- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
- You Need to Know
Before the Dutch come to power in this high land in the 17th Century, there was no even a single word given for the name of their religion instead of the word ” aluk ” which refers that ritual ways and daily live activities that are to be controlled, without special instruction of how build a house, to plant rice, to greet boys and the head of the village, and the numbers of the buffaloes and pigs that must be slaughtered in every ritual ceremony.
One of the principal of this teaching is to apply ‘ give and take’ tradition among them. Blesses and curse used to come between the one who still a life and the spirits of his or her ancestry. The most prestigious ceremony in Tana Toraja is the death ceremonial. More than half the people of Tana Toraja are Christian. we still up hold and proud of Our culture heritage and welcoming the guest ritually.
One of the most noticeable aspect about Tana Toraja is the size and the grandeur of Tonkonan ( The Traditional Houses of Tana Toraja ), raised on piles and topped with massive roof. The house are closely bound up with Torajan Traditional, one of their function is as a constant reminder of the authority of original noble families whose descendents alone have a right to build such house. The state of the Tongkonan also symbolizes the unity of the clan. It is the meeting place for family gatherings, and may not be bought or sold. Tana Toraja is one of the few places in Indonesia where traditional houses are still being built. and the skill to make them survive. The owners often live in the modern houses, keeping Tongkonan for ceremony and as symbol of the family status.
After Bali and Java, the third most popular destination in Indonesia is Sulawesi. Sulawesi island contains a great variety of exotic people, culture and natural wonders. It is another unspoilt paradise. A journey into the strange world of mysterious Toraja People is truly a rare adventure, made especially eerie by their hauting tombs – holes carved out of sheer rock faces guarded by wooden effigies that stare out across the jungle.
Toraja Land, is known for its unique culture and ancient traditions. The center of tourism is Rantepao, 328 km from Makassar by road (about 8 hours).
The entry to Tana Toraja is marked by a gate built in traditional boat-shaped architecture. The road passes through the mountains of Kandora and Gandang on which, according to Toraja mythology, the first ancestors of celestial beings descended from heaven. The majority of the people still follows an ancestral cult called “Aluk Todolo” which governs all traditional ceremonies.
Torajan culture is a complex blend of ancestor worship and animistic beliefs where rituals for the dead are colorful festivals to pave the way for the soul’s entry into the hereafter. This unique culture, the scenic beauty, cool climate and gentle people are the main reason that Toraja is gaining popularity as a tourist destination. For many visitors, Toraja will linger in their mind as a land steeped in mystery, magic and ancient traditions. It is one of the world’s rare cultural treasures.
toraja-house Symbolized in mythology as the land of heavenly kings, its boat-shaped houses face north in honor of the deities. Their traditional house called Tongkonan are related to the settlers who converted their boats into houses, and set the pattern of present-day community life. There is a belief that early settlers came by boats and converted the boats into houses. The houses are beautifully decorated with carvings and geometric designs. The number of buffalo horns hanging in front of the house indicate the status and wealth of the owner. Though Christianity and Islam have found converts here and modern trends have made inroads, traditional rituals remain strong, especially that of funeral rites.
The most spectacular of Torajan rituals are the funerals. For Torajan, a funeral is the single most important ceremony in the life cycle. It is based on a strong belief that the soul of the deceased travels to the land of the south and in this land of eternity, he will need all the requisites of everyday life in the hereafter just like when he was alive in this world. Funeral ceremonies are festival lasting as long as ten days with much feasting and entertainment. Animal sacrifices are made to ensure eternal life in the afterlife and to safeguard the descendants.
A funeral is a festive event for every member of the society. When the funeral is held by noble families then the ceremony will usually involve great fanfare. Buffaloes and pigs are sacrificed as an indication of status and as repayment for gifts received. This ceremony may take days, weeks or months after the actual death and the decreased is referred to as a sick man until he is buried.
Various types of graves are located in Cliffside caves, mountain ledges or in special houses reserved for the dead. The graves in Tana Toraja are made in huge rocks because of their strength and relative safety from animals and thieves. There are many of these graves in the different mountains. And some are well guarded by life-size wooden statues of the persons buried.
Toraja’s Social Life and Ritual Cycle
According to myth, the original ancestor of the Toraja came down from heaven by way of a star-lit stairway to live in this beautiful part of earth. This myth, told from generation to generation continues until today where the people of Toraja believe that the star- lit stairway down from heaven is a media for people on earth to communicate with Puang Matua (The Only One True God).
The name Toraja was first given by the Bugis Sidenreng tribe who called them the“Riaja” (“The people inhabiting the upper part of the mountains”).While the people of Luwu called them,“Riajang” (or “people inhabiting the west”). Another version says that ‘Toraya’ is coined from the word To (Tau= meaning people), and Raya (comes from the word Maraya = great). The two words together mean “great people”, or the nobility. Eventually, the term morphed into Toraja. The word “Tana” means land. Therefore Tana Toraja means the Land of the Nobility.
