December 9, 2011
Dakshinkali temple in the Kathmandu valley is dedicated to the goddess Kali, who requires sacrifices of animals. She is an incarnation of Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva, and destruction is performed to make creation possible. Faithful locals bring offerings of flowers and coconuts, but also chicken and goats, which are decapitated by a professional […]
December 4, 2011
This Temple in Kathmandu is a site of cremations around the clock. In contrast to Indian cremations, women are allowed to attend, and being emotional or photography is no taboo. The deceased is given offerings such as decorations, and family members pour sacred milk into his/her mouth. The oldest son of the deceased stays around […]
December 1, 2011
Tibetan Buddhism is a fusion of the shamanic Bön religion and Indian Tantric Buddhism. From the times of the Bön religion originates the sky burial ritual – after death, the body including the bones is hacked into small pieces, which are left at specific sites to be eaten by birds. According to local beliefs, the […]
November 13, 2011
Cave graves are abundant around Southern Sichuan Province. Clay dogs are used to guard the graves, and the deceased is supplied with objects and animals of everyday use, so that these graves represent the lifestyle of the deceased and helped historians to study everyday life of former times. Coffins are decorated with symbolic animal figures […]
October 25, 2011
Near the tomb of the emperor Qin, three pits containing an army of life-size Terracotta Warriors, horses, chariots, administrators, entertainers, etc. were discovered. The excavations are still ongoing, and more pits are expected to be found. The tomb of the emperor itself has not been excavated, yet – there are legends of traps including a […]
October 5, 2011
This Cemetery on West Hong Kong Island is set around the slopes of hills, overlooking a bay. Graves of wealthy people have large tombstones and religious statues, whereas other graves are small niches in walls with name plaques, images of the dead, and flower vases.
September 29, 2011
Ancient graves and megaliths with paintings overlooking the lake Danau Sentani can be found at Tutari. Devil Dance costumes are worn by Asmat tribespeople for ritual dances. During healing dances, medicinal hats are worn whose shape resembles the illness. Special bones are thought to have healing powers. Ancestral figures are prayed to, but also feared. […]
September 25, 2011
The mummy of Wim Tok Mabel, who was a powerful chieftain of the Dani tribe ~250 years ago, can be visited in Sumpaima village in the Baliem valley. The corpse was mummified by smoking it over a fire, and is kept in a traditional hut.
September 9, 2011
The Muslim part of the capital, Tual, has a cemetery with old, crooked trees, which faces the sea and some old mosques, and is a good sunset watching spot. There are both old and new graves, which are all surrounded by low walls. Directly on the beach Pasir Panjang, there is another cemetery. Near Ohoidertawun […]
August 20, 2011
The life of the Torajans of South Sulawesi is very much focused on death. They spend their time working with buffalos on rice-terraced hills, living in colourful boat-shaped houses, and saving money for gigantic funeral ceremonies that last several days and are attended by thousands of guests. The countryside is spotted with graves in caves, […]
August 9, 2011
This Christian Cemetery in Dili, the capital of East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, reminds of a South American cemetery in many ways due to its tropical surroundings and statues of saints. Graves are made mainly from tiles and are covered with plastic flowers and candles melting in the hot sun – there is also […]
July 20, 2011
In Bali, Hinduism is blended with animism – it is believed that spirits are everywhere, and people put small offerings of food and flowers in palm leaves on the pavement that one mustn’t step on. Unfortunately, the Hindus also believe that harming any creature is bad for your Karma, so that the island is overpopulated […]
June 30, 2011
Argentina’s largest cemetery has mostly family vaults with dramatic, morbid statues, many cats, and the tomb of Evita.
June 18, 2011
This old Jewish Cemetery dates back to the 1500s.
