Ceremonial Bone Carving Tradition / Ritual in gụo | World Anvil
BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD Like what you see? Become the Master of your own Universe!

Ceremonial Bone Carving

Bone carving is the standard funerary arrangement for Masuge. The decorated bones are placed on alters with incense and slips that contain an inscription of the name of the deceased and information about them.


The body of the deceased is cremated (note: Masuge bones are resistant to fire-- cremation will not affect them in any meaningful way). The friends, family, and other people with a connection to the deceased select bones that call to them and carve them with designs. Such designs are related to the life of the deceased and the most precious or important memories they share with the carver. It's rare, bus occasionally these carvings contain text. The carvings are traditionally made using claws, though other specialized tools could be employed.   After the carvings are finished, the alter is cleaned with either fresh spring water or clean snowmelt. After it is dried, a bowl with uncooked rice is placed in the center front of the alter. Three sticks of incense are placed within it and lit with a spark of magic. The carved bone is then dragged through the scented smoke thrice, and put in its proper place on the alter. At this point, the slip with information obout the deceaced is created, usually out of wood. This slip is placed in front of the bone. After the slip is placed, the bowl of incense is rotated counterclockwise so the middle stick faces the south, then rotated clockwise until that same stick faces east. This is the final formal farewell.

Components and tools

  • Three sticks of incense
  • Alter bowl
  • Uncooked rice
  • Bone(s) of deceased
  • Wooden slip
  • Carving tools (optional)
  • Funeral pyre
  • Clean water, sourced from either a spring or snow
Warriors will bring smaller bones with them as protection charms going into battle. Usually these bones belong to the most important person to the warrior. Finger bones and claws are very common for this purpose; they often are worn as jewlery, added to talismans, or secured to one's weapon or clothing. It's believed that bringing a person's bones into battle will too bring their spirit, which will then protect the wearer. It's also believed that if one dies in combat while carrying the bones of another, that being will guide them to the afterlife.
Related Ethnicities

Cover image: by incorrigible (me)


Please Login in order to comment!
Dec 13, 2023 19:43 by Marc Zipper

What a cool tradition to take your fallen with you in the battle for support and then in the end they help you guide you afterlife it is really awesome

Let's have fun creating the impossible, building new worlds, and all types of possibilities. Valcin