The most interesting place in South Sulawesi. This is the place we drove like godknowshowmanyhours to witness a funeral. We were hoping somebody would die but luckily/unluckily no one did. So.
Traditional Torajan houses.
The Torajans have a very interesting view of death. Unlike other parts of the world where death is mostly a taboo, death here is as important, if not more, than life itself. It is never a sad nor morbid occasion.
They keep (mummified) corpses in their house and sleep next to it. Death also have a significant reflection on one family’s status wealth. When a Torajan dies the family of the deceased should provide tens of buffaloes and pigs (they are mostly Christians) for the ceremony. And only the rich upper class can afford such funeral.
Buffaloes are the most important animal in Tana Toraja. The more horns you see in front of a house, the higher the status it means of the family.
Bones as decoration for the house.
A pic i took in the village.
Surprisingly, most of the boys here are university students. Well educated and very well dressed compared to the kids from other parts of South Sulawesi.
Tana Toraja is famous for wood carving.
A rare Albino buffalo, or Saleko, as they call it (i prefer to call it pink buffalo though), which costs like a Perodua MyVi.
Got smoker’s teeth :/
Later of the day we went to the burial cave in Ke’te Kesu.
Coffins on the cliff. It’s call the hanging grave. Some of the coffins have fallen down. And tons of skulls and bones are exposed on the ground.
Skulls can be seen everywhere.
We were all allowed to take photos of the… erm, head of those deceased up close without being regarded as disrespectful, and i was really surprised at how different they react towards death. I mean, if anyone crash my funeral (choi) or go to my grave (choi choi choi) and take photo or touch my ugly skinless head (choi X100), i would get my bony ass up and freaking scare the hell outta them.
At first i thought some bastards smoked around the dead people. It seems like the Torajan loves nicotine. The cigs are offering to the deceased, instead of the usual flowers and fruits Chinese people use.
A buffalo coffin, for the male.
And a pig coffin which represents the female.
Life size wooden statues of the dead.
They are all replica of the deceased, they are called Tau Tau. It’s really expensive to build one and it is said that they look really similar to the dead person. Which can sorta compete with Madam Tussaud really.
Also visited the grave inside the cave. Surprisingly it didn’t give us a creepy feeling despite surrounded by all the dead people. It was just like… visiting a museum.
Then i realized so happened i was wearing a skeleton scarf that day.
With mock Tau Tau.
The next day. Passed by really beautiful rice field.
Erm. Swine flu.
Visited another cliff grave.
Tons of Tau Tau on top of the cliff.
Ok la. End of South Sulawesi. =)
i tot tat the coffins on the cliff can be seen onli in china… (forgot wat is the name of tat place oredi)
it’s so coincident tat sulawesi oso hv the same thing~ altho there’s a slighly difference
china got everything in the world!
the torajan ancestor as well is from south china
the whole visit would have scared the crap out of me. i would have been fascinated by the ancient-ness and story behind them, but still…
wont one, follow the whole group, and go at day time, not a problem!
why one of the statues got white patch where the nen nen and cbellyboo is wan? socute.
creepy wei, probably got cannibal out there…
what turf O.o
Ehh the ‘university’ photo, the guy with the hoody looks like he’s wearing a slightly long crop jacket wtf.
hahahha maybe thats the NEW THING. you just wait. you just wait. =P
Eh the black and white pig so cute! Looks dalmation-y. 😛
Both also tak halal lol..
yummy. babi guling.
i’d have to say, their carvings are really nice. i’m amazed looking at the buffalo and pig coffin..
but then, i won’t want to be buried in a pig coffin though.. 😉
haha for them its a luxury. only the upper caste can afford coffins
Love the green field pic!!
Wow… The Tau Tau that standing there looking at far place gave me some creepy feeling…
Looking at the photo somehow makes me think that the deceased were looking at me at the same time…
thats why we were like, waaa the kids and all must be very hard working and obedient. because the mom can always say, if you dont work/study properly your nenek moyang is watching u ah dont pray pray. then they scared. 😀
How u survived the trip (luckily is a daylight trip), with skull n bones all over, thats totally creepy i say. worst is that tau tau thing. yikes!
ps: No matter what, we might still respect their heritage i guess.
ehh. this is last ttimeee right ?? now not happening anymore right!? or is it still 😐
got la. till today.
skulls are surely less scarier than the deceased.LOL.
