Colorful spirit houses in Eklutna, Alaska

Where in the World is Global Debauchery?

Each “Where in the World …” post will depict a spectacular or unusual sight from random corners of the earth. Learn a little something new about the world and get inspired! For more Global Debauchery photography, follow me on Instagram. If you have any photos, experiences, or ideas for future “Where in the World …” posts, I’d love to collaborate. Just shoot me an email via the Contact page in the main menu.

Today’s hero image features the colorful and eerie burial spirit houses in Alaska’s Eklutna Cemetery. About 25 miles northeast of Anchorage, the village of Eklutna was settled more than 800 years ago and is the oldest inhabited area in the region.¹ Its main attraction is the Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church graveyard, displaying an interesting cultural mix of Athabascan Indian and Russian Orthodox. When a family member passes, a blanket is placed over their grave to warm and comfort the soul. Forty day later, families return to place a spirit box over the site and leave parting gifts. The houses are then left to weather and decay, honoring the Athabascan belief that, “that which is taken from the Earth must be allowed to return.”²

© 2015 Jordan Campbell. All rights reserved.

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