These pictures show an annual ritual where villagers dig up the bodies of their dead relatives before washing, grooming and dressing them up in fancy new clothes.

Families in the Indonesian province of Toraja in South Sulawesi perform the act to keep their relatives alive in their hearts and minds.

As part of the zombie ceremony, even the skeletons of children are exhumed.

Damaged coffins are fixed or replaced before the mummies are walked around the area by following a path of straight lines during the ritual, called “Ma’nene” or The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses.

Herman Tandi combs the hair of his grandparents
Relatives clean the body of  Sarungu, an army veteran who has been dead for 10 years
Relatives cleaning one of the bodies during the Ma’nene ritual
The event takes place in Toraja, Indonesia.

For Torajans, the death of the body isn’t seen as an abrupt event and attempts are made to keep them part of the family.

Late loved ones are tended at home for weeks, months, or even years after death and funerals are often delayed to gather relatives.

L Sarungu’s body being exhumed
The bizarre ritual takes place annually
Death isn’t seen as a final event by the tribe
Relatives pull up the body of Ne ‘Dandan to be cleaned

In Toraja society, the funeral ritual is also most elaborate and expensive event.

According to their ancient belief system, the spirit of a dead person must return to his village of origin.

So if a person died on a journey, the dead person would be walked backhome from the scene to the village.

Relatives pose with the bodies of Jesaya Tandibua and Yakolina Namanda during the Ma’nene ritual
Relatives inspect the bodies of Paulus Sampe Lumba and Yakob Tandi Tondon
Relatives clean the body of Paul Sampe Lumba, who has been dead for seven years