Fantastic ceremony in Toraja

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.

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Beautiful Tongkonan’s, traditional houses that seem to pop up around every bend in Toraja land.

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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.

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Two coffins (a son and his mother) are the centre piece.

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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.

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A dance ceremony in red.

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Men and women are separated….

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…and seated in 40 compartments.

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…getting together and are offered sweets and a drink.

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Chatting along

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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.


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