They have kept their traditions.
Everyone knows the phrase “Till death do us part” is not well suited for the people of Toraja living on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. With the dead locals have a special relationship. Every year there are ancient ritual called “MA nene”, which in local dialect can be translated as “the Ceremony of cleaning corpses.”
The ritual ceremony of purification of the dead
The tradition is that relatives of the deceased get the coffin from the burial, carefully removed the corpse, washed it, carefully cleaned, dried and dressed up in new garb. Rite are exposed to the dead of all ages, from tiny children. The dead not only changed clothes, but put on glasses, jewelry, some give “smoke” a cigarette. While the corpses dressed up and aired, and the coffins repaired or updated.
At this time the ceremony ends. Tragici love to be photographed with their dead, they are seated or placed, around the corpse picturesquely placed family members all happily posing.
These ritual performances resemble a party with a mystical Halloween or footage from a film about zombies.
The history of the rite is lost in the mists of time
Which is the origin of this strange custom is unknown. Indonesians are mostly Muslims. The people of the province of Tana Toraja Protestants, honoring the sacred rituals of paganism and animism.
On the found remains of ancient tombs, archaeologists have concluded that such a tradition already existed in the IX century. The Dutch, in search of cloves and nutmeg, landed on the shores of Indonesia in the late XIV century, but in the mountainous regions of Toraja peoples, the missionaries brought Christianity only 300 years later.
In the queue for the funeral
The ceremony of the funeral connected with great costs and sacrifices. Not every family has money for them, because the dead waiting their turn for a few months, and even years. All this time the corpse is in ordinary home or special “house of death” – tongonan.
In these ceremonial buildings, roofs that resemble a boat or a horned head of a Buffalo, kept the embalmed corpses while the family accumulates enough money for a rather lavish funeral. Relatives caring for a deceased family member, talking to him as a living, going around him in the family councils, offer them food, drink.
In such a house can be several corpses, whose death occurred in different years.
Exotic burial ceremony
When you’re ready for the funeral and will meet relatives from different parts of the country, begins a ceremony which lasts from three days to a week. During this time will be sacrificed a lot of pigs and buffaloes. The more buffaloes will be scored, the higher the status of the family of the deceased. On particularly big funeral, their number comes to eight. The number of animals must be at least 24, but you can bring your own Buffalo as a gift.
There is an unwritten rule that this “debt” relatives pay in the future for the next funeral. The ritual of plugging pigs and buffaloes bloodthirsty. If Kabanov, tied to bamboo sticks, killed instantly with a blow to the heart, the buffaloes cut the throat and they will suffer in its death throes, filling all around with a fountain of blood.
Before burial in the family mausoleum, in the coffin lay things that the deceased loved or gifts, in accordance with the living standards of the family. It can be: bracelet, watch, cell phone or even diamond.
After the farewell ceremony with the dead, sacrificial, abundant treats relatives, ritual dances, Christian prayers, the funeral procession to the family crypt. The coffin was carried on a special stretcher with a roof in the form of tongonan – house of death.
Toraja bury the dead on the rocky steep slopes, in carved stone niches. Such tombs can reach the height of a three storey house. The higher, the richer the family of the deceased. Such grave is protected from looting. Niche for coffins cut down long – within three to six months. Infants residents of the province of Tana is sometimes buried in the hollows of trees, explaining that they grow, feeding on plant juices.
Rock graves look very strange and exotic. In addition to “Windows”, where is placed the coffin, made a kind of “balconies”, they are exhibited dolls Tau Tau, carved out of wood. The locals believe that these sculptures moves the soul of the deceased. Earlier idols were more primitive, it could only determine the sex of the deceased.
Now many of them are very plausible, have almost a portrait likeness and look creepy. Are these Tau-Tau expensive and you can order it only the wealthy family. Often idols are stealing so many holding prototypes of their relatives in the house. After the wooden replica of the dead man ready, she is at the tomb of the twelve days before the funeral, this time defined for the transmigration of the soul.
Three years later, in a ritual Manene day after the sacrificing of a Buffalo, a rooster and a boar, the coffins with the deceased is lowered by special ladders for the rite of purification of the dead.