Ke’te Kesu at the Land of Toraja
As the nearest site to Rantepao town center, Kete Kesu has few interesting objects to offer.
Ignore the dogs, the good stuff are behind the padi fields. The tongkonan houses. Tongkonan houses shape like the horns of a buffalo or a boat. They are the places for community folks to gather, as well storage for the harvest. I will show you more about the construction of tongkonan in other post.
Behind the tongkonan houses are the hanging grave.
I travelled 10 hours bus ride from Makassar, just to see the unique Torajan burial culture.
The livings are connected with their ancestors with wooden dolls known as Tao Tao. The newer version is life-liked statue.
The descendants pay respect to their ancestors. Local like to smoke and it is obvious from the type of offering.
Many buffalos were sacrificed to honour the deceased.
At Kete Kesu, you can see the ancient grave site on the cliff face where the wooden coffins have decayed and fallen onto the ground.
It was amazing thing to carry such heavy wood and place them high on the vertical cliff.
One needs to have an open mind to walk on graveyards and burial sites at Tana Toraja.
The rule of thumb is respect the local culture and way of life.
One can see similar cliff face burial site in China.
Even the coffin has similar shape like the Tongkonan. The house is made out of bamboo, but the more modern structure was made of zinc roof and concrete pillars.