In the central highland of Sulawesi, Toraja catch people
attention with their natural beauty and cultural rich. The green valley
are surrounded by forests, rivers, and other enchanted natures. The
people are growing rice and coffee as their main earnings.
Toraja coffee beans are world famous for the
wonderful taste and aroma. The culture is incredibly preserved. The
highland was isolated before but although the people are now modernized,
traditions and rituals are maintained. Most people still abide by age-old
beliefs to this very day. goindonet, go indonesia,
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Toraja Life and Death Ceremonies
The most famous thing from the highland is life and death ceremonies.
The life ceremonies are held during the planting season starts in the
month of October while the death ceremonies are held around July to
September after the last harvest of rice. The Toraja people believe that
rituals could keep the energy of the land as well as
the people so they can survive for a long more time. What makes it
interesting is how the entire village involves in the ceremonies, both
life ceremonies and death ceremonies.
Death ceremonies are more attracting for tourist because the ceremony
is actually funeral time with unique rites that last for days. In
Toraja, the dead is not immediately buried because every
body require proper funeral while proper funeral require big sum of fund
due to complicated ritual. The dead may wait for months and even years
until proper funeral will be held. Even if the dead come from wealthy
family, he/she should wait because more wealthy the person is, more
expensive the funeral will be.
The body of the deceased would be laid in a coffin with new clothes
and possessions. Family and the other villagers will walk the coffin
around the village before burial. The rite includes buffalo slaughtering
with more buffalo to slaughter for more powerful person. The burial
itself is another interesting because the coffin could be laid in the
cave, hung on a cliff, or buried in a stone grave carved on a cliff.
Stone grave is commonly for wealthy and powerful person that takes months
to carve it.
While death ceremonies and graves give the morbid impression, some
people who come to the highland avoid the attractions. Fortunately, the
highland offers more. The untouched countryside is something to explore
as well as the colorful remote villages with tongkonan houses. For
adrenalin rush, try rafting in Sadan river. Then, one thing you should
not miss is shopping for souvenirs, including handicrafts
and Toraja coffee. goindonesia toraja, toraja
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