If you thought that zombies were just a mythical imagination of storytellers, well, think again!
Amazingly, certain people of the village have the ability to make people walk. They have this ‘ritual’ called, The Funeral Rituals of Toraja.
The said rituals have two separate theories on how the ‘walking dead’ evolved. According to one, in the ancient past, it was believed that a dead man must be buried in his village of origin, and not at the place of his death. Since villages then were far apart and extremely isolated, it was difficult for family members to carry the corpse through long distances. The help of people who could make the dead walk was sought, and the dead man would be able to walk back to the village where he was born. Kind of like a mobile service for the dead, I suppose. So in those days, it was not uncommon to find a stiff, expressionless corpse, walking straight ahead. And it is said that if anyone addressed the corpse directly, it would simply collapse, unable to continue the journey.
The second theory about the Toraja zombies is equally creepy. In this theory, the villagers believe that death is a long process and that it takes many years for the deceased to work their way through it, finally reaching afterlife. So elaborate and expensive arrangements need to be made for the funeral, allowing the dead to make the transition smoothly.
In the case of insufficient funds to push through such arrangements, they could make use of a temporary coffin, until the funds have been collected. Once the permanent coffin has been made ready, the dead are actually raised and made to walk into it.
But that isn’t the only thing the myth of the walking dead is based on. Since the quality of roads around Toraja has greatly improved, most people now prefer to transport the deceased the old fashioned way, but to prove they still know the secret of the walking dead, they mostly perform their mysterious rituals on animals.
At funerals, it’s common for the people of Toraja to sacrifice cattle, and after they separate the head from the body, reports say they can make the dead animal rise up and walk for as long as ten minutes.
Those who are unaccustomed to such bold tradition might find the ritual morbid,disrespectful and disgusting. However, there’s something solemnly beautiful about families that continue to care for those they love even after their deaths.