There’s more to Indonesia than just Bali. Sure, it’s a great place to relax and unwind, and we highly recommend an island break there. But that is just one island. Indonesia is home to over 17,000! We know what you’re thinking, there just has to be a hidden gem somewhere amongst these clusters of landmasses. We’re one step ahead of you. Introducing you to Sulawesi, well, South Sulawesi to be exact, and your chance to learn more about the Toraja people.
Who are the Toraja? A quite interesting ethnic group, living in Tana Toraja Regency in South Sulawesi. What makes them interesting are their funeral rites. These are the most expensive, elaborate and even the most important events in Toraja society. They are held months, weeks, or even years after one’s death so the family can save up for it. And the event itself can last for days, accompanied by colorful dances, music and even sacrificial ceremonies of buffalo, which they believe is essential for the spirit of the deceased to reach the afterlife. There are more to their funeral rites, which we’ll explain later.
You gotta love their architecture! These guys have some of the most distinctive houses around. These Tongkonan (or ancestral houses if you prefer) stand high on wooden piles, topped with a layered split-bamboo roof shaped in a sweeping curved arc. Quite amazing.
After arriving to the village from the airport, settle in and prepare for some exploration. First, you’ll set off to some nearby traditional villages. Remember the funeral rituals? Well, here you’ll see cliffs pierced with graves as well as coffins hanging from the edge of the cliff. These are just several burial methods. And you’ll also see some of these amazing ancestral houses we talked about earlier.
Your four days with these guys would are guaranteed to be some of the most interesting, eye-opening and even bizarre moments in your travel life. You’ll also find out that they are some of the friendliest and welcoming people around, and quite accepting of foreign concepts, as evident by their mostly Christian religion (mixed in with their ancient form of Animism of course). Contact us for any questions or if you need additional information about the Toraja.
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