Years ago I worked as a medical officer in Papua New Guinea. One of my jobs was to try to stop people burying their dead in the earth floor of their homes, which was considered a public health risk. It was a complete failure. The most I could ask was that maybe they move their houses (which were only made of bamboo and thatch) after the period of mourning. The provincial governor was not impressed.
When someone had died, their clothes might be hung in a tree, and the period of mourning would not end until the clothes rotted and fell down. This had been fine in the days of organic clothing but became a problem with man-made fibre. I’m not sure how they resolved it. I think they climbed up at night and cut them down.
It was considered essential that people were buried in their own earth, their own ‘place’. Everyone understood this and strangers would help to move bodies from the hospital morgue, using the bus if necessary. I was left with a great respect for a world where death was in the middle of life.”