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This is Toraja

De
130 pages
This book is the result of direct observation of the author born in Toraja, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. It provides a short description of many aspects of Toraja geography, government system, religion, population, education, health and medical care, language, social classification, agriculture, fisheries, husbandry. It deals with religion and rituals ; with Tongkonan (kindred house) and rice barn; with the funeral, the buffalo, the most important and valuable animal in the life and culture of Toraja.
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Paulus PalimbongTHIS IS TORAJA
Au centre de Célèbes, voici le pays Toraja ; un paysage de
montagnes diffi ciles d’accès où les effi gies mortuaires des
défunts, accrochées à des falaises, surveillent les activités
et bénissent leurs descendants. Ici la mort fait partie du
paysage, et même de la vie. On est passé, il y a un peu
plus de cent années, et quasiment sans transition, du mégalithique animiste THIS IS TORAJA
aux pratiques apparentes de l’évangélisme et du matérialisme technologique
hypermoderne. Le bouddhisme et l’islam, si puissants ailleurs en Indonésie,
sont ici sans infl uence. Les traditions conservent la structure sociale primitive
très hiérarchisée où l’esclavage est toujours en fi ligrane. L’habitat traditionnel
conserve les étranges « maisons-bateau » où s’inscrit nécessairement l’histoire
familiale. La richesse s’évalue symboliquement par le nombre de buffl es
The sacrificial burial customary like “raison d’être”sacrifi és lors du décès. Répartis selon leurs caractéristiques en représentants
mythologiques, ils accompagnent l’âme du défunt au paradis Toraja. On vit Get rich to success in death
ainsi dans la perspective d’un rituel funéraire sacrifi ciel, sans doute relique
d’une spiritualité néolithique, unique au monde et encore quasi unanimement
partagé localement. Le monde actuel est ici souvent irréel dans un univers
encore fort de ses croyances et corseté dans ses rituels splendides, ruineux et
démesurés où l’humain intemporel réfute sa mortalité.
In the centre of the Celebes, this is Toraja’s country; a landscape of inaccessible
mountains where the mortuary effi gies of the dead, clinging to the cliffs, monitor
activities and bless their descendants. Here death is part of the landscape, and
even life. We went there a little over one hundred years and almost without
transition, the megalithic animist practices with exposed Evangelicalism
and ultramodern technological materialism. Buddhism and Islam, so strong
elsewhere in Indonesia, here are without infl uence. The traditions remain
very primitive hierarchical social structure where slavery is still watermark.
Traditional housing retains the strange ‘house-boat’ which is necessarily part
of family history. The richness is symbolically evaluated by the number of
buffaloes sacrifi ced at the death. Divided according to their characteristics
mythological representatives, they accompany the deceased’s soul to heaven
Toraja. Thus the prospect of living in a sacrifi cial ritual funeral, probably
relics of neolithic spirituality, unique in the world and yet almost unanimously
shared locally. Today’s world is often here in a still very unreal world of his
beliefs and corseted in his splendid rituals, wasteful and excessive where the
timeless human refutes his mortality.
Paulus Palimbong was born in Toraja, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. He
graduated from Indonesian Christian University of Toraja majoring the English
Department in Makale, Tana Toraja. He once taught English at several Yunior
High Schools and at college and University of Toraja. Besides he also taught
at some English courses in Kalimantan and Sulawesi. Some hand books for
Yunior High Schools have been written by him. He is now active as a tourist
guide in Sulawesi.
ISBN : 978-2-343-08670-5
16,50 €
Paulus Palimbong
THIS IS TORAJA









































THIS IS TORAJA



















Nomino ergo sum
« Je nomme donc je suis »
Dirigée par Alain Coïaniz et Marcienne Martin

La collection « Nomino ergo sum » est dédiée aux études
lexico-sémantiques et onomastiques, sans exclure, de manière plus
large, celles qui prennent comme objet le fonctionnement et la
construction de la signification, aux plans discursif, interactionnel
et cognitif.
Tous les champs de l’humain sont concernés : histoire,
géographie, droit, économie, arts, psychologie, sociolinguistique,
mathématiques… pour autant que l’articulation épistémologique
se fasse autour des lignes de force de l’intelligibilisation
linguistique du monde.

