Torajan, an ancient tribe and its relationship with the Persian


Sapi Belang - Albino Buffalo

Have you ever heard about Tana Toraja and the Torajan? I’ve heard about them from a very long time ago, but the idea of writing about this tribe came when a friend in my Dutch class told us about her journey to Tana Toraja. Suddenly all of what I’ve ever known about them come into my mind.

This tribe is one of my favorite tribe in Indonesia. My favorite? Yes. Because they are so unique, so different compare to most of us.

Tana Toraja is located 320 km or about 9 hours drive to the north from Makassar, capital of South Sulawesi (previously known as Celebes). Tana Toraja is very famous for its Funeral Ritual called Rambu Solo and for their Traditional Houses called Tongkonan.

Rambu Solo

When somebody died, the family must create a funeral ceremony called Rambu Solo. The ceremony is started with buffalo fight and then ended by slaughtering the buffaloes as they believed these buffaloes would be used by the deceased as their ride to heaven.  Buffaloes? Yep! Not only one, the higher the number the higher the prestige, even type of the buffalo and the shape of it’s horn were also counted!

Probably “Sapi Belang” is one of the most expensive buffalo, it’s actually a name for albino buffalo, that can cost you up to 80 million rupiah or about U$9000 !

Tongkonan - Traditional House of Torajan

What if the family doesn’t have enough money to create the ceremony? They can do it together with other Torajan, or they should sleep together with the deceased and treat them like living people until they are able to create the ceremony. Yep! It is true!

Horns of the slaughtered buffaloes are then stacked in front of their house, like this

Tongkonan and The Horns

Tongkonan and The Horns

And now, if the horns were putted in front of the house, what about the body of the deceased people?

In the Rambu Solo ceremony, the body of adults were putted inside the rocky mountain, while babies were putted on the trees, the higher the position in the rock, the higher their position in the society.

Graves for Babies

I remember once, in Petra Jordan and Amrith Syria, they also put the deceased inside a Rocky Mountain.. Are they related? Who knows..

Graves inside the Rock Mountain by Obyek Wisata

Sources:

Wikipedia – in Bahasa

Sulawesi – Tour and Guide

Adventure – Tales and Tips

Indonesia on The Net

Tongkonan – Traditional House of Torajans

Sapi Belang – Albino Buffalo

Tongkonan and The Horns

Graves for Babies

Obyek Wisata

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