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Middle Kingdom Podcasts (2005-2017)

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Entries in spirits (1)



The Chunchiet animist people bury their dead in the jungle. Life is a sacred jungle.

  Animists believe in the universal inherent power of nature world. The Tompoun and Jarai, among animist world tribes have sacred burial sites. 

  The Kachon village cemetery is one hour by boat on the Tonle Srepok River from Voen Sai near Banlung. It is deep in the jungle. You need permission from the village chief to visit.

  I was there.

  The departed stays in the family home for five days before burial. Once a month family members make ritual sacrifices at the site.

  The village shaman dreams the departed will go to hell. In their spirit story dream the shaman meets LOTH, Leader of the Hell who asks for an animal sacrifice. The animist belief says sacrificing a buffalo and making statues of the departed will satisfy LOTH. It will renew the spirit and return it to the family.

  After a year family members remove old structures, add two carved effigies, carve wooden elephant tusks, create new decorated roofs and sacrifice a buffalo at the grave during a festive week-long celebration with food and rice wine for the entire village. 

  New tombs have cement bases and carved effigies with cell phones and sunglasses. Never out of touch.

  See your local long distance carrier for plans and coverage in your area. The future looks brighter than a day in a sacred jungle.

  Fascinating, said Leo, a shaman monk from Tibet.

  Walking is the best form of travel, said Rita. Take your time quickly. How did you get here?

  Leo said: By walking. The paved road from Pakse, Laos to NE Cambodia is for tourist buses.

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