The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses certainly isn't for the squeamish.

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You’ve heard the phrase ‘turning in their grave’, well these long-dead corpses aren’t so much turning as being turfed out of their graves!

Because in an isolated part of Indonesia, an ethnic group from the mountains of South Sulawesi are lovingly digging up the dead from their graves as part of the ancient Ma’nene festival. Centuries-old corpses are exhumed, dressed in clothes and put on display in a macabre ritual honouring the dead.

The annual festival, which translates as ‘the Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses’, then sees the dead groomed, washed, dressed in fashionable new clothes and even sunglasses and paraded round the village.

The scenes might appear gruesome but for the Toraja people, who consider funerals the most important event of their lives, the festival is a celebration. Photographer Herman Morrison made the trip from the Indonesian island of Lombok, where he lives, to capture the peculiar ceremony on camera. Here’s what we witnessed…

 

The graves are in the hillside…

Herman Morrison/Solent News/Rex/Shutterstock

 

The bodies are dug from the hillside…

Herman Morrison/Solent News/Rex/Shutterstock

 

Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses during Ma'nene festival, South Sulawesi, Indonesia - Apr 2016

Herman Morrison/Solent News/Rex/Shutterstock

 

Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses during Ma'nene festival, South Sulawesi, Indonesia - Apr 2016

Herman Morrison/Solent News/Rex/Shutterstock

 

Next comes the cleaning…

Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses during Ma'nene festival, South Sulawesi, Indonesia - Apr 2016

Herman Morrison/Solent News/Rex/Shutterstock

 

Then the bodies are dressed…

Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses during Ma'nene festival, South Sulawesi, Indonesia - Apr 2016

Herman Morrison/Solent News/Rex/Shutterstock

 

Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses during Ma'nene festival, South Sulawesi, Indonesia - Apr 2016

Herman Morrison/Solent News/Rex/Shutterstock

 

Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses during Ma'nene festival, South Sulawesi, Indonesia - Apr 2016

Herman Morrison/Solent News/Rex/Shutterstock

 

 

And finally paraded around the village in their finery…

Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses during Ma'nene festival, South Sulawesi, Indonesia - Apr 2016

Herman Morrison/Solent News/Rex/Shutterstock

 

Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses during Ma'nene festival, South Sulawesi, Indonesia - Apr 2016

Herman Morrison/Solent News/Rex/Shutterstock