Anthropologist Kelli Swazey gives us insight into the culture of the Torajan tribesmen, who spend their entire lives preparing for their deaths.


Kelli Swazey, Ph.D. (University of Hawaii, 2012), is a cultural anthropologist who investigates the role that spiritual and religious practices play in defining group identity. She has conducted research on Indonesian society and culture as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, a Fulbright-Hayes researcher, and a fellow of the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawai’i. In her current position as a lecturer at the Center for Religious and Cross-Cultural Studies (CRCS) at Gadjah Mada University in Central Java, Indonesia, she is engaged in community outreach programs that seek to give people tools for thinking about human difference. She also consults for cultural exchange and youth leadership programs that introduce the anthropological approach to studying ‘others’ as a means of empowering people to become self-aware citizens of the world.

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