June 15, 2011
The cathedral in the castle grounds is a good example of Gothic architecture. Nearby quirky Golden Lane was once the home of many alchemists, whose equipment is on display, together with medieval weapons and armor, and a museum of torture instruments. Several provoking sculptures are displayed around town. The city square has several darkly romantic […]
May 18, 2011
Barnoon Cemetery in St Ives overlooks Porthmeor Beach. St Ives’ bright light which attracts many artists makes it look special at daytime, but it’s also a good sunset watching spot.
May 15, 2011
A powerfully atmospheric cemetery on Portland peninsula with tilted tombstones and many statues, surrounding a colossal church.
May 9, 2009
The expression Necro-Tourism was given significance in the context of tourists traveling to Ground Zero, so some pictures of this rather unspectacular construction ground should not be missing in this collection. Close by there is an old cemetery – a little island of peace and quiet in buzzing Manhattan.
December 29, 2008
The Valley of the Kings bears many graves of emperors, such as the tomb of Tutanchamun. Before their death, the graves were carved into stone – they have tunnel style walk ways decorated with images and scriptures which are supposed to help the deceased proceed into the land of the dead, and end in a […]
August 30, 2007
The Lord of Sipan was an emperor of ancient Peru who was buried in a pyramid, together with servants, food, and jewellery. A genetic test showed that his uncle was buried in a nearby grave. Every emperor has a unique style of jewellery, such as a plate worn around the neck, which helps with their […]
August 20, 2007
People living around the desert high plane of Nasca were buried together with many valuable gifts. Grave robbers have taken all of them away, but the bodies with their clothes and dreadlocks can still be seen. Around the dry desert plane, water was scarce, and rituals were performed to ask the gods for rain. Huge […]
August 9, 2007
Mummified bodies were kept in these funeral towers, which date from pre-inca times of ancient Peru. They bear carvings of animal symbols. It was believed that the dead still had needs similar to the living, so they were brought food and carried outside for a walk.
August 3, 2007
This quirky market offers all the lucky charms and ritual objects needed by superstitious Bolivian native people to ensure a good harvest, wealth, and fertility. Popular objects are miniature cars and other symbols of wealth in bottles, fake money, and Lama fetuses. In Copacabana, West Bolivia, by the Titicaca lake, pilgrims offer these items to […]
June 9, 2007
This Cemetery is located between Copa Cabana and the Corcovado (Christ the Redeemer) and is surrounded by favelas (slums) in the surrounding hills, which make a great backdrop. Tombs, family vaults, sacophagus, and wall graves can be found here, of which some have pictures of the deceased. Many typical dramatic South-American Christian statues can also […]
March 9, 2007
Around the capital Vientiane, many “witch doctor’s” street stalls sell parts of animals and plants for medicinal use. A Buddha park East of Vientiane has an array of concrete statues of mythological figures. Around Muang Sing, in the Northwest of Laos, people living in traditional tribal villages still keep their animist beliefs. At the entrance […]
February 9, 2007
At this funeral ceremony in Hoi An, Vietnam, the priest put white bandages around the guests’ heads one by one. The coffin of the deceased was barred up at the back of the room together with his picture. In Vietnam, people practice religions which are often a blend of several different world religions.
December 9, 2006
A pole with coins nailed to it serves as a charm against toothaches. Scenes from the Karma Sutra are used as decorations for temples at Pashupatinath and at Durbar Square in Patan. Street stalls sell medicinal herbs. Snake Charmers could be found around Thamel, Kathmandu, until 2006, but they have disappeared now.
November 15, 2006
The sacred city on the Ganges River is visited by pilgrims who bathe in and drink this most bacteria-infested water. Dead bodies are burnt on the river bank to ensure the proceeding of reincarnation. The body is burnt on a stack of wood – the type of wood depends on the wealth of the deceased […]
November 9, 2006
Park Street Cemetery is a Christian Cemetery – Hindus are cremated in India. Even though Christians are a minority in India, their number is high due to high population numbers. Especially Kalkutta has a large number of Christians because of missionaries’ work and the controversial Mother Theresa. Visiting Park Street Cemetery at dusk was very […]