Thursday, 23 September 2010

Tana Toraja

Amanda had decided that this was a place not to be missed and had everything organized before mentioning it was 11.5 hours by bus. We arranged for a local to watch the boat during the day, sleep in the cockpit at night and feed Sloop. Our top of the line bus was pretty good with lots of room to stretch out and air conditioning that almost worked.



After finding somewhere to stay in the rain at 9.30pm the locals advised us that going to see a funeral was high on the list of tourist events. Strange. Anyway with our introduction letter in hand off we went following the trail of trussed up pigs and Buffalo.


After a ½ an hour and 2 bemo (public transport mini vans) rides up into the mountains we were instructed that we were to walk from here. Lucky for us 2 school girls who spoke no English pointed the way.

Finally we reached our destination to be greeted by hordes of buffalo, chanting, and pigs squealing, dying, being rolled in the fire and chopped up. A true assault on all the senses.


The school girls edged us closer gradually and finally got us seated in one of the stands where members of the family brought food and drinks for the 100s and 100s of guests.


From our vantage point we could watch all the coming and goings and try to work out what was happening.


Apparently when a family member dies, they are kept sometimes for years while the family saves up for a big send off. The animals or whatever are brought as gifts for the deceased, some of which are slaughtered on any available bit of flat ground as a sacrifice. These animals are either eaten on the day or given to people to take home. How this all happens in what seems like chaos is anybody’s guess. Thankfully our gift back to us was cooked.


After sampling the local palm wine from Bamboo stalks we wandered back down the hill past kids sorting pig intestines for who knows what, looking for another Bemo.




Tomorrow we’re going to check out some graves!

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