AFP/ Agnes Anya
For centuries Bali's Trunyanese people have left their dead to decompose in the open, the bodies placed in bamboo cages until only the skeletons remain.
It is a ritual they haven't given up -- even as the COVID-19 pandemic upends burial practices worldwide with religious leaders in protective gear, cemetery workers in hazmat suits, and mourners banned or unable to comfort each other because of social-distancing rules.
Across Indonesia funeral workers are now required to wear protective equipment and bodies are laid to rest quickly, all in a bid to prevent the spread of the deadly respiratory disease.
But in Bali local officials claim the novel coronavirus, which has infected at least eight million and killed more than 430,000 globally, has yet to reach the remote north east where the Trunyan live.
It is a short boat ride to their open-air cemetery from tiny Trunyan village, overlooked by volcano Mount Batur and a sprawling Hindu temple carved out of volcanic rock.
There are 11 cages for the corpses -- placed close to a fragrant banyan tree that hides the putrid smell of death, locals say.
In one cage, a recently deceased woman could almost have been mistaken for someone sleeping, but her waxy greying complexion revealed the truth.
Nearby, a flesh-less foot poked out of clothing left on the bodies, while a skeletal jaw lay agape in another cage.