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Owned by the City of New Orleans, Holt Cemetery was established in 1897 as a potter’s field for the poor. The agreement with the city is for the $ 450 cost of each burial, each funeral plot is free for a family to use as long as they want & as long as the holders maintain their own plot. A multiple burial is allowed after one year plus a day following the preceding burial. Because the water table in New Orleans is high, grave diggers only dig 4 ½ feet down.
Because the funeral arrangements are so expensive, a body is sometimes placed in a temporary coffin. During this time, the family accumulates the necessary funds to pay for a proper funeral. Once the funds are raised, so is the dead. The Toraja genuinely believe that the dead are able to walk themselves to their new burial site. What we are seeing depicted in the picture is that the somewhat mummified corpse is removed from its temporary coffin and transported upright to the permanent site.