16th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
This piece of work depicts the Famadihana, a funerary tradition of the Malagasy people in Madagascar. Known as the turning of the bones, people bring forth the bodies of their ancestors from the family crypts, rewrap them in fresh cloth and then dance with the corpses around the tomb to live music.
The Famadihana custom is based upon a belief that the spirits of the dead finally join the world of the ancestors after the body's complete decomposition and appropriate ceremonies, which may take many years. In Madagascar this became a regular ritual usually once every seven years, and the custom brings together extended families from across the country in celebrations of kinship and respect for the dead.
© Jose Ramon Galan Velasco.
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||Nov. 25, 2018, 4:27 a.m.
OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.