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Tana Toraja Funeral

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A holiday in Tana Toraja
Makassar to Tana Toraja

Hello Unregistered,

I thought I would get out a few old snaps of one of the funeral ceremonies I went to visit when I was in Sulawesi.

These are held in the mountains of Toraja, amongst an ancient community who still believe in spirits and the importance of the dead.

It is normal to scarifice water buffalo for the ceremony; the richer you are, the more you sacrifice.
Considering the cost of a buffalo, around a years wages for a field worker, funerals can be expensive occasions.
They are also very important and relatives have to come back to the village when a relative is being celebrated, usually at the end of the rice harvest.

If someone dies at another time of the year, they are kept under the house until the right time has come!! is a contingent of relatives from the next village bearing gifts; they also brought a couple of live pigs to be slaughtered and cooked.

As you can see, the houses are very massive, traditional places, quite beautiful.

The bufflao are brought out one by one and their jugular severed with a blow of the machete.

This funeral had 12 buffalo sacrificed.

After they are all killed they butcher them and the relatives all get a piece to take home.
The bit they get depends on their importance.

Around the area are ancient burial sites, often in caves but also hanging coffins from cliff faces.
The coffins slowly rot and the bones pile up.

Also, a small Tao-tao is placed in the cave (or on a ledge in the cliff) to represent the dead person.

The funerals are stupendous, the burial sites are amazing and the countryside beautiful.
Walking from one site to another was great.
I was given a coffee at one funeral, it was amongst the best I have ever had. It is possible to buy Toraja coffee in Jakarta and it costs!

The above is merely a small part of what is to be seen and the whole visit is an exceptional experience....go before the tour groups start to ruin it.

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Toraja Rituals - Sulawesi

(UPG) Hasanudin Airport, Ujung Pandang, ID
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(MDC) Samratulangi Airport, Manado, ID
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