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A photo has been shared in several Indonesian-language blogs and Facebook posts, along with a claim that it shows two people who have come back to life after being dead for a century. However, the claim is false; the photo shows a ritual ceremony to cleanse mummified corpses on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
The photo appeared in this Facebook post, uploaded to a group of over 217,000 members on July 16, 2022.
“Praise be to God. These two people have been dead for 100 years but have come back to life,” read the Indonesian caption of the post.
The post includes a link to an Indonesian-language blog post, dated June 20, 2022.
The blog post title and text overlay on the image make a similar claim.
The photo also appeared with a similar claim here, here and here in different Facebook groups with 724,000 members in total.
The photo has been published in similar blog posts for years, for example in 2017 and 2016.
However, the claim is false.
A reverse image search on Google revealed that the photo was posted on an Indonesian-language travel blog here on August 26, 2014.
Translated into English, the title of the blog post reads: “Horror Tourism in Toraja”.
Toraja, also called Tana Toraja, is a mountainous region in the Indonesian province of South Sulawesi.
The article explains a Torajan ritual called Manene or Ma’nene, in which people clean the mummified corpses of their loved ones.
A paragraph from the blog post reads: “Ma’nene, as it is called in the Toraja language, takes place every August in Pangala, North Toraja, like the last two days in August 2014 Ma’nene is a ritual to exhume dead bodies from their graves.
“Exhumed corpses are those that have been buried for decades, like 20 years, 30 years or even hundreds of years. The goal is to dust the corpses, put them in the sun, and even change their clothes. “
The blog post published five photos from the ritual, including the one shared in the misleading post.
Below is a screenshot of some of Ma’nene’s photos published in the 2014 blog, with the corresponding photo annotated by AFP:
During the Manene ritual, performed before or after the August harvest, the Torajan people dig up their mummified relatives, clean them and dress them in their favorite clothes to honor their spirits, AFP reported here.
AFP published photos of the ritual here.
Amos Sumbung, the man who wrote the 2014 blog post, told AFP he was originally from Toraja and the footage shows a Manene ritual held in Toraja in August 2014.
“The photos were taken by people who live near where a Ma’nene ritual took place in my hometown. These people are my family members,” he said on July 19, 2022 .