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Second Burial | National Geographic

00:00:02these aren’t grave robbers but a family

00:00:04the who’s the who’s mean to unbury their

00:00:09grandmother clean her bones then bury

00:00:12her again in the family pagoda where her

00:00:14spirit will be reunited with her loved


00:00:16it’s an ancient sacred ritual called

00:00:19second burial in Taiwan many families

00:00:24dig up their dead and bury them a second

00:00:26time often to consolidate ancestral

00:00:29remains at one sacred site wishing to

00:00:33honor their grandmother with a second

00:00:35burial the Hoos call in professionals

00:00:37the Wang family

00:00:43the Wong’s meet the Hoos at the

00:00:45graveyard on a day do you best buy a

00:00:47geomancer an expert in she was long

00:00:49resting places for the dead at

00:00:53grandmother’s grave father and sons

00:00:55start the heavy work in the United

00:01:03States when the person dies is a time

00:01:06for grief when we pick the bones of the

00:01:09deceased is different people are in

00:01:16because picking the bones means to

00:01:19refurbish the body of the deceased and

00:01:21to move into a new residence the grave

00:01:29is opened and swept until every piece of

00:01:31bone is found and tagged at the Wang

00:01:36family headquarters the Hoos select an

00:01:38urn for grandmother’s bones for now her

00:01:41remains will take a place in the line of

00:01:43bones waiting to be cleaned the Wang

00:01:47brothers get to work on the backlog of

00:01:49other clients bones first they clean the

00:01:56bones of dirt and flesh and reassemble

00:01:59the skeleton every phase of bone

00:02:02cleaning has a reason and meaning rooted

00:02:04in tradition

00:02:05if the rituals aren’t followed precisely

00:02:08the ancestors could become angry and

00:02:11take it out on the living paint is mixed

00:02:14with wine to symbolically reflection

00:02:17clothed the spirit at last the Wong’s

00:02:21pack the bones in an urn after her bones

00:02:27are cleaned grandmother who won’t leave

00:02:29the Wang storehouse right away it may be

00:02:32months before geomancer chooses an

00:02:34auspicious day for her second burial

00:02:36when her urn would be placed in the

00:02:38pagoda mr. who built exclusively for his


00:02:41oh yeah Ethan can you believe that

00:02:45so we have the luxury of living in a

00:02:47nice home then we should provide our

00:02:49ancestors a better place to live – how

00:02:53you did my gosh with a full heart mr.

00:02:58who will soon lay his grandmother to

00:02:59rest again and fulfill his sacred duty

00:03:02to the dead