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JARAI GRAVES

By JN_CHATELAIN_PHOTOGRAPHY
My recent trip to Vietnam and especially in the Central Highlands visiting some hill tribe villages has been a real voyage of discovery. Meeting people who have a way of life so close to nature and believing in spirits and reincarnation was very exciting.

The village of Plei Puhn near Plei Ku is worth the detour for the cemetery as it’s nothing like cemeteries we know here in Europe. The graveyard is among a wood outside the village as the spirits of the dead will be living in the trees for 3 years before starting a new life. There is a big ceremony at the the time of the burial and also after three to celebrate the passage to a “new life”.

The graveyard looks like a tranquil hamlet which gives the place a particular beauty as a house is built over the family graves and surrounding the house are wooden statues of people, and animals. The statues evoke various moods (sorrow, happiness …etc…). The deceased are also represented and some drawings and writing can be seen on the roofs and walls.

Inside the grave house you can see big earthenware jars of rice wine as well as fruit, food …etc… as offerings to the deceased. After the burial ceremony a piece of bamboo is placed in the ground so the dead can be fed.

The coffins are made out of one piece of excavated tree trunk. In the Central Highlands, houses are on stilts and you can see the coffins placed underneath, ready to be used. I was told that in the coffin more than one member of the family can be found as the grave is reopened each time there is a death.

Thank you for your interest so far in this series about my trip to Vietnam. I’m very pleased with your thoughts and opinions. The various versions system proves to be brilliant as you can tell me which photo you like best and pushed me to experiment with B&W conversions.

Hoping you’re not put off by the “theme” today. Thank you for having a look at the photos and leaving a comment.

Have a good Sunday,

Jean-Noël

Tags: Photo journalism Digitally manipulated Cemetary Landscape and travel Central vietnam Kon tum province Jarai hill tribe Plei puhn Near plei ku Grave house Wooden statues

Voters: AlanBW, lonely_oryx, crookymonsta and 30 more

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Comments


AlanBW 13 20 England
20 Apr 2008 10:54AM
Another terrific series accompanied by a great write up; I'm really enjoying your travelogue

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lonely_oryx 12 61 55 England
20 Apr 2008 11:06AM
Fascinating
crookymonsta Plus
11 841 10 England
20 Apr 2008 11:08AM
Fascinating narrative. #10 is the one for me. Sandra
20 Apr 2008 11:28AM
Wonderful set of shots Jean- Neol, well done.

Dougie.
pascalg Plus
12 37 France
20 Apr 2008 11:29AM
colourful graves...
enchanting wood textures.
text so interesting (favourite : #8, then read the text... sorrow...)
luxaeternam 12 21 1
20 Apr 2008 11:37AM
Very interesting write up and a great collection of pictures which illustrate the rites.
Smile Lucy
20 Apr 2008 11:41AM
All interesting images. Must have been a great trip.
Mac
User_Removed 11 78 1 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2008 11:45AM
Very interesting and good captures
User_Removed 13 16 England
20 Apr 2008 1:58PM
Fascinating account and excellent depictions Jean-Noel
Andrew
taggart Plus
15 47 13 United States
20 Apr 2008 3:21PM
Different cultures, fascinating and, yes, unsettling to think about--


Jennnn
Brilane 13 5 12 Wales
20 Apr 2008 3:32PM
Very interesting photos, well taken.
Brian
jaktis 15 84 Sweden
20 Apr 2008 4:31PM
Interesting serie

Peter
GrahamBaines 12 39 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2008 6:08PM
Excellent series of shots, this must have been a fantastic holiday Jean-Noel.

Graham
Rylands 11 1 2 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2008 7:43PM
Fascinating series of images which show how these people have survived centuries of war yet still survived and retained their traditions
Ray
derekv 12 3 England
20 Apr 2008 10:37PM
Fantastic series, J-N, great textures and tones.
Derek
microchip 12 1 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2008 10:56AM
An interesting series and an excellent write up
Alan

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