As we head back up the trail, I am warned not to look back at the grave. Once we clear the forest, however, I turn around and photograph the group on the way back to the village. With this, the funeral is mostly over. There will be lots of clean up, a little more partying, and even a goat slaughter, but this is basically the end for now.
The funeral is
over, but with the Akha culture of revering ancestors, Atoo may be gone
but he will be remembered. His family will call to him occasionally
over the coming years, and he is now a protective force for the family
house. And when the next generation is buried in an Akha funeral, he
will be one of the ancestors who answers the call to be a guide on the
long road home.