The land of Toraja’s Sizzling Highlights | The Jakarta Post

Londa, a natural cave, is the burial ground for Tana Toraja ancestors, located in Sandan Uai village in Sanggalangi subdistrict, 7 kilometers from Makale. — Photo by Amelia Winni

Visiting Indonesia will not be enough if you do not go and visit Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi. It is only about 8 to 10 hours drive from the South Sulawesi Capital City, Makasar. A contributor writer from the Jakarta Post wrote a quite detail the reasons why you have you visit this town.

Located in South Sulawesi, this prominent tourist destination in Indonesia is encircled by mountains, cliffs, forests and dotted with coffins as well as buffaloes… Paddy fields and forests could be seen to the left of the road, and scary yet tremendous gaps to the right. The sky was bright blue and, through large clouds, the sun shone brightly.

Tana Toraja is know by its traditional woven cloth, Tenunan, and the Funeral Ceremonies. Throughout the town you can also see the Torajan houses called Tongkonan, which means “to sit”. It is built using carved-wood panels and the walls are incised with wood-carving detail and are mainly colored red, black and yellow.

Another interesting thing you might see is Londa Cave, a natural cave for burial ground of the Tana Toraja ancestors. Here’s the description of the writer about Londa Cave,

Here, visitors must follow community rules — one of which is we are not allowed to move or take away the human bones. Among the tombs, you can see tau-tau — wooden effigies representing the deceased — placed on the top of Londa cave.

When you look toward Londa’s entrance, there are erong — Torajan coffins that stick out of the cliff side — filled with human bones from hundreds of years ago. Similar to the baby grave, the higher one’s social status is, the higher the dead is placed on the cliff.

Then, explore the 1,000-meter depth of Londa cave by foot and witness this coffin-filled cave with sesajen (offerings to the spirit) and items belonging to the deceased alongside.

Be careful, the ground and rocks inside are slippery and wet. Witness the infamous tale from Londa inside the cave revolving around a couple of skulls claimed to be Toraja’s Romeo and Juliet. They were deeply in love, but both families’ refusal to welcome their commitment brought catastrophe: suicide.

Read more about Tana Toraja and you’ll find it interesting:  The land of Toraja’s Sizzling Highlights | The Jakarta Post

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