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Odd Funeral, Death Rituals and Customs , Part 8

In this article, you will encounter facts and trivia regarding some of the death traditions and customs associated with the Viking, Southeast Asians, and the Massai of East Africa.

60) In the Viking culture, if the recently deceased was a nobleman or respected warrior, his wife or main sweetie was passed along to all of the men in the tribe. They all had ‘relations’ with her and in some cases, were raped. She was then strangled and placed next to the body of her dearly departed.

61) Animal sacrifice associated with death rituals has been seen in a variety of cultures. Animals are sometimes killed preceding a funeral in what is known as a ‘ritual bloodletting.’ The belief is that blood is required for shedding in order to avoid further bad luck from befalling on the family. It is also not uncommon for family members to use the hide of the sacrificed animal to cover the deceased or the casket during the funeral ritual.

62) In many parts of Southeast Asia, people were buried in the field where they resided and also worked. This is why it is not odd to sight large stone monuments located in the center of a pasture where water buffalo and cows roam.

63) Neither a single being nor entity, Enkai is worshipped amongst the Massai in East Africa (hereditary nomads of the land). The term is used to refer to the earth, sky, and everything else that resides below. The concept has been rather tricky for westerners to grasp who have followed what they perceive as more traditional religious beliefs. The majority of burials associated with the Massai are called ‘predator burials,’ as commoners are just left in the wild for the predators to take care of. This train of thought comes from the Massai belief that dead bodies cause harm to the earth. In their eyes, death means that an individual is no more”¦gone. They do not believe in the afterlife. Any actual burials that take place are set aside for chiefs, as this shows a sign of respect.

64) If you live on the rather small island called Kiribati, you have been laying out your dead relative inside of their home for no less than three days and sometimes as long as 12 days. The number of days the deceased are honored depends on their status throughout their community. An offering takes place, as friends and family make a pudding out of the root of a regional plant. After a couple of months has passed by, followed the burial of the body , it is exhumed and the skull is removed. The skull is then oiled, polished, and offered tobacco and food. After the rest of the body is put back into its final resting place, residents still following the traditional way will keep the skull on a shelf in their home. They believe that the native god Nakaa will then give entry to the spirit of the deceased at the northern end of the islands.