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Tibetan Sky BurialCategory: (general)
Tuesday, 1 February 2011
12:13:21 AM (GMT)
Sky burial or ritual dissection was once a common practice in Tibet. A human corpse
is cut into small pieces and placed on a mountaintop, exposing it to the elements and
animals – especially to birds of prey. In one account, the leading mok cut off the
limbs and hacked the body to pieces, handing each part to his assistants, who used
rocks to pound the flesh and bones together to a pulp, which they mixed with tsampa
(barley flour with tea and yak butter or milk) before the vultures were summoned to
eat.

In several accounts, the flesh was stripped from the bones and given to vultures
without further preparation; the bones then were broken up with sledgehammers, and
usually mixed with tsampa before being given to the vultures. In another account,
vultures were given the whole body. When only the bones remained, they were broken up
with mallets, ground with tsampa, and given to crows and hawks that had waited until
the vultures had departed.

The Communist government of China outlawed it in the 1960s so it was nearly a lost
tradition, but they legalised it again in the 1980s.

Comments 
branches says:   1 February 2011   704919  
I think it's sort of nice when that kind of thing happens. With the
vultures and all. Not so much with the smashing-all-to-hell, but it's
nice that all the nutrients or what-have-you go to something better
than dirt.
 
robbie_manx says :   1 February 2011   668830  
I suppose thats one way of looking at it, but some people would say
how would you like it if it was one of your family? I'ts a subject
that people won't agree on!
 

 
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