Monday, February 15, 2010

Philippine Tribe Raises the Dead

The Filipino Hanunuo Mangyan tribe's kutkot ritual is a time-honored funereal tradition in which the recently deceased is unearthed, swathed in clothing in such a manner as to resemble a sinakot (sort of a mummy), further dressed by contributions of clothing and jewelry from the surviving family members, the deceased is said to have been revived. "Kutkot" actually means "unearthed."

However, the practice of kutkot is a dying form. Few today know the ritualistic manner for tying the funereal cloth so that it resembles the human form. Fewer still are continuing the practice today, having fallen victim to modern influences, according to researchers and reporters. Many of the indigenous tribes and peoples are being threatened by the spread of industry in the region, while others have migrated to other parts of the world in search of work. Elders say the younger generation simply cares not to learn, or perform, the ritual.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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