Tongkonan and Alang – the icons of Torajan Architecture
The shape of tongkonan is so unique that it becomes of the icons of Tana Toraja.
The number of buffalo horns represent the number of buffalos the family had slaughtered. The jaws of the pigs were hang on the side of the house.
The detailed artworks are intricate and symbolic for the Torajan culture.
Both Kete Kesu and Palawa have some traditional villages that are near to Rantepao.
The houses were made of wood and bamboo without using any nail.
You can find plants growing on the more traditional (organic) houses.
The newer rice barn (Alang) is made out of zinc instead of bamboo for obvious saving in labour and cost.
We were lucky to see the preparation of the harvest festival where the community is constructing alang and also temporary shelter for the celebration.
Each panel is hand carved.
And hand painted.
The result is stunning intricate pattern.
You can always see a pair of roster (chicken) standing on the glowing sun. Another common icon is the buffalo.
3 colours albino buffalo are the gems of the funeral ceremony. The horns are real and the buffalo head is carved on wood block.
You can see the typical animals being sacrified who help to send their ancestor to heaven.
The photo below is the new ceremonial hall under construction.
The view outside the hall. It was raining thus the sky was grey.
More close up views of the decorations.
There seems to be construction going on every village we go.
Time to say goodbye to he Tongkonan.
Tourist can always buy souvenir with the iconic symbol.