Ancient Papua New Guinea Tribe Smokes The Deceased To Preserve Their Bodies

All over the world death and burial rituals vary with each different culture. The “traditional” Western model of funerals are probably most recognizable on tv and in the movies. Regardless of the ritual, most share a common goal of honoring their deceased.  In the Dani tribe in Papua New Guinea their ritual and tradition is interesting to say the least.

Located in the Baliem Valley of Papua New Guinea this tribe would not bury their loved ones once they have died, but they would mummify them. To the tribe it is the ultimate sign of respect and honor to smoke the remains of loved ones.

Ancient Papua New Guinea Tribe Smokes The Deceased To Preserve Their Bodies
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Although they don’t today, for hundreds of years, the people of the Dani tribe have developed a unique process of smoking the bodies of their deceased ancestors to preserve them.

Ancient Papua New Guinea Tribe Smokes The Deceased To Preserve Their Bodies
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The process of smoking the bodies would take weeks, if not months at times and allowed the bodies to be preserved from decomposition.

Ancient Papua New Guinea Tribe Smokes The Deceased To Preserve Their Bodies

Although the tribe of Dani does not practice the ritual of mummify the dead, they still care for the previously preserved mummies out of a sign of respect and honor for their ancestors.

Ancient Papua New Guinea Tribe Smokes The Deceased To Preserve Their Bodies
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Not only are the mummies still around for respect but they serve as a tourist attraction. Tourists come from all over the world to experience and observe the culture of this hidden village.

Ancient Papua New Guinea Tribe Smokes The Deceased To Preserve Their Bodies
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This man holds a 360 year old mummified relative.

Ancient Papua New Guinea Tribe Smokes The Deceased To Preserve Their Bodies

It’s incredible to see the different traditions other cultures have, and their own versions of respecting those who have passed on from this life. Even though they don’t mummify loved ones anymore, it is amazing to see they have held on to mummified ancestors as old as 360 years old!

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