In social life, the Toraja adhere to “aluk”, – elsewhere known as “adat” which are traditional beliefs, rules and rituals prescribed by the ancestors. Although today most Torajans are either Protestants or Catholics, the ancestral traditions rites and ceremonies continue to be practiced.
The Torajans make a clear separation between ceremonies and rites associated with life and those in connection with death, since these are closely linked to the agricultural rice planting and harvesting seasons.
Funeral ceremonies may begin only when the last harvest is cleared and stored, which is normally in July, and is brought to a close before the sowing of the new rice seeds for the next harvest, usually starting September. With the planting season come the ceremonies requesting for life, health and prosperity. The Toraja call these the cycle of smoke rising (rambu tuka) – associated with life, and smoke descending (rambu solo), associated with death.
The Toraja live in small communities where married children leave the parental home and start a new community elsewhere. Children belong to both the mother’s and father’s lines. Nonetheless they all ascribe to one ancestral home, which is known as the “Tongkonan” from both father and mother’s line. The Tongkonan is the home of the don or patriarch of aristocratic families. As Don or patriarch his main duty it is to maintain unity among families, villages and communities, and ensure that ancestral beliefs and traditions are adhered to.
At his death, therefore, an elaborate funeral ceremony must be held by the family, which has become the distinguished event marking the Toraja culture. However, since such ceremonies require quite a fortune, funerals do not take place immediately, but only months or years after the person’s death. Meanwhile the body is wrapped in cloths and kept in the ancestral home.
The Tongkonan itself is an impressive large house topped with a saddle-shaped roof resembling the horns of the water buffalo – with its horns up at the front. This is unlike the Minangkabau house in West Sumatra, that has a similar saddle-shaped roof but is placed lengthwise. Roofs are made of palm or coconut leafs and the house’s wooden sides are beautifully decorated with distinct Toraja abstract and geometric designs in rich natural red, white and black. On its front supporting pillar are often placed a number of buffalo horns.
The Tongkonan are often rebuilt and redecorated, not necessarily because they are in need of repair, but more to maintain prestige and influence of the ruling nobility in the area. The rebuilding of the Tongkonan will of course be accompanied by elaborate ceremonies that involve entire communities – not unlike funeral ceremonies, where relatives bring gifts of pigs and buffaloes One requirement is the building of a tower, similar to the one made for funerals, but here the bamboo pillars point upward to the sky, while for funerals, the pointed bamboos are planted in the ground.
Following small ceremonies in the homes, rice seeds are taken from the granary, then pounded, not by hand, but for this first ceremony, women loosen their hair and pound the grain with their bare feet. Baskets of seeds are then brought to the flooded fields where they are sowed in nurseries. When the rice plants have grown sufficiently, a ceremony called maro is held, to implore for a good harvest, but moreover, also to request for fertility, for health and prosperity of the family and the village community.
*Schedules might change due to weather or other conditions.
* If you found the above-stated accommodations were not on your style. Don’t worry ! We can still arrange your accommodation based on your preferred type of lodging, such as bed & breakfast basic, budget class or a kind of homestay, or if you require to upgrade from standard to luxury / classed type of hotel, then we surely can manage of your taste.
Makassar - Toraja TourUpon on Your arrival in Makassar Airport, meeting service than directly transfer To Toraja via Pare Pare, Lunch will be serve at Local sea food restorant in Pare pare. After lunch than continue to Toraja via Endrekang, stop over for Caffee /Tea break at Gunung nana or Eroutic Mountain before entrance to BAMBA PUANG “ GATE TO HEAVEN”as entrance to Toraja region. Late afternoon arrive in Rantepao as central of tourism directly check in to Hotel. ( D)
1st day Toraja TourLemo, an ancient stone grave with effigy in balony as figure of the dead that was buried in the stone. Kambira, Baby grave in a living tree Tampang allo, ancient burial coffins in cave Suaya, Royal King family grave with their effigy Ke'te' Kesu', Traditional Torajan village Afternoon back to Hotel.
Full Day Toraja TourSoon after breakfast than start the tour to northern part of Toraja, visit : Live stock market in Bolu Bori', stone mengalith as field to held funeral ceremony for Nobel class Pallawa, Traditional Torajan village with numbers of houses with buffalows horn as simbol of funeral that they have held on this house. Batutumonga, Spectacular penorama with big numbers of rice field terraces in the valley Afternoon back to Hotel and shopping in town.
Toraja Culture tour and TrekkingAfter breakfast than have chance to visit Traditional funeral ceremony, Jesus statue in Buntu Burake Aftere with a very nice mountain surrounding, visit pango pango For forest activities, some hiking can be on request. Note : visit funeral can be scheduled on the spot
Toraja Makassar / AirPort
- Accomodation as category
- Private transport with aircondition
- Lunch and Dinner
- Tour guide
- Entrance feel
- Tour donation and tipping
No, Wheelchair accessible
No, stroller accessible
- Not recommended for travelers with back problems, but can join with your own risk
- Not recommended for pregnant travelers, but can join with your own risk
- Not recommended for travelers with heart problems or other serious medical conditions, but can join with your own risk
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