Monday, January 30, 2012

Baby Graves in Trees

 Located in the northern part of South Sulawesi, Tana Toraja to an indigenous group that still preserve and apply their ancestors’ heritages. Kambira is a village, south-east of Rantepao that is home to one of the biggest baby grave sites in Tana Toraja. Babies who have not yet begun to get their teeth are buried differently than adults. Each village is generally home to a baby grave tree, which serves as the grave site for the babies from that particular village. Instead of stone tombs, babies are interred in trees. A niche is carved out of a large tree, usually high above the ground, and the dead infant is secreted inside. A canvas-like cloth mat is used to cover the niche, but eventually the bark of the tree will close over the hole and there will be no trace of the baby. Only certain trees are used for this type of burial.

Info from here and here

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Indonesian Cave Graves

In Rantepao, on the island of Sulawesi, the Torajan people are famous for their elaborate 3-day burial ceremonies. Chief among these unique aspects of Tana Toraja, as the area is known, are the traditions associated with the dead. The Torajans are animist: they believe in the spirits of the dead. They believe that when a person dies, they can take their possessions with them, which means that people are buried with their possessions. In the past, this led to a serious amount of grave robbing, so the Torajans began to bury their dead in caves in the surrounding cliffs, closed off with a door, preventing robbers from getting in, and the dead from oozing out. 

One problem is that the local rock is so hard that digging a burial cave is a highly expensive exercise; the cave diggers are traditionally paid in the well-known currency of water buffalo, which are very expensive, so only the rich can have cave graves. As a result the whole burying and funeral process has assumed an important status: the better the cave, the more expensive and elaborate the funeral preparations, the more status is afforded the family.

Burial site, Lokomat
Burial site, Lokomat
The 'hanging graves' of the nobility, where crypts are carved high into steep rock cliffs
Burial site, Lokomat
Tombs carved in granite
Baby graves carved into granite

Info from here

Floral Vending Machines

Photo by Josh Widdows - LINK

Friday, January 27, 2012

Tattooed Sphynx Cats

I remember being suspended for posting the first story in this post on Tumblr. However, it wasn't because I agreed or condoned it, it was to show people that it was happening and now it has happened again! I am sickened by anyone who could be a 'cat lover' deciding to mutilate their beloved pets in this way. Secondly I can't understand why any tattoo artist would agree to do this, other than to do something that hasn't been done and/or to just be offensive. 

The first tattooed cat, named Mickey, is a pure bred and pedigreed Spinx cat, who after 3 hours of being under anesthesia,  emerged with a  tattoo of Tutanakhamun on his chest. Oksana Popova, Mickey’s owner,wanted something 'new and different' for her pet. - LINK

In Tatarstan, 24-year-old tattoo artist, Timur, decided to tattoo his cat with the same tattoo as he himself has in the same spot. - LINK