Mystical Tana Toraja


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Asia » Indonesia » Sulawesi » Tana Toraja
March 10th 2010
Published: March 28th 2017
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My first day in Tana Toraja was indescribable, It was the most different place I have visited while in southeast Asia.

Astounding rice fields forming terraces that,if someone asking me what was the most particular place you liked in southeast Asia I would say the rice fields, is absolutely a must see sight with prestine scenaries and walking trails around the fields.

Secondly, the odd but characteristics wooden houses of Tana Toraja known as "Tongkonan" ,meaning to sit, are the traditional Torajan ancestral houses.

They are built on wooden piles, completed with layers of bamboos shaped in a curved arch and decorated with hues of red, black, and yellow carvings on the outside part.

They are really unique and I just loved to observe such a different place that I have never visited in my all life,was truly awesome.

I met a guy, when there, who asked me if he could be my guide to the special event that are held here like: The Funeral Ceremonies.

I accepted immediately his offer because this place was already great after the first day and I wanted to try to explore and experience everything it had to show.

He brought me to this funeral ceremony in some part of the Toraja region.

It was quite a fascinating and interesting experience and unique in Indonesia.

Funeral ceremonies are a huge deal in Toraja culture. The ceremonies can last for over a week and people from all over the area come to pay their respects to the family.

And in the last decades, these ceremonies are open for travellers and as well.

He explained me that the deceased person passed away a long time ago and the body was stored in the house of the family until the preparation of the funeral rite.

It is absolutely normal, here, that the body of the person is kept in the house for such a long time.

Some chemicals are used, now, to suffocate the odour.

The place was crowded, a lot of talking going on there and the ambiance was really striking to me.

I have seen two pigs rolling in the mud and a buffalo that were outside ready for the preparation of the event.

Basically, these animals are sacrified for the guests partecipating in the event.

It was really chaotic, and absolutely awesome to see such a unique event in my life.

It was actually like a big party which was a bit weird in a way but I got absorbed by the mass of people and partecipating as well.

The coffin was fetched to main ceremonial area and a second ceremony went on, I guess praying for the deceased person and the family.

We then went off to some other interesting sites like: The stone carved burial site. Tau tau "wooden sculpture of the deceased" were put in the cave to remember the dead people.

It was really great, every spot was absolutely attractive and I felt like this just really a few times when travelling, really memorable

Another interesting site has been those monoliths scattered in the garden next to the Tongkonan houses which are like a memorial of a deceased person.

I just had an unforgettable experience here and I will not forget it in my all life, anyone coming around here should pay a visit to Tana Toraja "people of the uplands" and their unique culture.


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