The Toraja are an ethnic group indigenous to a mountainous region of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Their population is approximately 1,100,000, of whom 450,000 live in the regency of Tana Toraja ("Land of Toraja").
The word toraja comes from the Bugis Buginese language term to riaja, meaning "people of the uplands". The Dutch colonial government named the people Toraja in 1909. Torajans are renowned for their elaborate funeral rites, burial sites carved into rocky cliffs, massive peaked-roof traditional houses known as tongkonan, and colorful wood carvings. Toraja funeral rites are important social events, usually attended by hundreds of people and lasting for several days
Tongkonan is the traditional ancestral house, or rumah adat of the Torajan people, in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Tongkonan have a distinguishing boat-shaped and oversized saddleback roof. Like most of Indonesia’s Austronesian-based traditional architecture tongkonan are built on piles. The construction of tongkonan is laborious work and it is usually built with the help of all family members. In the original Toraja society, only nobles had the right to build tongkonan.
Kete Kesu is a tourist village in Tana Toraja region known for its traditional life of the community can be found in this region. There are many ancient relics such as stone graves were estimated age of 500 years in Kete Kesu are. In the stones graves that resemble a canoe or boat, saved the remnants of skulls and human bones. Nearly all the tomb stones placed hanging on the cliffs or caves.
Londa is a grave of the past were reserved for the nobility with two large caves that can be entered by visitors and the coffin containing human skulls.
There are many ancient tomb stones like this in Toraja. But the famous is Kete Kesu and Londa. Toraja is known with this stone grave.
One of the unique culture of Toraja is called Rambu Solo. Rambu Solo is a funeral procession Tana Toraja society, who do not like funerals in general. Rambu Solo is a ritual death of Toraja society which aims to honor and deliver the spirits of Toraja people who died toward the spiritual realm
Ma'tinggoro tedong (typical cutting buffalo by Toraja society, by slashing buffalo with a machete and only with a one single slash), in ceremony Rambu Solo.
How to get to Toraja? Flight from Jakarta to Makassar. Then use the bus to Toraja about 8 long hours journey.