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Spiritual army battles pandemic in Cambodia

An army of scarecrows quietly amass in Cambodia. The scarecrows are known as ting mong, and while they’re regularly seen across Cambodia, they haven’t been as omnipresent since the fall of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime in 1979.

In 1979, according to the recollections of older Cambodians, people made effigies of Khmer Rouge soldiers, trapping their spirits inside scarecrows that were then burned in mass bonfires. In alternative tellings of this story, a disease spread throughout the provinces that year, associated with the dead cadres, and scarecrows were erected to banish it. The tradition has carried through generations, remerging in full force in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In full here.

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