco and food. After the remainder of the body is re-interred, traditional islanders keep the skull on a shelf in their home and believe the native god Nakaa welcomes the dead person’s spirit in the northern end of the islands.
Cave Burial – Hawaii
Cave burials. Photo by Extra Medium
In the Hawaiian Islands, a