Comité scientifique

Victor Allouche (Université de Montpellier) ; Gérard Bodé (Institut
français de l'éducation — École normale supérieure de Lyon) ; Georges
Botet (Président honoraire de l’Institut Psychanalyse et Management —
Membre de l’Association européenne de psychanalyse Nicolas Abraham
et Maria Torok) ; Kurt Brenner (Université de Heidelberg , Allemagne) ;
Vlad Cojocaru (Institut de Filologie Română, Iaşi, Roumanie) ; José Do
Nascimento (IUT Orsay — Université Paris Sud) ; Claude Féral
(Université de la Réunion) ; Laurent Gautier (Université de Bourgogne) ;
Sergey Gorajev ( Université Gorky – Ekaterinburg, Russie) ; Julia Kuhn Vienne, Autriche) ; Judith Patouma (Université Sainte
Anne, Canada) ; Jean-Marie Prieur (Université de Montpellier) ;
Dominique Tiana Razafindratsimba (Université d'Antananarivo,
Madagascar) ; Michel Tamine (Université de
Reims-ChampagneArdenne) ; Diane Vincent (Université Laval, Canada).
Paulus Palimbong





This is Toraja



The sacrificial burial customary
like “raison d’être”
Get rich to success in death























































© L’Harmattan, 2016

5-7, rue de l’École-Polytechnique, 75005 Paris

www.harmattan.com
diffusion.harmattan@wanadoo.fr

ISBN : 978-2-343-08670-5
EAN : 9782343086705 PREFACE
This small book is the result of direct observation of the
author was born in Toraja, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. He is
now active as a tourist guide. This text is intensified with the
research and the references of books dealing with the culture
and tradition as well as the existence of Toraja people. Toraja
is very rich in its culture, is one of the oldest cultures in
Indonesia that needs to be protected and preserved. Toraja
tradition and culture are displayed in the execution of Rambu
Tuka’s (the ritual on the side of the rising sun) and
Solo’s (the ritual on the side of setting sun).
I have written this book to provide information about the
beauty of nature, ancient tradition, unique culture and the life
and death of Toraja people.
Part One provides a short description of many aspects of
Toraja geography, government system, religion, population,
education, health and medical care, language, social
classification, agriculture, fisheries, husbandry, industry, as
well as a brief history of the name, origin, myth and invasion
of Toraja land.
Part Two deals with religion and rituals. These two
concepts cannot have dealt with separately, as the execution
of rituals comes from the teaching of Aluk Todolo
(autochthonous religion). Toraja people are dualistic. On the
one hand, they follow the teaching of Christianity, and on the
other hand, they still practise their tradition based on the aluk
todolo.
Part Three deals with Tongkonan (kindred house) and rice
barn. The two subjects are linked. In Toraja culture, the house
is considered as a wife and the rice barn is considered as a
husband. For this reason, they have to face each other. Both
symbolise the existence of the owner in society. The
7 discussion of the kindred house includes the process of
construction and its ritual.
Part Four deals with the kinds of graves that are found in
Toraja, and the main pieces of equipment which are used in
important funerals. The shape and the use of the grave has its
own meaning; the grave is said to be the Banua Tangmerambu
(the house from which no smoke rises).
Part Five deals with various kinds of buffaloes with their
functions particularly during funeral ceremonies. The Buffalo
is the basic wealth in Toraja. Before buffalo was used as a
means of payment. In this part, inheritance and market are
also described.
Finally, part six provides a guide to major places of interest
and music and dances performed at festivities.
I gratefully acknowledge the contribution from the
following: Dan Buttu, Ne’ Kiding, Ne’ Bato Tana’, Ne’ Soyan,
Ne’ Bato Buyang, Yusuf Langsa, Tominaa Ne’ Tato Dena and
Markus Pasande who have provided me with abundant
information on the tradition and culture of Toraja. For
general information on Toraja, I wish to thank the Bureau of
statistics, Department of Religion, and Department of
education of the two regencies (South Toraja and North
Toraja). Thanks to Georges who has encouraged me to write
this book.
May this book provide its readers with interesting
information about Toraja tradition and culture.
Paulus Palimbong
The author
Tana Toraja
September 2015
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LIST OF TABLES AND MAPS
Tables:
Table 1 Religious Denomination of South
Toraja……………………………………………………………. 17
Table 2 on of North
Toraja……………………………………………………………. 17
Table 3 Population by subdistrict
(kecamatan) and population density of South
Toraja in 2015……………………………………………….. 19
Table 4 Population by subdistrict
(kecamatan) and population density of North
Toraja in 2015……………………………………………….. 20

