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.
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.
The well organized “tao-tao’ were displayed on the windows on the cliff face.
(you may notice the small spider if you have sharp eye sight).
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.
She is the same lady shown on the North Toraja tourist map.
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.
It may sound strange. Tourists flocking to Tana Toraja are looking for funeral ceremony to attend.
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.
There was no large ceremony this week. We dropped by the tourist information center this morning to try our luck.
We have some luck as there is a smaller scale ceremony at a village called Kandeapi.
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.
With limited travelled due to expected rain, we only visited part of Tana Toraja country side (outside of Rantepao town).
There are more impressive panorama view of terrace paddy fields in the area.
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.
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.
The lady was plucking the Morning Glory (‘Kangkung’) leaves for dinner. I love stir fried kangkung with shrimp paste, cheap and appetizing.
We were woken up by the cheering sound of the procession at Rantepao.
We later found out that today is the turn for Papua in Toraja area to join the few days celebration.
We are in a remote town in Sulawesi called Rantepao. It is the home for unique burial culture.
Personally, I think Pasar Burung is more interesting than many of the tourist attractions in Jogja such as palace or fort.
One gets to meet the locals and discover their passion for birds as a pet.