"Suspended" coffin of an Evenk shaman. Northern Yakutia, 1905
The remains of Siberian shamans were usually not buried but placed above ground level in some way or another. Burial customs vary between ethnic groups, so there are examples of remains being placed into the trunk of a tree, on top a raised wooden platform, or put into a coffin built onto a raised platform.
A rather oversimplified explanation for this seems to be the following: since the living shaman is a mediator between worlds, the body of the dead shaman should also be symbolically suspended between worlds.The shaman’s clothes and tools were usually “buried” along with the remains - this means that they were hung onto nearby trees, or onto the grave itself, sometimes with some damage inflicted on them. This was done in order to ensure no one gets hurt by the objects, as they were deemed dangerous because they were touched by the spirit world while the shaman was still using them.
2004 vs. 2013 - Some things never change (*T▽T*)
A Japanese warplane Second World War lies wrecked in shallow water off Guam in a photograph which won Tony Cherbas second in the Topside category. (via)