The Baby Grave Trees of Tana Toraja

grave tree

The people of Tana Toraja, an island in Indonesia, have a richly developed body of practices for mourning. Among them is a unique approach to marking the death of a baby. If a child dies before s/he teethes, the family cuts a hole into the side of a tree and places the body inside. The tree regrows around the baby’s body and absorbs it. One guide explained the practice to traveller Chris Dunham by saying, “We bury the babies in this tree so the wind can waft away their souls.”

Link -via The Oddment Emporium | Photo: Chris Dunham