In Deutsch



Pictures of the fifth part of our Indonesia trip in Tana Toraja in Sulawesi


latest picture: July 7, 2007

  • click a picture to see details
More websites from Indonesia and Timor-Leste:

On November 21st, 2006, we left the Island of Borneo after half a year, where we overhauled completely our car and visited the Malaysian provinces of Sarawak and Sabah and two new countries – Brunei (# 154) and in Kalimantan the "begin" of Indonesia (# 155) –, driving a total of 3'258 miles. Two days later, we arrived on a domestic ferry in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, a mega-city of about 17 million people on the island of Java. Then, a whole range of more Indonesian islands followed: Sumatra to the West and Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Rinca with the Komodo Dragons, Flores, Sumba and Timor to the East. In-between we explored the 156th country – Timor-Leste –, before our Indonesian roundtrip continued in Sulawesi and ended finally in Kalimantan on the Island of Borneo.
This is the continuation of
(13. bis 27. Juni 2007)
16   The entrance gate to Tana Toraja near
Mebali – the Toraja land – is greeting us
with the replica of a traditional Toraja
house. From this very moment, this
fascinating unique architecture is
accompanying us continuously
17   The streets in Rantepao are festively
flagged for the “Motorace 2007”. The
most represented is the publicity for
cigarettes – „Country, the flavor of
adventure“. Indonesia is a country
where practically everybody smokes!
18   As everywhere in Indonesia,
these children from Tana Toraja
greet us also with „Hello Mister!“
19   The roundabout in the
heart of Rantepao shows also
the symbol of Tana Toraja –
the traditional Tongkonan house
20   This souvenir shop in Rantepao
is selling – amidst other things –
traditional miniature Tongkonan
21   The striking architecture of the
Tana Toraja villages with the towering
roofs of its Tongkonan stick out
everywhere in the peaceful highland .....
22   ..... is it with modern corrugated
iron roofs, as here near Bori .....
23   ..... or with traditional roofs of
bamboo and leaves – as in Ke’te Kesu
24   Traditional Tongkonan houses
always look north and face a line
of rice barns – here in Ke’te Kesu
25   The bigger the number of
buffalo horns decorating the front
of a house, the bigger the wealth of
the family or clan. They date from
earlier ceremonies – here in Palawa
26   Mostly only one buffalo head is
decorating the elaborately adorned
Tongkonan houses. In Palawa
there are even two
27   Richly carved coffins contain the
bones of the dead. This one in
Ke’te Kesu has the shape of a
pig and is carved with snake motifs
28   Most of the coffins hanging on
the steep cliff in Ke’te Kesu are rotten.
Now and then a skull is peeping out
29   This open coffin in the shape of
a cow reveals the bleached
bones of the deceased
30   Piles of bones are hanging out
from a wooden coffin in Marante .....
31   ..... and dozens of
skulls in Ke’te Kesu
32   Teeth of slaughtered buffalos
are hanging in a line at a Tongkonan
house in Ke’te Kesu
33   „Tau Tau’s“ are life-sized carved
wooden effigies of the dead. They are
placed on balconies outside cave
graves, as here in Marante .....
34   ..... here underneath an
overhanging cliff in Marante .....
35   ..... and again in Marante
on a balcony
36   The cave builders were traditionally
paid in buffalos for their hollowed out caves.
Although the exterior of a cave grave looks
small, the interior is large enough to “shelter”
an entire family. This one is in Lemo
37   We find the most impressive
„Tau Tau’s“ (effigies of the dead)
in Lemo. They are several
balconies on a vertical cliff
38   In Londa, they are protecting
a cave. In their dresses and mimic
they nearly take shape again!
Traditional funeral ceremony in Nonongan:
39   Pigs trussed on bamboo
poles are carried in alive .....
40   ..... put on the ground .....
41   ..... until they are slaughtered
and grilled on the fire
Traditional funeral ceremony in Nonongan:
