Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Monday, October 24, 2016

Famadihana: The family reunion where the dead get an invite

From CNN News:

In the rolling hills of Madagascar Central Highlands, the Merina tribe exhumes the remains of their ancestors for a celebration-cum-family reunion.

In this sacred ritual, which occurs every five to seven years, a number of deceased relatives are removed from an ancestral crypt. Living family members carefully peel the burial garments off the corpses and wrap them in fresh silk shrouds.
The festivities begin and guests drink, converse, and dance with their forebears.
"We wrap the bodies and dance with the corpses while they decompose," says anthropologist Dr Miora Mamphionona.
Just before the sun sets, the bodies are carefully returned to the tomb and turned upside down. The crypt is then closed for the next five to seven years.
Read more here.

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