Sky Burial

11 Feb

A recent discussion on Reddit pointed me towards the following video, which depicts a Tibetan sky burial. The video is somewhat long, so I’ll be brief in my backstory, as to not take up too much of your time. Sky burials are ancient rituals which have probably existed in one form or another since burial rituals first started to become widespread. Today they are most famously associated with certain Buddhist regions of Tibet and Nepal. The stony ground prevents internment in the ground and the lack of firewood rules out cremation. Instead the body is offered to local birds. Anyways, without further ado.

The video is from the BBC documentary Human Planet, by the way. Normally photography and video are unwelcome at these rituals, which makes this footage all the more interesting. Outsiders often do not understand the importance and practicality of these rituals and many see them as barbaric.

Eyewitness accounts can be found here, here, here, and here. They’re all from foreigners, ranging from the 1980’s to the 2000’s. Some are poetic, some are graphic, but all are worth a look.

Sources: BBC Human Planet, Episode 5 (Video),,,,

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Posted by on February 11, 2012 in Anthropology


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