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Indonesian Real Zombie Photo: Walking Corpse in Toraja

Walking Corpse in Toraja
Stories of the dead rising from the grave have haunted our dreams since the dawn of time. To some cultures, the concept of raising the dead is not merely the stuff of nightmares. In some regions, this practice still takes place, and to the people involved, it is very very real. In this photo we see what appears to be a corpse standing upright. Next to her is a coffin full of layers of cloth. Some say that this is an image of a reanimated corpse being led to her new burial spot. Toraja people do practice something akin to the rising of the dead. It seems that the people believe that death is a long process, sometimes taking years as the deceased gradually works their way toward Puya (the afterlife). Very elaborate measures must be taken during the funeral to ensure that the loved one makes it safely to that destination. Because the funeral arrangements are so extensive, they are also very expensive. For this reason, a body is sometimes placed in a temporary coffin. During this time, the family can accumulate the necessary funds to pay for a proper funeral, which includes a cave or hanging casket, a multi-water buffalo slaughter, chanting, singing, music, stone and wooden effigies to protect the soul during travel, and so on.
Once the funds are raised, so is the dead. It seems that the Toraja genuinely believe that the dead are able to walk themselves to their new burial site. More likely, and what we are seeing depicted in the picture, is that the somewhat mummified corpse is removed from its temporary coffin and transported upright to the permanent site. As “corpse walking” is part of the tradition, the body is held in the standing position to simulate ambulation.

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