42   From this cow only the head
remains, one part cooks
already in the pot
43   The horns of this buffalo are
already adorned with ribbons for
the sacrifice. The number of buffaloes
sacrificed depends on the importance,
age and status of the deceased. In
Nonongan there were nine animals
44   Women beat with thick
bamboo poles on a wooden
trough what creates a
sound similar to drumming
Traditional funeral ceremony in Nonongan:
45   The coffin, decorated in gold and
red, is placed on a stretcher made
of bamboo on the village square
46   The picture of the dead is
leaning against the coffin. The
Toraja generally have two funerals,
one immediately after death and a
second later once the funds
are ready and the complicated
preparations are finished
47   Men and women dressed in black
sarongs are singing and dancing the
traditional „Mabadong“. Like the animal
sacrifices, it belongs to each traditional
funeral. It symbolizes the cycle of life
and the life story of the deceased and
also bits farewell to the soul of the dead
Traditional funeral ceremony in Nonongan:
48   This smartly dressed man
belongs to the mournful guests
49   These two women stand shoulder to
shoulder, performing the traditional dance
50   Young girls wear their
traditional beaded funeral dress
Traditional funeral ceremony in Nonongan:
53   Later, the skins of the
slaughtered buffaloes will be
mounted on wooden frame to dry,
like here on the way to Palawa
51   Family members are gathering around
the coffin, a catholic priest is speaking to
the mourners and blessing the coffin. The
missionaries never were successful to com-
pletely ban the traditional beliefs of the Toraja
52   The first buffalo appears to
be sacrificed. This is the
moment we leave .....
54   Buffalos are often the whole wealth
of a family. Therefore they are looked
after carefully: scrubbed and washed, the
most intensive before funeral ceremonies
55   The loveliest series of rice
barns are found in Nanggala. The
traditional Tongkonan house
is under construction .....
56   ..... but we enjoy the many bats
hanging on the trees at the
entrance of the village
57   Small valleys of rice paddies
give the landscape a peaceful look.
They are wide spread in Tana
Toraja. This one is near Lemo
58   It is rice harvest time. Like
here in Marante, rice stalks are
bundled and laid out to dry
59   The altitude of Tana Toraja – here in
Lemo – is favorable for coffee growing. It
is interesting that this plant can have fruits
and blooms at the same time. The delicate
scent of the white blossom is everywhere
62   We pose for a picture in Palawa
On the way from Palawa via Deri to Batutumonga, the panoramic views of
Rantepao and the Sa’dan valley on an altitude of 2’600 ft. are outstanding
63   The impressive, striking and
boat-shaped Toraja houses are
always worth a photo stop
64   Liliana in front of the biggest
concentration of „Tau Tau’s“ – effigies
of the dead –at the Kings Graves in
Tampangallo near Suaya. There are
40, though not in a good condition
and slowly deteriorating
65   Graves in Toraja land are not
always hollowed in cliffs. In the
hinterland, they often are also
built on lofty hills like here along
the Trans-Sulawesi-Road
Continuation of
Sulawesi's South:
from July 9th to 14th, 2007
66   Wedding guests in their traditional
outfit are on their way to a church
in Rantepao
67   Before we wave good-bye to
beautiful Toraja land, we discover one
more delicately carved traditional
house in the hinterland of Lomba
Continuation:  South of Sulawesi from July 9th to 14th, 2007
More websites from Indonesia and Timor-Leste:

More websites from East Malaysia and Brunei:

Articles in newspapers about us in Indonesia:
Article: "Tamu Istimewa: Neverending Journey", Monthly Car Magazine "Jip", January 2007
Article: "Toyota FJ60 1982 World Travelers", Monthly Car Magazine "Jip",  February 2007
Article: "CHEESE LAND CRUISER", Monthly Car Magazine "BBC Top Gear", February 2007
Article: "22 Tahun Jelajahi 156 Negara", Daily Newspaper "Post Metro Balikpapan", July 17, 2007