Tana Toraja Land Tours South Sulawesi 05 Days 04 Nights Adventure Trip Include Lake Tempe
The Toraja are an ethnic group indigenous to a mountainous region of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Their population is approximately 650,000, of which 450,000 still live in the regency of Tana Toraja (“Land of Toraja”).Most of the population is Christian, and others are Muslim or have local animist beliefs known as aluk (“the way”). The Indonesian government has recognized this animist belief as Aluk To Dolo (“Way of the Ancestors”).
The word toraja comes from the Bugis language’s to riaja, meaning “people of the uplands”. The Dutch colonial government named the people Toraja in 1909.Torajans are renowned for their elaborate funeral rites, burial sites carved into rocky cliffs, massive peaked-roof traditional houses known as tongkonan, and colorful wood carvings. Toraja funeral rites are important social events, usually attended by hundreds of people and lasting for several days.
Before the 20th century, Torajans lived in autonomous villages, where they practised animism and were relatively untouched by the outside world. In the early 1900s, Dutch missionaries first worked to convert Torajan highlanders to Christianity. When the Tana Toraja regency was further opened to the outside world in the 1970s, it became an icon of tourism in Indonesia: it was exploited by tourism developers and studied by anthropologists.By the 1990s, when tourism peaked, Toraja society had changed significantly, from an agrarian model — in which social life and customs were outgrowths of the Aluk To Dolo—to a largely Christian society
Tongkonan Traditional Houses
Tongkonan are the traditional Torajan ancestral houses. They stand high on wooden piles, topped with a layered split-bamboo roof shaped in a sweeping curved arc, and they are incised with red, black, and yellow detailed wood carvings on the exterior walls. The word “tongkonan” comes from the Torajan tongkon (“to sit”).
Tongkonan are the center of Torajan social life. The rituals associated with the tongkonan are important expressions of Torajan spiritual life, and therefore all family members are impelled to participate, because symbolically the tongkonan represents links to their ancestors and to living and future kin.[ According to Torajan myth, the first tongkonan was built in heaven on four poles, with a roof made of Indian cloth. When the first Torajan ancestor descended to earth, he imitated the house and held a large ceremony.
The construction of a tongkonan is laborious work and is usually done with the help of the extended family. There are three types of tongkonan. The tongkonan layuk is the house of the highest authority, used as the “center of government”. The tongkonan pekamberan belongs to the family members who have some authority in local traditions. Ordinary family members reside in the tongkonan batu. The exclusivity to the nobility of the tongkonan is diminishing as many Torajan commoners find lucrative employment in other parts of Indonesia. As they send back money to their families, they enable the construction of larger tongkonan.
The Toraja language is only spoken; no writing system exists. To express social and religious concepts, Torajans carve wood, calling it Pa’ssura (or “the writing”). Wood carvings are therefore Toraja’s cultural manifestation.
Each carving receives a special name, and common motifs are animals and plants that symbolize some virtue. For example, water plants and animals, such as crabs, tadpoles and water weeds, are commonly found to symbolize fertility. The image to the left shows an example of Torajan wood carving, consisting of 15 square panels. The center bottom panel represents buffalo or wealth, a wish for many buffaloes for the family. The center panel represents a knot and a box, a hope that all of the family’s offspring will be happy and live in harmony, like goods kept safe in a box. The top left and top right squares represent an aquatic animal, indicating the need for fast and hard work, just like moving on the surface of water. It also represents the need for a certain skill to produce good results.
Regularity and order are common features in Toraja wood carving (see table below), as well as abstracts and geometrical designs. Nature is frequently used as the basis of Toraja’s ornaments, because nature is full of abstractions and geometries with regularities and ordering. Toraja’s ornaments have been studied in ethnomathematics to reveal their mathematical structure, but Torajans base this art only on approximations. To create an ornament, bamboo sticks are used as a geometrical tool.
In Toraja society, the funeral ritual is the most elaborate and expensive event. The richer and more powerful the individual, the more expensive is the funeral. In the aluk religion, only nobles have the right to have an extensive death feast. The death feast of a nobleman is usually attended by thousands and lasts for several days. A ceremonial site, called rante, is usually prepared in a large, grassy field where shelters for audiences, rice barns, and other ceremonial funeral structures are specially made by the deceased family. Flute music, funeral chants, songs and poems, and crying and wailing are traditional Toraja expressions of grief with the exceptions of funerals for young children, and poor, low-status adults.
The ceremony is often held weeks, months, or years after the death so that the deceased’s family can raise the significant funds needed to cover funeral expenses. Torajans traditionally believe that death is not a sudden, abrupt event, but a gradual process toward Puya (the land of souls, or afterlife). During the waiting period, the body of the deceased is wrapped in several layers of cloth and kept under the tongkonan. The soul of the deceased is thought to linger around the village until the funeral ceremony is completed, after which it begins its journey to Puya.
