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The Eerie Smoked Corpses Of Papua New Guinea

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posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 04:58 AM
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For those of you interested in the mummification process that was and still is in use today... This should perk your brain right up! I always love learning about the rites and rituals concerning death in other cultures. I am amazed at how differently different cultures view and treat death compared to how we do so. Regardless of how different we all are, what our religion is, where we reside on this planet, and what we consider social norms... Death is one thing none of us will escape. It is indeed the great equalizer.

I ran across this and found it very interesting. I figured some here would as well, so I thought to share.

The Eerie Smoked Corpses Of Papua New Guinea




For centuries, the Anga tribe of Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Highlands have practiced a unique mummification technique – smoke curing. Once smoked, the mummies aren’t buried in tombs or graves; instead, they are placed on steep cliffs, so that they overlook the village below. The very sight of a string of charred, red bodies hanging off the mountains might seem quite grotesque, but for the Anga people, it’s the highest form of respect for the dead.

The process itself is carried out carefully and thoroughly by experienced embalmers. At first, the knees, elbows and feet of the corpse are slit, and the body fat is drained completely. Then, hollowed-out bamboo poles are jabbed into the dead person’s guts, and the drippings are collected. These drippings are smeared into the hair and skin of living relatives. Through this ritual, the strength of the deceased is believed to be transferred to the living. The leftover liquid is saved for later use as cooking oil.


I know here (in the US) that we shy away from death more so than most every culture in existence. It's not something we put on display. I found myself cringing while reading the details of how they prepare/d the bodies. One would wind up in a hospital somewhere here if they were to rub the deceased's body fat through their hair and on their skin here. For these people, it is a way to transfer the strength from the dead to the living.

Even mentioning using the leftover body fat for cooking oil here is beyond taboo.




In the next stage, the corpse’s eyes, mouth and anus are sewn shut, in order to reduce air intake and prevent the rotting of the flesh. This is believed to be the key step that ensures the mummies are perfectly preserved for centuries ahead. The soles of the feet, the tongue, and the palms are also sliced off and presented to the surviving spouse. The remains of the corpse are then tossed into a communal fire pit and smoke cured.

Once thoroughly smoked, the mummy is coated in clay and red ocher, which act as a natural cocoon, protecting the body from decay and scavengers. The process is now complete and the mummy is ready to go on display. Anga men, women and even babies are mummified using the same method; mummies dating back at least 200 years can still be found in the Morobe Highlands today. During celebrations and events, the mummies might be brought down from the cliffs, only to be returned soon after.


I can only imagine the trial and effort many cultures went through to find their preferred process of mummification. Using nothing high tech, they managed to find a simple, natural way to preserve the bodies of their dead. It's amazing that mummies can be found in such excellent condition after having centuries pass. These people still have mummies that are centuries old on display in their village.


The Anga mummification process can be a scary thing for people who don’t understand what the ritual is about. In fact, the curing was banned in 1975, when Papua New Guinea gained its independence. Today, many tribes perform Christian burials, and only a few tribes in remote pockets still prefer to mummify their dead.


It is definitely cringeworthy and I have to keep reminding myself that my way is not their way and visa versa. It's only cringeworthy because I picked up the idea that it is. I am sure our ways would have them cringing and wondering why we treat our deceased with such disrespect. Or why we hide them away instead of celebrating them.

I just thought it was an interesting topic. Hopefully a few of you will enjoy it as much as I did.



You can read more here:
www.odditycentral.com...
edit on 7/31/2014 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 05:33 AM
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I can only imagine the smell. Cooking oil rendered from smoked human bodies.
Imagine if Col. Sanders had grown up in that neck of woods.



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 05:35 AM
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a reply to: Kangaruex4Ewe

Imagine going for a walk through Papua New Guinea and coming across these? The thoughts that would run through your head lol.



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 05:36 AM
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originally posted by: skunkape23
I can only imagine the smell. Cooking oil rendered from smoked human bodies.
Imagine if Col. Sanders had grown up in that neck of woods.


