Toraja lies 1,500 above sea level in the mountains of central Sulawesi. We started at the animal market, where people were buying bulls and pigs for a funeral ceremony we are seeing later today.
Beautiful Tongkonan’s, traditional houses that seem to pop up around every bend in Toraja land.
People clad in black are reaching by trucks.
The funeral ceremony was for two deceased people from a noble family, according to Ferry this is rather unique. The bodies are kept for one or more years, until the family has enough money to do a proper ceremony.
Two coffins (a son and his mother) are the centre piece.
Among tongkonans (“Getting together”) a spectacular ceremony plays in gulfs for hours, with new loads of guest paying their respect and bringing a bull or a pig. These animals are carrying a name tag from the giving family that is read out aloud though glaring loudspeakers. They are also noted in the family book for future ceremonies.
A dance ceremony in red.
Men and women are separated….
…and seated in 40 compartments.
…getting together and are offered sweets and a drink.
Girls and boys from the family form rows of honour for the guests.
Traditions come before religions in Tojara (some 400,00 population); 85 percent is christian, 10 percent muslim and 5 percent are still animists. But traditions come first.