OMG.. Did you realise the ‘dalmation’ piggo was staring at you O_o
it looks liddis leh: -_-
This is so weird! And interesting.
This is very interesting. Very interesting cos I’m in the comfort of my house. This is some place i would like to read/look at but not go to.. 🙂
hands on experience is always the most interesting. but yea i get what you mean. 🙂
OMG this is why I like reading your blog! You got so many interesting things to blog about. Thanks for sharing this experience with us. I think I shall map out all the places you went to and visit them b4 I die (choi)!
thank you Helen!! (Haha you can make ur Tau Tau there) (kidding)
the pink cow looks angerrrr!
It will looks creepy @ Night!
no light summore
amazing ….but i think i wont tour such a place.
it seems so cruel to keep the albino buffalo like that. it would get skin cancer cause it doesn’t have pigments in the skin. poor buffalo 🙁
i agree with you… it looks tortured enough with the ring around its nose pulled at such at angle. Sigh…
heh, do you know they sacrifice about 10-30 buffaloes and more pigs during a funeral?
Try ringing their nose alive and sacrifice humans during a funeral. Animals are living things which have feelings for Goodness sake! WWF should sue each and everyone of them arrggh!!!
No it isn’t. That kind of Buffalo is Only live in Toraja. That’s not albino because it has a black pigment there. It’s different.
With The ring on the nose, it looks like weird but it is not. People take care the buffaloes like a baby. take a grass for them to eat and wash the whole body like a princess. i think you got what i mean cuz my english is bad at all. ^^
@ cheesie : nice website here. Toraja is my homeland. glad to see someone post something like this about Toraja. xixie
i saw the funeral ceremony on tv before, there r like hundreds of people making so much noise n laughing, all of them look happy! n then they panjat until so high just to transfer the coffin to the top of the cliff. somemore the person passed away like more than 5 years ago, they collect enough money then only they do the funeral ceremony. they spent so much effort, money n time for the funeral!!!! -_-
ya ya ya!!!
I suppose these people still practice pre-Christian belief.
BTW, thanks for the story and photos 🙂
yea, the pre-Cheesie belief dictates this too. now i’d love to be buried in cheese caskets… although i can only begin to imagine the smell that’ll soon eminate from it as time passes XD
no smell one.
No problem, welcome! 🙂
OMG, so um… I can’t think of a suitable word…
the word you are looking for is cheesinomous.
OMG..the hook/ring/whatsoever it’s called on the Albino buffalo looks darn pain. *ouch* the Albino buffalo looks fake like a big toy.
haha a reaaaaally big toy
this place is the awesome. interesting. feel like going ….
i heard that tourist can take some of the remains as souvenirs? …eww.
wa that one a bit too much right.
very interesting post =) cant believe you din feel creepy in there. even reading this post makes me feel a little 😛
haha maybe the whole group was joking around, so not creepy lo.
Very interesting post! You are right about the Torajans very interesting view of death.
In North America views about death usually reflect a combination of Religous beliefs and family beliefs. That means the view of death here ranges from taboo to those who acknowedge that death in fact part of lifes cirlce.
As always you are lovely!
Thanks for the lesson in different cultures!
I thought its real human standing inside a hut for the photo of tau tau from a far… -.-”
The carving skills especially the coffin are really remarkable…
they do sell some handmade handicraft it’s amazingly cheap.
Bones! Pigs! I like.
Okay, it’s not a pig, but it sure looks like one.
Albino buffulo with a penchant for piercings. Nice. 😉
they are pigs leh.
u looked like some miss universe touring around marginalized village raising fund.
Like Angelina Jolie? 😛
im sure they get to sleep in 5 star hotel ok!
you should adopt the pink buffalo as your blog mascot.. 😛 hahaha
heh. i srsly should.
saw this on NGO or discovery some time ago..i thought its really an interesting culture.
but imagine walking pass the cliff at night, with all the tau taus staring at you….must be an experience i wouldnt wanna have myself.
cannot go at night one. unless u carry torch
piggie coffin? what da…
do they have an ant’s ? 😛
Bungee jumping cow ftw!
since when u say ftw, TRAITOR.
Yeah I agree, that albino buffalo should give up smoking with teeth like that.
the boys look like an indonesian rock band…
wow, pink cow 😀
Nice post. I saw a documentary about hanging coffins on the cliff in Phillipines. Didn’t know this culture exist in Sulawesi as well. 🙂
why tight the buffalo like this..=(