Lemo–the postcard cliff grave

If you are traveller, you may recognize this picture because it is as unique as the pyramid in Eygpt or the Mo’ai stone statues in Easter Island.

Lemo (Tana Toraja) (3)

I was standing alone at the in front of the cliff just few hours ago. It was indeed very impressive. Below was the view before I walked down and passed by a paddy field to the bottom of the cliff.

Lemo (Tana Toraja) (1)

The well organized “tao-tao’ were displayed on the windows on the cliff face.

Lemo (Tana Toraja) (6)

(you may notice the small spider if you have sharp eye sight).

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Weaving @ Sa’dan To’barana

Besides funeral ceremony, buffalo carnage or burial sites, Tana Toraja offers some alternatives such as trekking or country sight seeing. Of the the route to the north of Rantepao towards the Sa’dan Malimbong district, you can find the poster girl.

Weaving at Toraja (6)

She is the same lady shown on the North Toraja tourist map.

Weaving at Toraja (7)

when we arrived at the almost ‘deserted’ weaving village (Sa’dan To’barana), she was one working in the stores. 95% of the stores were not opened or abandoned.

Weaving at Toraja (5)

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Funeral Ceremony at Tana Toraja

It may sound strange. Tourists flocking to Tana Toraja are looking for funeral ceremony to attend.

Tana Toraja Funeral Ceremony (9)

We saw an interest ‘menu’ at the local restaurant where it displayed the published dates of known funerals in the region. In many part of the world, we couldn’t predict any funeral (and also don’t want to know). In Toraja, the body of the deceased relative will be kept at the community for months or years. After the offspring and relative gathered enough money to host a funeral, the community will schedule a date (normally in the dry season) for the ceremony. This is the main reason the funeral dates are known in advance.

Funeral menu at Mambo Restaurant

There was no large ceremony this week. We dropped by the tourist information center this morning to try our luck.

Tana Toraja Funeral Ceremony (7)

We have some luck as there is a smaller scale ceremony at a village called Kandeapi.

Tana Toraja Funeral Ceremony (2)

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Ke’te Kesu at the Land of Toraja

As the nearest site to Rantepao town center, Kete Kesu has few interesting objects to offer.

Kete Kesu (Tana Toraja) (1)

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.

Kete Kesu (Tana Toraja) (13)

Behind the tongkonan houses are the hanging grave.

Kete Kesu (Tana Toraja) (5)

I travelled 10 hours bus ride from Makassar, just to see the unique Torajan burial culture.

Kete Kesu (Tana Toraja) (7)

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Paddy fields @ Tana Toraja

With limited travelled due to expected rain, we only visited part of Tana Toraja country side (outside of Rantepao town).

Paddy field at Tana Toraja (6)

There are more impressive panorama view of terrace paddy fields in the area.

Paddy field at Tana Toraja (2)

Some of the fields are ready for harvest. We were lucky to visit on the village where the community is preparing for the harvest festival.

Paddy field at Tana Toraja (1)

Rice is the main staple in Indonesia. I have been eating fried rice continuously the last few days. In fact, I am having fried rice right now while I am writing this post in a restaurant.

Paddy field at Tana Toraja (7)

The lady was plucking the Morning Glory (‘Kangkung’) leaves for dinner. I love stir fried kangkung with shrimp paste, cheap and appetizing.

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