The secret rites of sky burials

Source: IC-Globaltimes.cn Published: 2015/10/9 10:15:50

  • Pictured is the site of a sky burial in Sertar county of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province on July 7, 2013. Sky burials are funerary rites of Tibetan Buddhist origins that are practiced today in China’s Tibet Autonomous Religion, Qinghai Province, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, as well as neighboring Mongolia. Rooted in the belief of the transmigration of spirits, the rite seeks to help complete the journey of the soul while compassionately returning the body to nature. Photos: IC

  • Local lamas and tourists stand in front of a venue of vultures after a sky burial in Sertar county of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province on July 7, 2013. During a sky burial, lamas stand by the dead, recite sutras and burn incense. Then either the lama or sky burial ceremony master would then chop the corpse into pieces and leave them for vultures. The remains would then be eaten by birds or it would be left to decompose.

  • A local lama prays after a sky burial in front of the Tower of Silence in Sertar county of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province on July 7, 2013.

  • Local lamas and tourists view the Tower of Silence after a sky burial. Some of the remains are kept in the Tower of Silence for a year to feed vultures and other predatory birds. The corpses of men and women are stored separately.

  • Local lamas walk by the Tower of Silence after a sky burial in Sertar county of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province on July 7, 2013. Tibetan Buddhists often conduct the ceremony in private, leaving the exact process of the ritual shroud in mystery to the outside world.

  • Vultures collect at a sky burial site in Sertar county, Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province on July 7, 2013. After vultures consume all the flesh, the burial master crushes the leftover bones and mixes it with tsampa, a staple grain-based food of the region, to feed crows and eagles.

  • A venue of vultures at a sky burial in Sertar county of Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province on July 7, 2013.






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