During Ma' Nene in Toraja Land, Indonesia, (cleaning of the corpses ceremony) coffins are opened, mummies are cleaned and given new clothes. In Toraja (Indonesia), the rituals associated with death are complex and expensive. Therefore, when a person dies, it can take weeks, months even years for the family to organize the funeral. During this time, the deceased is considered to be "sick" and kept at home. While, it remains a sad time, the transition from life to death is a slow and peaceful process strengthening family bonds. Depending on the family, the body may be kept uncovered, bundled in layers of cloth or in a coffin.
In the region of Pangala, the Ma' Nene, or cleaning of the corpses, ceremony takes place after the rice harvest. Coffins are removed from their burial sites and opened. The mummies are cleaned, dried in the sun and given a change of clothes. Expressions of sadness are mixed with the overall happy atmosphere surrounding these moments of bonding with loved ones and honoring ancestors.
- Alain Schroeder
Alain Schroeder is a Belgian photojournalist born in 1955. In 1989 he founded Reporters, a well-known photo agency in Belgium. He has illustrated over thirty books dedicated to China, Persia, the Renaissance, Ancient Rome, the Gardens of Europe, Thailand, Tuscany, Crete, Vietnam, Budapest, Venice, the Abbeys of Europe, Natural Sites of Europe, etc. Publications include National Geographic, Geo, Paris-Match,… He has won many international awards and participated in numerous exhibitions worldwide. He is represented in Belgium by Reporters and in Paris by the photo agency HEMIS.