Undertoad Wednesday Apr 26 12:54 PM
4/26/2006: Vultures feast in Tibetan burial ceremony
It seems to me like they already would have done, because I for one have never heard of it. And yet it's how 80% of the Tibetan people say they would prefer to go.
glatt Wednesday Apr 26 01:11 PM
It looks like the vultures aren't the only ones gnawing on leg bones.
rebelcan Wednesday Apr 26 01:22 PM
This reminds me of one of the <a href="http://www.neilgaiman.com/">Sandman</a> comics. It's the one where in the city of the dead where they handle the burial of everyone, a student gets sent to watch a burial similar to this. While the birds are busy, the student and the two ( or three ) other burial attendants pass the time while telling stories.
Happy Monkey Wednesday Apr 26 01:27 PM
Yeah, Sandman came to mind for me, too. Gaiman has a way of filling your head with odd factoids.
Shocker Wednesday Apr 26 01:38 PM
Looks like fun, think they would even allow that in the States?
barefoot serpent Wednesday Apr 26 01:39 PM
neat... can I change my selection in the Final Choices thread?
Trilby Wednesday Apr 26 03:22 PM
You know what? I KNEW not to look at/read the text for today's Iotd. I just knew it.
joelnwil Wednesday Apr 26 03:25 PM
Zoroastrians do the same thing. The body is placed on a mountain or high building.
Ridgeplate Wednesday Apr 26 03:30 PM
Learn something every day...
Promenea Wednesday Apr 26 03:59 PM
One of my favorite poems:
I had walked since dawn and lay down to rest on a bare hillside
Above the ocean. I saw through half-shut eyelids a vulture wheeling high up in heaven,
And presently it passed again, but lower and nearer, its orbit narrowing,
I understood then
That I was under inspection. I lay death-still and heard the flight-feathers
Whistle above me and make their circle and come nearer.
I could see the naked red head between the great wings
Bear downward staring. I said, "My dear bird, we are wasting time here.
These old bones will still work; they are not for you."
But how beautiful he looked, gliding down
On those great sails; how beautiful he looked, veering away in the sea-light
over the precipice. I tell you solemnly
That I was sorry to have disappointed him. To be eaten by that beak and
become part of him, to share those wings and those eyes--
What a sublime end of one's body, what and enskyment; what a life after death.
nephtes Wednesday Apr 26 04:05 PM
Aaah, I've read about this. It's also called "Sky Burial" (Wikipedia info). I originally came across this in a book by the same, a true story about a chinese woman named Shu Wen who travels to Tibet to search for her missing husband. Wholeheartedly recommended -- I read it almost cover-to-cover on a flight from Montreal to Miami. Absolutely spellbinding.
Spexxvet Wednesday Apr 26 07:19 PM
xoxoxoBruce Wednesday Apr 26 09:55 PM
With this funeral, you could end up on a Cadillac windshield....but more likely a Yak.
rebelcan & nephtes, welcome to The Cellar.
Oafed Thursday Apr 27 12:55 AM
Jordon Thursday Apr 27 11:00 AM
Buddhists can be some pretty Goth folks. I just finished reading the biography of Milarepa, again. It was common to meditate in graveyards in order to impress oneself with the transitory nature of life. Then there's Celestial Burial. You end up as vulture poo. It's less ego flattering than all that morticians wax and pancake, formaldehyde and a casket that costs as much as and sort of looks like a Sky Blue Cadillac. If you want a concrete grave liner/sarcophagus type thang, that's extra, as are locks on the casket (don't ask), thank you for your Hallmark bereavement card embossed Stationary with the funeral parlor's name and website, flower arrangements, extra professional mourners, catering for the wake...
Flint Thursday Apr 27 11:05 AM
My buddy was telling me about this guy who, based on a conversation he had with his friend, after the guy died he stole the body, went out to the middle of the desert and burned it, Vader-style, according to what he believed his friend's last wishes were. The guy that died was from some band, and they made a movie about it. Anybody heard of this/have more details?
rkzenrage Thursday Apr 27 05:26 PM
If I had my way I would have a sky burial... I am now doing my best to avoid any chemicals or extreme expense involved with my burial.
xoxoxoBruce Thursday Apr 27 09:14 PM
Flint, Gram Parsons.
Griff Thursday Apr 27 09:20 PM
Nice way to pull up stakes.
Clodfobble Friday Apr 28 05:46 PM
Why does he have to shoo the birds away if they're already done eating the body? Won't they fly away on their own?
rkzenrage Friday Apr 28 09:43 PM
They have to make sure they ate everything, that all of them is gone.
Wombat Sunday Apr 30 09:03 PM
They do this in high-up mountain regions because it's the only practical way to dispose of a dead body. They can't bury it because the ground is frozen and/or solid rock, and they can't cremate it because there are no trees growing at high altitudes so firewood is very scarce. The only choice left is to get the birds to clean up. A dead body is a major heath risk for everyone if it's not disposed of quickly.