Saturday, December 17, 2005

Ancestors Turn in Their Graves


Madagascan Christians reject "turning of the dead"

Sun Dec 18, 2005 8:27 AM IST13

By Tim Cocks

MAHATSARA, Madagascar (Reuters) - For as far back as their collective memory stretches, the Merina people of highland Madagascar have been exhuming the corpses of their dead relatives in a ceremony of reverence for their ancestors.

After prising open the entrances to their magnificent stone-walled tombs, they remove the bodies of their loved ones and wrap them in a fresh burial shroud in a ritual called the famadihana - the "turning of the dead".


Once wrapped, a man pens the name of the ancestor in blue ink on the sheet.


[Read the whole story]

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