Tag Archives for ethnography

02Sep2010

Buffalo Soldiers: Living for Death in the Tana Toraja

Funeral buffalo sacrifice, eyes open, throat slashed, dying in a pool of its own blood on the grass. Tana Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

“Are funerals like this in London?” asks my new Torajan friend. The dead man’s drum-shaped coffin emerges from the matrimonial bedroom where he has “slept”, preserved in formalin, with his family for the last eight months. Now he has left the house, he is finally dead, his soul winging its way towards the afterlife. “Not […]

09Jun2010

Putting the Graphic into Ethnographic

water_puppets_museum_ethnography_hanoi_vietnam

As you can probably tell from the picture the Vietnamese Museum of Ethnography in Hanoi offers infinitely more fun than the rather cumbersome title would suggest. (It’s slightly shorter in Vietnamese. But not much.) This depicts, believe it or not, a traditional tribal tomb. Can you imagine what the funeral was like?! I mean, seriously. […]