I know, right? Finger licking good would have a whole new meaning!!



originally posted by: DarknStormy
a reply to: Kangaruex4Ewe

Imagine going for a walk through Papua New Guinea and coming across these? The thoughts that would run through your head lol.


Slim Jim, Oberto, Jack Links, and Motel Hell being just a few...
edit on 7/31/2014 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 05:45 AM
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a reply to: Kangaruex4Ewe

S&F, that's interesting and well, ..just plain weird.
Who starts that process? Who thinks 'Mmm, oh I know, let's smoke him and have him watch us from a basket in the cliffs'?

You raise a great question about hiding v displaying the dead's body though. Food for thought.



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 05:49 AM
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a reply to: Kangaruex4Ewe

Ugh, thanks for sharing this article, but using some of the dead person's fat as cooking oil?
Isn't that some kind of cannibalism?

Most of us westerners believe putting our beloved ones to the ground, where we came from is to put them to rest.

Here they are displaying them for everyone to see.
I wonder how many tribes do this?

I've read of some cultures in ancient times where they had a mummification process similar to the ancient Egyptians, but they all buried their parted loved ones.

Keeping them on display seems very unusual to me, because that's how back in the old days people used to display criminals to teach other people a lesson to not break the rules.

Just think how Vlad Tsepes used to pierce his live victims who had wronged him in some way on giant stakes, and let around 20,000 of them rotting this way near his home, so everyone who saw this would fear and respect him.

S&F




edit on 31/7/2014 by Rainbowresidue because: spelling



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 05:50 AM
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who the hell came up with that idea in the first place?!



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 05:58 AM
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a reply to: Rainbowresidue
Papua New Guinea had many cannibal tribes even during WW2, they would eat the Japanese soldiers sometimes.



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 05:59 AM
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originally posted by: beansidhe
Who thinks 'Mmm, oh I know, let's smoke him and have him watch us from a basket in the cliffs'?


That made me literally lol because it's the truth. It's so foreign to all of us that it's cartoonish and eerie at the same time. I'm sure they think the same way about us though.


You raise a great question about hiding v displaying the dead's body though. Food for thought.


That is something I have picked up on while learning about death in other cultures. Most are a lot more comfortable with death than we seem to be. They celebrate it more than they mourn it. Most of the time it's a severely somber occasion here and we try our best (usually) to avoid touching the bodies and looking at the bodies. It's something that a lot of people don't even want to discuss or prepare for ahead of time. If preparations are made ahead of time, it's usually done in a hush, hush fashion like it's a dirty secret.

It's just a weird difference. I am not sure why it's like that though.

BTW, I hope you are doing well my friend.



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 06:03 AM
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a reply to: weirdguy

Thanks dear Weirdguy for jogging my memory, now that you mention it, I remember watching a documentary on that.




posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 06:13 AM
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a reply to: Kangaruex4Ewe

Thank you, I'm getting there and of the same sentiments to you - I know it's not easy.
As far as I know we avoided touching corpses because of the spread of disease, and so the whole process of death became 'professionalised'. I can't help but laugh though, it does seeem cartoonish if I'm to apply it to my own family and friends.

Anyway, I was just about to have some smoked mackerel for lunch but, you know, I might just give that a miss now, lol!



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 06:14 AM
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Once you've traveled to PNG, and experienced the culture, you can sort of understand this. They really are not quite up-to-speed with the 21st century.

I travel to Port Moresby quite often - and am escorted everywhere with 2 armed security. I stay at a compound, for my own protection.

A few weeks ago, just outside the gate of the compound, was a chopped-up human (local).....machete attack, never even made the news this time, but just google machete attacks in PNG and Port Moresby in particular, it becomes clear, real quick.

Some of these folks still practice stuff like cannibalism.

Here are some local PM lads......



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 06:36 AM
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Just leave my dead body for the coyotes and buzzards. I will have no more use for it. I'd rather feed the birds than the worms.



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 06:44 AM
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a reply to: Sublimecraft

Geez! I couldn't even imagine that. Do you get armed escort because you are "somebody", or is it the status quo for everyone over there when they travel where you were traveling? I know that's nosey, but I couldn't resist asking. I'm curious if it's the same for everybody/average joe.

