Funeral Strippers in Taiwan
Anthropologist Marc L. Moskowitz’s documentary ‘Dancing for the Dead: Funeral Strippers in Taiwan’ presents a fascinating account of this folk practice within the context of religious practices
By Noah Buchan via Taipei Times
Hiring young women to strip at a funeral ceremony might strike some as scandalous, but for many in Taiwan it is an important part of the grieving process.
The practice sees scantily clad women on “electric flower cars” (電子花車, diesel trucks refashioned with a stage and special lighting), erotically gyrating to pop songs as a means of sending off the recently deceased — presumably with a smile.
Marc L. Moskowitz, an associate professor at the Department of Anthropology of the University of South Carolina and an expert on Taiwan’s folk religion and popular culture, has just released Dancing for the Dead: Funeral Strippers in Taiwan, a 40-minute documentary about the practice based on hundreds of hours of fieldwork he conducted throughout Taiwan in 2008.