A YouTube video (below) depicts a man placing a newborn child inside the carcass of a large animal as part of a ritual to ensure he will grow up to be “a good hunter.”
The video, presumably shot in America, shows a man with bloodstained hands carefully lowering an infant inside the stomach of a dead animal, likely a horse or a cow. The man then closes the animal’s skin, leaving the baby to rest inside the animal’s ribcage for approximately 10 seconds, according to The Daily Mail.
While the baby is inside the animal, the man seems to be asking some higher power to make sure that the infant grows up to be a strong hunter.
“Watch over him and protect him, make sure he’s a good hunter,” he says. “Make sure he’s not scared of the bush or anything like that.”
He then reopens the animal’s stomach and the female participants are delighted to see that the baby did not cry throughout the whole experience.
- “Ah, he’s just so comfortable in there,” says one woman, off camera.
- Another woman proclaims that the child’s silence is a good sign.
- “Not even a peep,” she says to the baby. “That’s good, they accepted you.”
It’s unclear exactly what culture uses this ritual to welcome newborns into the world. Some viewers expressed their confusion, asking if this was even an established ritual.
“What culture did this alleged ritual come from?” one viewer asks. “I regret watching this.”
Cultures from around the world engage in different types of rituals in order to celebrate the arrival of a new baby and to ensure that he or she has a healthy and prosperous upbringing.
In Spain, for example, infants are commonly placed on mattresses in the street while adults dressed as devils jump over them, according to The BBC. The ritual is meant to cleanse the babies of their original sin and assure safe passage through life.
For hundreds of years, babies have been dropped off the top of the Sri Santeswar temple in India. The infants fall 50 feet and caught in sheets while crowds sing and dance. Almost 200 babies are dropped from the temple each year and the ceremony brings good luck and prosperity.
The ritual depicted in the increasingly-popular YouTube video, however, remains unclear. It does not appear grounded in any American or Native American practices and could be an unique, local custom.
Watch the video, which has some graphic content, below.