People put back a corpse wrapped in a sheet in a crypt, as they take part in a funerary tradition called the Famadihana in the village of Ambohijafy, a few kilometres from Antananarivo, on September 23, 2017. During the Famadihana, which can be translated as "turning of the bones", several crypts are opened and people take the bodies of their ancestors from the family crypts and rewrap them in fresh cloth, then dance with the corpses in their arms at the pace of traditional Malagasy band's music. The Famadihana is a pillar in the Malagasy ancestor's worship and is celebrated each three, five or seven years. / AFP PHOTO / RIJASOLO (Photo credit should read RIJASOLO/AFP/Getty Images)

Madagascar’s plague outbreak has killed more than 100 people and sparked fears among officials both on the island and abroad that the deadly disease could spread.
Now officials have identified a centuries-old tradition in Madagascar that could heighten the risk of the outbreak spreading: dancing with the dead.
The local name for the practice is famadihana, but it is also known as “the turning of the bones” or “body turning.” It involves families exhuming the bones of their deceased relatives, rewrapping them with fresh cloth, and dancing with the wrapped corpses before returning the remains to their graves.
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People put back a corpse wrapped in a sheet in a crypt as they take part in a funerary tradition called famadihana in the village of Ambohijafy, outside Antananarivo, Madagascar, on September 23. RIJASOLO/AFP/Getty …
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