Knife, torch, rope…Here are some of the weird burial items and rituals

Different communities have different ways of burying their loved ones once they depart from this world but some practices are creepy.

From the Luhya’s to Luo’s and other communities around the world, we look at some of the weirdest burial rituals, although some are not being practiced at the moment.

1. Strangulation

This modern practice has derived ideas from the ancient ritual of Sati. The traditional funeral ceremony on the South Pacific Island of Fiji involves killing of the near and dear ones of the deceased.

Strangulation death ritual
Strangulation death ritual

The practice implies that the dead ones should not be left alone in the other world and must be accompanied by a loved one in the hereafter so as to make the process of death less painful.

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2. Exposing dead to vultures

Another bizarre tradition being revitalized by the Parsi community of Mumbai. Mainly a ritual practiced by the Zoroastrian religion, by first preparing the dead by cleansing and bathing them and then setting them up on Towers of their religious temples to vultures.

DEath ritual

The idea behind this tradition is that the dead must get rid of their physical forms and must only survive in one being, i.e. their spiritual selves.

3. Mass Scavenging
This ancient ritual practice by the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. The ritual involves throwing all the dead people in a vicinity of town, village or city in one pit and then letting wild animals loose for them to feed on the dead bodies.


4. Sky burial

One of the most bizarre funeral traditions still in practice. Sky burial or ritual dissection is a funerary practice in the Chinese provinces of Tibet, Qinghai, and Inner Mongolia. A human corpse is cut into small pieces and placed on a mountaintop, exposing it to the elements (mahabhuta) and animals – especially predatory birds. The function of the sky burial is simply to dispose of the remains in as generous a way as possible.

5. Being buried while seated

This practice is common among the Bukusu,a tribe  in Kenya,they believe that burying a loved one while seated is a sign of respect.

According to  Mzee Museve Mwidakho, for the dead to fit into the coffin, the elders must hold a special conversation with them before they are buried.

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6. Being buried with a torch

According to Luhya cultures if one is slain by certain rituals must be carried out.

Such rites are mainly carried out during the send off a send-off of a renowned man whose life was cut short by slayers.

This was the case for slain business man Jacob Juma, Daniel Wanjala, a member of the Luhya community, told eDaily that

“The purpose of the torch is to help Juma hunt for his killers any time of day or night. The torch will be put in the casket while it is lit; and the day it goes off, a million deeds shall follow his killers – including running mad, dying in an accident or being involved in any other bad incident.”

7. Being buried with a knife

This ritual is also carried where a respectable member of the society loses his life in the hands of murderers.

The purpose of the knife is to help the deceased avenge for his death,this is despite the fact that the assassins might have used other weapons to slay the deceased.

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Tearful ‘widow’ narrates shock of ‘husband’ buried in secret midnight ritual

A woman in Kapsabet who died after disinheriting her “wife” with 12 children was on Monday night buried, hours after a court stopped the ceremony.

Tapkili Meto, 90, was buried at midnight after her “wife” Helen Meto obtained temporary orders restricting the burial pending hearing of a case she filed in court.

The court order was to be served to Matida Too, Tapkili’s relative, who had obtained a burial permit from the local chief. Residents of Kaplonyo village in Kilibwoni found out yesterday that Tapkili was interred at her brother’s home.

Her “wife” and 12 children wanted her buried at Kapsoen village, Kapnyeberai, in her farm at the family’s graveside and beside her husband Kimisoi Meto.

Kimisoi died in the 1950’s before having children as Tapkili was barren.

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