Another component of the ritual is the slaughter of water buffalo. The more powerful the person who died, the more buffalo are slaughtered at the death feast. Buffalo carcasses, including their heads, are usually lined up on a field waiting for their owner, who is in the “sleeping stage”. Torajans believe that the deceased will need the buffalo to make the journey and that they will be quicker to arrive at Puya if they have many buffalo. Slaughtering tens of water buffalo and hundred of pigs using a machete is the climax of the elaborate death feast, with dancing and music and young boys who catch spurting blood in long bamboo tubes. Some of the slaughtered animals are given by guests as “gifts”, which are carefully noted because they will be considered debts of the deceased’s family.
There are three methods of burial: the coffin may be laid in a cave or in a carved stone grave, or hung on a cliff. It contains any possessions that the deceased will need in the afterlife. The wealthy are often buried in a stone grave carved out of a rocky cliff. The grave is usually expensive and takes a few months to complete. In some areas, a stone cave may be found that is large enough to accommodate a whole family. A wood-carved effigy, called Tau tau, is usually placed in the cave looking out over the land. The coffin of a baby or child may be hung from ropes on a cliff face or from a tree. This hanging grave usually lasts for years, until the ropes rot and the coffin falls to the ground.
TORAJA LAND AND SOUTH SULAWESI TOURS 05 DAYS 04 NIGHTS
DAY 01 : UJUNGPANDANG – TORAJA ( L.D )
Upon arrival at Hasanuddin Airport, Meeting Service. Transfer directly to Toraja Land with 08 hours drive takes across the Bugis Village with their houses on poles along the magnificent mountainous ranges. Lunch will be served at Bukit Indah Restaurant in Pare-Pare, a small port situated 155 kms north of UjungPandang. Refreshment at the Hill-Top of Puncak Lakawan
and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Erotic mountain.
Late Afternoon Arrive in Toraja Land , check-in to Hotel for overnight and dinner.
DAY 02 : TORAJA TOUR ( B.L.D )
Breakfast at hotel. Full day visiting : the stone grave with tau-tau installed on a high cliff balcony overlooking the green valley of the Toraja at LEMO, The royal family tombs at SUAYA. and then we continue on to royal family tombs at SUAYA. We shall then make a easy walk to see a giant-tree made as burial site for a new born-baby who died before teething at KAMBIRA
After Lunch, we drive to The traditional carving village at KETE KESU, Natural burial cave at LONDA. The typical village at NANGGALA with 16 rice-barns standing in a raw as a sign of their wealthy status in Toraja community. Then continue on to visit the ancient house-grave at MARANTE village. Late afternoon back to hotel for overnight and dinner.
DAY 03 : TORAJA TOUR ( B.L.D )
Breakfast at hotel. Full day visiting ; the Traditional Toraja village with full buffalo horns in front of their houses at PALAWA, Traditional weaving village at SA’DAN, and the ancient Megalithic stone at BORI. Lunch will be served at local restaurant on the slope of Mount Sesean where you can also
enjoy the terraced rice-fields with a fascinating mountainous view at BATUTUMONGA, After lunch, take a small trek from LOKOMATA to PANA and will be picked at the other side of the village at TIKALA then we transfer you back
to hotel for overnight and dinner.
Note : A traditional funeral ceremony which can be reached by foot will be included within two days Toraja tour. A typical torajan local fruits & live stuff market can also be visited during your two days tour in
DAY 04 : TORAJA – SENGKANG( B.L.D )
Breakfast at hotel. Leaving Toraja Land for Sengkang via Palopo. Lunch enroute at local restaurant. Arrive in Sengkang. Check-in to hotel for overnight and dinner.
DAY 05: SENGKANG – LAKE TEMPE – Makassar (B.L.D )
After breakfast at hotel. Visting Lake TEMPE to see the way of life ofthosewho live at the lakeside with some of them having their floating houseson it.Visiting the traditional silk weaving villagers who make Silk Sarong “The Buginese Skirt. Lunch enoute at Local restaurant. And proceed to UjungPandang Airport for your next destination.
Rate : Euro 670/person twin share Min 02 person
Tours Included :
– Pick up and transfer services from Hassanudin Makassar Airport
– English Speaking Guide, Others on request
– AC vehicle
– All Accommodation
– All meals
– All tours per itineraries
– Funeral entrance fees
– All local guides
– Boating at Lake Tempe ( For Other Tours )
– Mineral drinking water
Tours Excluded :
– Return air tickets to and from Makassar
– Alcoholic and non alcholic drinks
– Tipping for the driver and guide
– Village donation
– Phone calls
– Airport porter and airport taxes
– Any personal expenses