Skeptical explanation of Toraja/Indonesian "walking corpses"?

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alfa_juliett
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Skeptical explanation of Toraja/Indonesian "walking corpses"?

Postby alfa_juliett » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:30 am

Hi all, I'm looking for more information the Toraja "walking corpses".

For those who haven't heard of this before, there's an ethnic group in Indonesia that have some very detailed and involved burial traditions. From what I understand, corpses are kept for some time while their final resting place is prepared and then "walked" there.

The best explanation I have found so far is this post which discusses the famous image that usually circulates, that appears to show a dead woman standing up next to her new coffin: http://extraordinaryintelligence.com/ph ... al-zombie/

A good post, but it really only addresses the photo itself and I've found claims that aren't really explained if it is just a corpse essentially being carried in an upright position.

From a Mysterious Universe entry (http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2015/03/t ... indonesia/):

"In order to make sure the corpse was able to be returned to their village of birth and spare the family the hardship of carrying it themselves, special shamans were sought out who allegedly had the power to temporarily bring the dead back to life. The particular brand of black magic used by the shamans only brought the dead back to life in the most rudimentary sense. These walking corpses were said to be largely unaware of their surroundings and nonresponsive, expressionless, and uncoordinated, only able to perform the most basic tasks such as walking. Upon being brought back to life, the walking corpse was said to shamble stiffly and robotically towards its village of birth, often guided by the shaman or a procession of family members, but sometimes on its own."

I'm guessing it's not black magic... so does anyone have more insight on this? Are they just being carried?

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Re: Skeptical explanation of Toraja/Indonesian "walking corpses"?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:35 pm

alfa_juliett wrote: I've found claims that aren't really explained if it is just a corpse essentially being carried in an upright position.
You forgot to mention that the bodies are stiff and light because they are embalmed.

You missed that the Toraja people are low income agricultural workers and bury their dead between September to December when they have revenue from springs crop production. That's why they embalm them for later burial.


TORAJA FUNERALS
http://factsanddetails.com/indonesia/Mi ... -4013.html
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Re: Skeptical explanation of Toraja/Indonesian "walking corpses"?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:04 am

Well, given that dead people don't walk I can't see why you even started this thread.
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Re: Skeptical explanation of Toraja/Indonesian "walking corpses"?

Postby alfa_juliett » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:28 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:You forgot to mention that the bodies are stiff and light because they are embalmed.

You missed that the Toraja people are low income agricultural workers and bury their dead between September to December when they have revenue from springs crop production. That's why they embalm them for later burial.



So essentially you're saying that they are just being carried - they're embalmed, they're stiff, they're dry, they're light, they're being carried. They can maybe be propped up to stand on their own but for movement they are just being carried.

Which makes me more interested in where the claims of the dead bodies walking "stiffly and robotically" under their own/some kind of "black magic" come from... based on the link you gave (excellent source, much better than anything I found with my weak Google-fu) it seems like this claim hasn't actually come from the culture itself but is a misinterpretation of their actual practises by someone following the classic "mystical East" trope - which makes a lot of sense.

Obviously I realise that a dead body can't walk on its own but I was wondering if the claim that they did actually came from the people of this culture how far did they go with this, are they actually trying to make it appear that they are moving on their own, etc...

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Re: Skeptical explanation of Toraja/Indonesian "walking corpses"?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:18 pm

"Everybody buys into the joke" is the most likely explanation. Like transubstantiation, they know it isn't really happening but they like the idea, so they go along with all the rigmarole.
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Re: Skeptical explanation of Toraja/Indonesian "walking corpses"?

Postby Nikki Nyx » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:39 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Well, given that dead people don't walk I can't see why you even started this thread.
Well, there goes the premise for THAT entire TV show. :mrgreen:
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Re: Skeptical explanation of Toraja/Indonesian "walking corpses"?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:20 pm

Nikki Nyx wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Well, given that dead people don't walk I can't see why you even started this thread.
Well, there goes the premise for THAT entire TV show. :mrgreen:
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Re: Skeptical explanation of Toraja/Indonesian "walking corpses"?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:29 pm

alfa_juliett wrote: Which makes me more interested in where the claims of the dead bodies walking "stiffly and robotically" under their own/some kind of "black magic" come from...


Idiots with low self esteem, or people making money off those same idiots.
The first hint is the claim they are "zombies". Zombies is a worn out film genre from the 1930s and hasn't changed for nearly 100 years. It's popular fiction again today. If there was really were something unusual going on, it wouldn't imitate a 90 year old film monster.


The second giveaway is the total lack of research. It took me 10 seconds to find an academic explanation for these embalming and delayed burial practices, that are really no different to other human burial practices that have been around for 8,000 years. Egyptians embalm bodies and bury them at later dates and so on.

Thirdly, you didn't actually present or name, anyone claiming these were really dead bodies walking around. I'm sure there is some internet forum chatter, by 15 year olds, on UFO fan websites, saying it is real, but that is about it. There is no academic or serious book or paper claiming this crap story is real.

On the other hand there are some smart people, who exploit these same 15 year old idiot belivers, by selling them books "hinting" that zombies are real, alien UFOs visit Earth, Human Lizards control Earth, the holocaust never happened, Jewish bankers control the work and rubbish like that.

alfa_juliett wrote:.....are they actually trying to make it appear that they are moving on their own, etc...
As I said.....films and fiction feed off each other.
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