COMMENT:

In Polynesian cultures, a funeral process often resembles a mini-army operation.

After a death, those closest to the deceased will have chosen/self-appointed lieutenants on stand-by. When decisions are made about how things will proceed, those lieutenants co-ordinate the logistics of mourning. If a funeral director is involved, they are absorbed into the process.

In Samoan, we call it a maliu. For Māori, it is tangihanga or a tangi. In Tongan, the funeral process is a putu. While they exist in their own versions, and have been tweaked as people have left their ancestral homes, family and community remain at

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