Maps:
Map of Sulawesi 126
Map of places of interest 127

CONTENTS
PART ONE
13 GENERAL INFORMATION

Geography………………………………………………………. 15
Government System………………………………………… 16
Religion…………………………………………………………… 16
Population………………………………………………………. 17
Education………………………………………………………... 20
Health and Medical Care………………………………….. 21
Language………………………………………………………... 22
Social Classification………………………………………… 22
Agriculture, Fishery and Husbandry………………… 25
Industry…………………………………………………………. 25
The social system……………………………………………. 26
Civilization system…………………………………………... 28
History - Name of Toraja………………………………….. 30
Origin of Toraja people……………………………………. 31
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The myth of the broken celestial ladder to
heaven…………………………………………………………… 33
Invasion of Bone Army…………………………………… 34
The arrival of the Dutch colony and missionaries 35
PART TWO
RELIGION & RITUAL 39
Aluk Todolo: Autochthonous religion 41
Pemali…………………………………………………………… 43
Ritual Categories………………………. 45
Rampanan Kapa’: Traditional Marriage
Ceremony………………………………………………………. 49
The present marriage ceremony…………………... 53
Mangrara Banua: House ritual……………………. 54
Aluk Pare: Rice ritual………………………………….. 56
Wealth and Power………………………………………. 59
Plants (Lolo tananan)…………………………………. 59
Animals (Lolo Patuan)………………………………… 60
Children (Lolo tau)……………………………………… 63
Aluk Tomate: Death ritual…………………………… 64
The dead as the sick person…………………………. 75
The truly dead……………………………………………. 77
The soul’s voyage to Puya……………………………. 78
Puya: The realm of souls……………………………… 80
Tomembali Puang: Deified ancestors……………. 82
Ma’nene’ Ceremony: Respecting ancestors……. 82
Badong: Funeral chant……………………………….. 83
Umbating: Lamentation over the dead…………. 84
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PART THREE
TONGKONAN: A KINGRED HOUSE AND RICE
BARN 85
Tongkonan: A kindred House…………………………. 87
Alang: Rice barn…………………………………………….. 93

PART FOUR
GRAVES 95
Erong: ancient wooden coffin…………………………. 97
Patane…………………………………………………………... 98
Liang Batu: Stone grave…………………………………. 98
Passilliran: Baby grave…………………………………... 99
Tau-tau: Effigies…………………………………………….. 100
Simbuang: Menhirs………………………………………… 102
Rante: Funeral Field……………………………………….. 103
Gayang, Kandaure, Tombi-tombi, Bombongan… 103
Meat Distribution…………………………………………… 103

PART FIVE
BUFFALOES, INHERITANCE AND MARKET 105
Buffaloes……………………………………………………….. 107
Inheritance……………………………………………………. 110
Market…………………………………………………………... 111

PART SIX
PLACES OF INTEREST 115
Some Tongkonan houses and villages……………… 117
Some interesting graves………………………………….. 118
Beautiful scenery and natural swimming pools…. 119
Dances and music……………………………………………. 119
Bibliography…………………………………………………… 123
Informants………………………………… 124
About the author…………………………………………….. 125


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