The Eskimos' burial customs are quite unique and interesting. When a person dies, his body is placed on the ground so that the soul can find its path to the underworld. However, if a person dies due to some disease or illness, the body is dismembered and then the separate parts are thrown in different places.
The Asiatic Eskimos burn their dead while the Eskimos from Greenland are known to throw their dead into the seas. The rest of the Eskimos from Alaska bury their dead and then place a pile of stones on the grave.
According to the Eskimos beliefs, humans as well as animals have a soul in addition to the body but the soul is independent of the body. The soul can leave the body temporarily and then return. However, after a person dies, the soul continues to live in the same way as when the person was alive.
When a person dies, all his belongings are taken out of the house and aired so that the living are not infected. Even family members of the deceased bring all their belongings outside and let them air well. The body of the dead person is not carried out of the door for the funeral. Instead, the body is carried out either through a window or the back of the tent. The people who help to carry the body of the deceased person to the grave are considered to be infected and have to stay away from doing certain things.
During the mourning period, the women of the household do not wash themselves or dress well. Even certain food items are not consumed during the mourning period.The Eskimos burial customs are quite strange in terms of burying a person. What they do is fold the body of the dead person into half and then place the corpse on its side in a box. This box is then raised around three to four feet above the ground by means for four supports. The box is then painted with birds, fish and other animals. Sometimes, the box is wrapped with skins. Items like clothing, utensils and firearms are placed inside the box.
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