TANA TORAJA – SECRET HIGHLANDS AND CULTURAL RITUALS
The traditional Tanah Toraja houses called Tongkonan, designed with their distinctive shape and structure, are another main feature of the local cultural heritage. Since the village is over 300 years old and classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ke’te Kesu’ is probably the most attractive village to visit to experience traditional Torajan funeral ceremonies and architecture.
Londa Burial Cave and Lemo are unique burial sites dating back to the 16th century, where the deceased are buried within caves carved into the limestone cliff walls. Some of the niches are tombs. Some others contain rows of creepy Tau Tau statues dressed in colorful clothing. Bori Parinding, a megalithic site is another destination not to be missed. More than a hundred menhirs are standing there, like huge stone pillars celebrating noble ancestors. In contrast to these rituals related to an original animist culture, Yesus Buntu Burake is a tribute to the Christianization of Tana Toraja. One of the largest statues of Jesus Christ in the world besides Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Christ the Redeemer, this giant monument sits atop Makale Hill at about 1,700 meters above sea level.
Experiencing Torajan culture also means trying the local cuisine, known for its bold and spicy flavors. Traditional dishes such as Pa’piong (grilled fish wrapped in banana leaves) or Tinutuan (porridge made from corn, vegetables and coconut milk) are some of the delicacies to enjoy while walking through the traditional villages. Savoring Torajan arabica coffee is another must, as highland plantations produce some of the tastiest beans in Indonesia.
“Visiting cultural festivals throughout the year is a privileged way to interact with the local population and their vibrant traditions. South Sulawesi tourism stakeholders want to provide information during the BBTF 2023 event in June, related to the annual Tondok Toraya International Festival in August, September or the multi-day Rambu Solo funeral ceremony, as well as the Ma marathon ‘badong, a long-distance race through picturesque scenery highlights the annual shows. These events are the impetus to visit our uniquely diverse culture”, commented I Putu Winastra, the BBTF 2023 main committee and president of the Bali chapter of the Association of Travel (ASITA) – Inviting travel planners to explore the lands high secret and ritual cultures for a niche market.
Come join us at BBTF 2023. Learn more at www.bbtf.co.id and for more information contact us at [email protected]