by wjw on November 16, 2013

tombsThese are “waruga,” the stone tombs of the Minahasa people of North Sulawesi.  The earliest date from around 900 CE, and the latest from the early 19th century, when the Dutch put a stop to this form of burial on the grounds that it was contributing to an epidemic.

The deceased was laid to rest with knives, plates, and jewelry, mostly bracelets or armbands, and placed in the fetal position in the lower part of the monument.  Other family members were dropped in later, as they died, and some of the tombs have as many as twelve burials in them.  The afterlife must have been pretty crowded.

Oddly enough, they reminded me of the pillar tombs of ancient Lycia, which Patricia Rogers and I saw in Turkey several years ago.

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