People in the village of Madagascar looking for the body of Alana Cutland Cambridge students turn to religion
Villagers looking for the body of Alana Cutland, a University of Cambridge student who jumped out of a light plane in Madagascar, have to sacrifice one of their cattle to help them in their hunt.
About 400 local people from six villages spent ten days searching for any trace of Alana, 19, who almost certainly dropped her after she opened the door of the Cessna carrying her as a passenger.
But so far they have not found any trace of the troubled teenager who is believed to have started to suffer from paranoid episodes due to medication she took while working on a conservation project.
Cambridge University student Alana Cutland, 19, fell out of a light plane in Madagascar
Investigators say tragic Alana opened the door of four-seater Cessna 182 (photo) five minutes in the journey across Madagascar – just minutes after safety instructions were given on how to open the door in an emergency
Now the poverty-stricken villagers who have sought payment from the authorities of Madagascar or the British government turn to their local religion in Madagascar for help.
They have decided to have one of their zebu cattle called & # 39; Black and White & # 39; to sacrifice in a ceremony tomorrow at the airport where the Cessna left from a few minutes before the teenager fell out.
The 15-year-old female animal weighing around 180 kg has been selected for sacrifice in a so-called Joro ceremony because of its unusual black and white colors that the villagers hope to find favor with their local god named Zanahary.
Villager Francine in the village of Anjajavy in northern Madagascar, where villagers search for Alana Cutland after staying there during her trip
Chief Prosper in the village of Anjajavy in northern Madagascar, where Cutland, 19, was staying during her research trip to the country
The ceremony is organized by the village head of the village of Anjajavy, which is about five kilometers away from the luxury Anjajavy Le Lodge Hotel that runs the nature conservation project where Alana was internal.
The chief known as Prosper said: & A police officer came to our village to tell us about the girl the day after she fell.
& # 39; He gave us GPS coordinates of the area where he thought her body was. & # 39; We searched for her every day, but we found nothing.
& # 39; Now we think we need to practice a ceremony to find the body. It is something that must be done in their kind of situation when you cannot find something. & # 39;
The air lane where Alana Cutland's plane took off near where she was staying during her research trip to Madagascar
Zebu cow is supposed to be sacrificed by villagers from the village of Anjajavy in northern Madagascar to support the search for Alana Cutland, it will be taken to the runway tomorrow for the ceremony
Chief Propser, 42, said the ceremony was aimed at helping the local God so that the villagers would receive guidance in their hunting.
He added: & # 39; It will take place at the airport, because that was where she last lived on the ground.
& # 39; We will lay down the zebu, tie his feet and ask the God to guide us on our search.
& # 39; People will all have to face east and then we will cut off the head of Zebu.
& # 39; We will cook the meat and share it with all the people who have searched. & # 39;
Anjajavy village in the north of Madagascar, where Miss Cutland stayed during her research trip to the country
After the animal is killed, they go looking and then come back to eat it when it is cooked. This will give them God's help when they look for her. & # 39;
Villagers in Anjajavy live in a cluster of simple wooden huts on the beach with roofs made of woven coconut palm leaves, surrounded by goats and lean chickens.
Most adults work at the hotel or as fishermen who earn between £ 25 and £ 100 a month, but they still have their time for free and have walked up to 15 miles a day in the search for the teenage Chief Prosper added: & # 39; Everyone participated in the search because we want to find this girl.
About 400 local people from six villages spent ten days searching for a trail from Alana, 19, who, after nearly the door of the light plane in which she was, crashed 3,700 ft until her almost certain death. Pictured search area in the Madagaskan countryside
An aerial photograph shows that the search teams in the area are looking for the body of Alana
& # 39; Many people work in the hotel where they were staying and without the hotel this village would not exist.
& # 39; We believe it is our duty to take care of hotel guests.
& # 39; As a human, it is also sad not to find the body of someone who has died so that they can be sent home.
Chief Prosper in the village of Anjajavy in northern Madagascar
& # 39; We will continue to search while it lasts. In the traditional society of Madagascar it is not very good not to find a body.
& # 39; That's why we want to participate. We must do everything we can to bring the girl's body back to her homeland and family.
& # 39; It is our tradition that she is returned to her parents. She was a very beautiful girl.
& # 39; We have not received any money. We search for free. All the village leaders decided that they should help and we invited all people to participate.
& # 39; The authorities said there might be a reward for the individual who finds the body and one for all the people who have searched, but it is just a promise. We don't know how much. & # 39;
Chief Prosper said the decision to sacrifice a zebu was made after advice from the village elders.
He said that Joro ceremonies had previously been used with some success in the village to bless major projects such as road construction
The ceremonies are normally held next to sacred Baobaba trees that are unique to Madagascar, but tomorrow is even the first time that a sacrifice is being held at the airport of the hotel.
Chief Prosper said: “The authorities told us where to look for the girl, but after the failure of the search, our elders who are wise people told us that we shouldn't work that way.
The picturesque village of Anjajavy in northern Madagascar, where villagers respond to the tragedy by searching and turning to our God
& # 39; The elderly have reminded us that if there is a big search like this, we should be the first to do a Joro. If there is a problem, we must turn to our God. & # 39;
The female black and white zebu selected for sacrifice is currently grazing in a local forest and will be brought to the village tonight to take it to the airport tomorrow.
Alana from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, flew to Madagascar on July 16 to study crabs in the Anjajavy area, and initially seemed normal and cheerful, according to hotel staff.
Alana flew back from Anjajavy Le Lodge where she was staying in a remote area in the north of the island (photo) to the capital where she would have to fly back to the UK at the request of her parents when reportedly ill
But her mental health suddenly deteriorated and she got paranoia attacks, even assuming that if she didn't complete her crab project, she could go to prison in Madagascar.
Her parents Alison and Neil, 63, were so worried that they stopped her 42-day journey and returned after just eight days.
But on the first part of her journey, she opened the door of the Cessna that took her to Madagascar International Airport in Antananarivo, and fell 3,700 feet to her death.
The pilot and British teacher Ruth Johnson, 51, who had befriended her at the hotel and accompanied her on the flight on July 25, desperately tried to grab her to stop jumping.
Alana hung half off the plane for two minutes before slipping away from Mrs. Johnson's hold of her leg.
Images made by an air rescue team from Madagaskan who are currently searching forests and wetlands for the body of Alana Cutland
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