Monkeys and Mummies

A chimp, actually, named Lucy I heard about on one of my favorite podcasts of This American Life called ‘Parent Trap‘. She was raised a as human and even learned how to use sign language to communicate. I am most amazed that she actually formed original ideas of her own and shared them through signing- she called watermelon ‘sticky, sweet drink’- and was even capable of lying.

The tropical tradition of mummifying relatives in New Guinea fascinates me: if they are lonely for one of their long lost, it is a short walk to the cave they reside in, and as simple as sitting down to talk to the corpse. Why is mummification and accessing the dead on display a more barbaric act than dressing up and painting a corpse for a final funeral viewing?

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