The custom of burying he dead in the trunk, and cave in Indonesia

Update: 18/03/2015
If a baby die when its teeth are not grown, the Toraja in Indonesia will bury its body into a tree cavity. In other cases, they carry the body to the cave or hole in the mountain.

The custom of burying he dead in the trunk, and cave in Indonesia



The mountainous area in the South of Sulawesi island of Indonesia, is home of Toraja tribe. Most members of the tribe live in the central area of the island.


The Tojara believe\r\nin animists, which means that they believe everything -\r\nfrom animals, trees, minerals to natural phenomena such as lightning,\r\nstorms, earthquakes; those have soul. Therefore, when a person\r\ndies, he/she is applied with many complex funeral rites.


For those children who die\r\nbefore growing teeth, the Toraja hollowed trunk and put the corpse in\r\nit. They use palm leaves to shield the external cavity. Over time, the plant\r\ncontinues to grow and the holes disappear. Each tree can become the resting\r\nplace of dozens of children.


When a Torajai dies, the body will have\r\nto be performing a series of funeral rites for several days. But\r\nmost Torajai families do not have enough money to carry out\r\nthe whole funeral rites immediately, so they have to wait for days, weeks or\r\neven months. During this time, the relatives do not bury the\r\ncorpse. They embalm and lay it in a room of the house. Before the\r\nfuneral rites end, they consider the corpse is someone who is sick,\r\nbut not dead.


Shortly after the family have enough money, the\r\nfuneral rites begin. They kill buffalos and pigs and dance,\r\nwhile boys use long bamboo tubes to collect blood from the\r\nanimals that are killed by adult.


The higher status does the dead have, the\r\nlarger is the amount of buffalos. In some funeral of the rich or\r\npowerful in the village, people can kill tens of buffalo\r\nmeat, and several hundreds of  pigs. After the\r\nritual sacrificing the animals, they divide the meat for\r\nfuneral guests.


The wooden\r\neffigies represent people who die in a cave.


The funeral of the Toraja is an important social event,\r\nwith the participation of the whole family and villagers. This is a chance for\r\npeople to refresh their mind and connect relationship within the\r\ncommunity.


Most wooden effigies face toward the family's land.


The Toraja rarely buries the corpse in the ground,\r\nwhich is put in caves, rock crevices, cavities or laid on the\r\nmountain or on the wooden coffin and then hung on the cliff. They\r\nspent much time and money to complete the resting place of the dead.


Families os the dead decorate coffin unusually, but due\r\nto the time, the wood coffin gets rotten, diminishing the dead\r\nbone from its original position.


After completing the process of burying the corpse, the guests\r\nenjoy the party and return home, but the ritual is not yet over. Every few\r\nyears, in August, a ritual called Ma'Nene will occur. The\r\nToraja dig graves, pick up and bathe, dress, makeup\r\nthe dead, after which it parade around the village


Today, thousands of tourists and\r\nanthropologists visit Sulawesi island every year\r\nto observe the strange rituals of the Toraja. Since 1984, the\r\nMinistry of Tourism in Indonesia has rated the Toraja region is\r\nfamous for the second tourist attraction after the island of Bali.

Nguồn: Zing.vn

Translated into English by Huynh Thi Tuyet Ngoc.

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