I do thank you for shedding some light on that area for me. The older I get, it seems the less I know sometimes. I am woefully ignorant of different cultures/countries and am trying to rectify that all the time. It seems like a losing battle more often than not. No matter how many pictures, videos, and articles I study... I just can't fathom living one day the way so many others live their entire lives.

I'm working on it.
I thank you for taking the time to help me with that. Every little bit helps.



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 06:53 AM
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a reply to: Kangaruex4Ewe

I have armed security primarily because I'm a white fella. The locals also know that I work for a very powerful global company in the resources sector - my kidnap ransom would clear the city debt.

Other than that, when back in Australia, I'm a regular yobbo just like the rest of youze.

Beer.

edit on 31-7-2014 by Sublimecraft because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 07:57 AM
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originally posted by: Sublimecraft
a reply to: Kangaruex4Ewe

I have armed security primarily because I'm a white fella. The locals also know that I work for a very powerful global company in the resources sector - my kidnap ransom would clear the city debt.

Other than that, when back in Australia, I'm a regular yobbo just like the rest of youze.

Beer.



I remembered that you were not from the States because we had discussed your accent in another thread before. I never forget a smoking hot accent lol. I had to tease you a bit.


I hope you continue to stay safe Sublime. As bad as crime can be here in the US (once again I can't imagine it) I generally never have to really fear for my safety, so it has to be damned stressful to be in a situation like that every day.

It's surreal to think about having to travel with an armed escort. Yikes!
edit on 7/31/2014 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2014 @ 05:00 PM
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Not to make fun of their practices but I have to wonder about their "learning curve" on this. Maybe somebody first wanted an ancestor overlooking the village and tied them up there. Several weeks days/weeks later a smelly mess came a tumblin down.

So somebody decided to cook the body first, resulting in a terrible stench that emptied the village for a day or two.

You know they didn't get it right on the first try



posted on Aug, 1 2014 @ 01:40 AM
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originally posted by: tinner07
Not to make fun of their practices but I have to wonder about their "learning curve" on this. Maybe somebody first wanted an ancestor overlooking the village and tied them up there. Several weeks days/weeks later a smelly mess came a tumblin down.

So somebody decided to cook the body first, resulting in a terrible stench that emptied the village for a day or two.

You know they didn't get it right on the first try


That's one thing that makes me curious as well. I mean, who was the first to say... "Hey! Maybe if we cook these guys and drain their fat and all... We can keep them around a bit longer!"

I would like to know how they finally arrived at the method they use now.



posted on Aug, 1 2014 @ 03:33 AM
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a reply to: Kangaruex4Ewe

Love stories like this, others may be grossed out but it's so interesting. Death is most definitely the great equalizer, cultural differences on the afterlife and treatment of the dead, fascinating stuff.

So they're basically cooking the bodies by smoking them resulting in mummification?

Plan on checking out the video tomorrow, at work



posted on Aug, 1 2014 @ 04:16 AM
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a reply to: Kangaruex4Ewe

I used to work in PNG in the 90's. I used to install Pressure monitoring tools in the Oil and Gas wells in the jungle for Chevron.

Was always told about the Cannibals and Head Hunters up in the North but never saw any or any mummified bodies.

When arriving once at the airport in Port Moresby I was confronted with what looked like blood on the ground in front of the airport. Turns out though it was the spit from some plant or root that they chewed. Can't remember what it was called but it left a red liquid that they spat everywhere. Apparently it made them high when chewed.

It's an interesting place but very dangerous judging by some of the experiences I had there. I won't go into long winded details but I had a few close shaves with tribes people attacking the Rig compounds.

On the mummification point, it's a strange way to treat the dead but hey that's their culture. And as far as cannibalism goes, people in the Western World inadvertently eat and drink Human Foetal tissue in a variety of mainstream drinks and food anyway. What it all boils down to is that we are all cannibals in one way or another. Meat is meat! Yumm!






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