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. =)