TORAJA VILLAGES & STONE GRAVES
After breakfast, we begin a full day tour of Tana Toraja's villages and stone graves.Tana Toraja ('Land of Toraja') is a regency of South Sulawesi in Indonesia, a picturesque mountainous region that is home to an indigenous group known as the Torajans. For the Toraja people, life very much revolves around death, but not in a morbid sense. For them, a funeral is a great celebration of life, and is an occasion in which the entire family of the deceased, and all the members the village take part. Their ancient traditions involve funerary customs that have been practiced over many centuries and are known to be the most complex funeral traditions in the world. The population of the Toraja is approximately 650,000. Most are Christian, some are Muslim, and a minority still retain the local beliefs known as Aluk Todolo (Way of the Ancestors), which are most visible during funeral festivities and burial customs.Before the 20th century, Torajans lived in autonomous villages, where they practised animism, the view that non-human entities, animals, plants etc., possess a spiritual essence. They were relatively untouched by the outside world until Dutch missionaries arrived to convert the Torajan highlanders to Christianity. Nevertheless, even those that follow other religions in Tana Toraja, still congregate when it comes to ancient funeral customs. During their lives, the Torajans work extremely hard to accumulate wealth. But unlike other societies, the Torajans do not save their money to give themselves a good life, rather they save for a good send off in death. In fact, it is the extravagance of the funeral, not the wedding, which marks a family's status.There are many sites to visit, and the itinerary today will be flexible to cater your pace. Among the sites we will visit, includes Lemo where burials were made in artificial caves on the face of the cliff, with rows of Tau-Tau effigies in front of each gravesite. In Sangalla, we will see the big tree containing baby graves. In Suaya, a royal burial site, and in Tampangallo, a natural cave used as a burial ground. Next, we will continue to Londa Caves, famous for its caves burial sites, Ke'te Kesu village, renowned for its woodcarving and traditional tongkonan houses and rice barns. On the cliff face behind the village are some cave graves and very old hanging graves.Should funeral ceremony be present, then you will also have a chance to view this massive cultural rites.Overnight at Toraja Heritage Hotel.