September 22, 2023
For most people, death is a scary thing. But, this does not apply to the people of Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi.
In a hereditary way, the people or the Toraja people make death a matter that they always talk about everyday. They believe that death is the ultimate milestone to attain the most eternal life.
So, the Toraja have a lot of traditions to perpetuate the corpse which is quite popular in various ways, like mummification in Egypt. Although it sounds creepy, this variety of traditions actually becomes an archipelago tourism menu that you shouldn’t miss.
As a guide, Pegipegi has recommendations for five unique burial traditions typical of the Toraja tribe, South Sulawesi, which you must see. More, below.
If you go to Toraja, look like a cute wooden doll resting on a cliff, it’s not a toy doll. Named Tau-tau, this series of works of art is a sculpture that resembles a deceased person buried in the cliff. The goal, so that the spirit of someone who dies will be eternal stored there. Because it is considered sacred, Tau-tau may not be touched.
Ever imagined seeing a dead body walking? Relax, because you can realize your dreams when you come to the Ma’Anene Festival. In this ritual the body of the deceased person is removed from his place and then put on new clothes by his family or grandchildren. After being dressed up, the bodies will “walk” to return to their homeland. This ritual is believed to protect them, the families left behind, from danger and evil interference, both inside and outside.
Have dreams of playing with Stonehenge in England? You don’t need to go far because Tana Toraja has Bori Kalimbuang that is no less unique. You can find it on the Poros Barana road, Pangli, a tourist attraction that is a UNESCO heritage offers 102 unique megalithic menhirs. This ancient stone row is a medium for the Toraja people to worship their ancestors. Well, what makes it unique, Bori Kalimbuang is a place where Rante Kalimbuang rituals are held, a typical burial of the Rambu Solo custom which involves the sacrifice of sacrificial meat.
Death is a sacred for the Toraja, including newborn babies. The Toraja people believe that if a baby who dies under the age of six months must be returned to the womb as a mother. The tarra tree, which is rich in sap, acts as a substitute for breast milk, which is the perfect baby’s place for the trust of the Toraja people. This procession is named as Kambira.
Of all the funeral tourist spots in Toraja, Londa is probably the most special, deh. Located in the Village of Sandan Uai, Londa is a cave that serves as a burial ground. Because it is located on a hill, you can see many coffins to the bones of a corpse that are hundreds of years old clearly. In between, there is a statue of Tau-tau which is a reflection of each body buried there. Interestingly, the laying of the casket or Erong here was arranged based on its position in the community. The higher the position, the higher the person’s position in life.
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