11 Strange And Fantastic Death-Related Traditions From Around The World

Sky Burial

This is a funeral method still widely practiced by Tibetan Buddhists, though due to multiple factors including sanitation, ease of modern cremation and a decimated vulture population, the practice is in decline. For a sky burial, the body will be laid out on a mountainside, either intact or dissected into smaller pieces, and left for vultures to feast on. The idea is to dispose of a person’s remains in a manner which nourishes other life and to reinforce the Buddhist notion of impermanence.

Familial Cannibalism

The Wari’ people of Brazil traditionally practiced a form of ceremonial cannibalism in which the family of the deceased would roast and consume part of the body. This was intended as a sign of respect and to ensure that the departed’s soul would live on in the bodies of loved ones rather than wander alone forever. This tradition eventually faded away, and today the Wari’ no longer practice mortuary cannibalism.