Resting or Where The Hell Should The Carcass Go?

resting

It took a while… a long while. I have to admit I totally broke the 3 day rule.
I broke it, then jumped on it a bit, set it on fire and spread its ashes over the seven seas.

This picture for the subject „burial methodes and rites“ was done in more than 2 weeks and I kind of had to force myself to END IT and stop tinkering. But I had something in mind, something specific, and it wanted out. I really hope you like it and it was worth the wait and that whole chunk of effort I invested in it.

By the way: This is the first EVER digital painting I did solely with the aid of my tablet with Infinite Painter. Nice program, still has its problems, but as long as Adobe produces its apps solely for Apple -.- we androidheads have a good and working alternative ^^.

But now to our subject, bluntly put: What shall we do with the carcass?

Which is probably the question (though I´m hypothesizing here) that motivated our ancestors to come up with all those burial rites in the first place. The dead body of a human being (or any beeing, for that matter) releases not so pleasant smelling gases and having it lying around is anything but hygnienic. Our ancestors probably found out at quite an early stage that not living in the direct proximity of their deceased lowered the death count in their tribe quite a bit.

Though it is quite questionable that they had such scientific considerations in mind they nevertheless acted on that experience and found ways to get rid of the remains of their loved ones in more efficient ways than moving a bit every time one of them died (this beeing quite a common event when modern medicine was literally thousands of years away and predators such as lions seldomly kept behind solid fences in recreation grounds).

We found human remains in the lava tubes of Kona
(c) by Steve Jurvetson published under cc attribution license

And that´s where religion comes in. To our common cave man (and -woman) death was a huge mystery, one day your neighbour, wife, grandad, whatever, was alive and… probably not well but at least breathing and, in many cases, groaning, the next he/ she is cold as ice and not doing anything much at all.

Where is the person you spent at least part of your life with now?

As this lines up with many other great mysteries like a glowing disk coming up every day and setting every evening, big thunderstorms with blinding lights in the sky and growling noises that sound like coming from some huge monster ready to devour the whole world, it was obvious that there had to be more behind all this „dying“ affair than meets the eye.

The essence of the person we know has to go somewhere and who better to manage the whole thing than Gods (in the general sence, I include nature religions etc. here because addressing every religion seperately would make this post unreadably long).

So depending on the believes common in the respective parts of the world the tribes lived in, varying methods and rites where invented to despose of the bodys and honour (or dishonour, if the person in question was an enemy or had done something wrong) the dead persons spirit.

Burial Arrangement
(c) by Artotem published under cc attribution license

Some dug graves and added grave goods for use in the next life, others burned the bodies, some even built mounds where the deceased rested in peace in a sitting position, and all those rites of course evolved with time, leading to things like the great pyramids…

There exist manifold methods, complicated rituals and sometimes macabre approaches to the disposal of the dead all the cultures of the world developed.

To sum it up, burial methods are quite fascinating and can tell you quite a lot about the believes and attitudes towards life and death people around the globe have, but one thing they all have in common: They are a way of dealing with the loss (for better or worse) of another person that until then played some part in your life and also the mortality of the self.

For further Information on this topic you can take a look at those websites: thefuneralsource.orgTED funeral traditions10 extraordinary burial methods from around the world

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