Pleiku - Jarai people
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I know what I am going to write about is quite strange, but still it is part of history and tradition for ethnic people. So far I know, the Jarai minority honours the dead people in graveyards set up like miniature villages. Each grave is marked with a shelter or bordered with stakes of bamboo. Simply carved wodden figures are usually placed along the edge, often pictured in a squatting position with their hands over their faces in an attitude of mourning. For years, relatives would bring food to the grave and celebrate the death anniversaries there. After several years, the grave is completely abandoned as they believe the spirit have already left the village. A horrific part of the Jarai funerary tradition was burying the alive babies along with their dead mothers, which of course has been prohibited by the government since 1990. I heard that it was because they had no other alternatives to feed and take care of the babies after their mothers died. So the death of the mothers would always lead to their babies’ deaths. In order to save on the expenses of the funerary rites, these two funerals would be combined and the baby would be buried alive together with its mother. It must have been very terrible for all the relatives and all people who cared about the babies, but thank God it is all over now.