FD tour of Tana Toraja


| May 15, 2020

Tana Toraja, also known as the 'land of the heavenly kings', is the home of the Torajan people who are renowned for their elaborate funeral rites. These rites can involve numerous water buffalo sacrifices and varied burial methods, such as placing coffins in caves, within carved stone chambers, or hung high on a cliff. Visit the hanging graves at Lemo, which are carved high into steep rock cliffs and stand on a rock-hewn balcony overlooking the landscape. Wooden effigies of the deceased nobility, known as 'tau-tau', stand next to the coffins. At Londa, coffins of ordinary people are placed in caves and crevices at the foot of the hill, while the remains of higher ranking inhabitants rest in burial chambers carved from the wall of the limestone cliff. Kete Kesu is a Torajanese village set amid rice paddies, which at more than 400 years old is the oldest village in the Sanggalangi district. Daily life is thought to have changed little in the village over the centuries, and exploring the area is a unique opportunity to witness and learn about a disappearing way of life. The village is also notable for its row of beautifully decorated 'Tongkonan' buildings, the ancestral homes of the local people. These structures are typical Toraja saddle-shaped roofed houses, reminiscent of buffalo horns. The walls of the houses are beautifully decorated with abstract, geometric patterns, coloured using natural dyes in black, red and white.

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