Tag Archives for torajan

17Sep2010

A Fistful of Dollars

little girls in marching band, Rantepao, Tana Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Our favoured local, back in Rantepao in the Tana Toraja, was the hangout of the local Guides Association, a Teamsteresque conglomerate of the most amiable rogues since Dick Van Dyke. Sporting various permutations of Aviators, moustaches, long hair, cropped hair and funeral sarongs as night-time outerwear, the chaps spent most of their time out back […]

02Sep2010

Buffalo Soldiers: Living for Death in the Tana Toraja

Funeral buffalo sacrifice, eyes open, throat slashed, dying in a pool of its own blood on the grass. Tana Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

“Are funerals like this in London?” asks my new Torajan friend. The dead man’s drum-shaped coffin emerges from the matrimonial bedroom where he has “slept”, preserved in formalin, with his family for the last eight months. Now he has left the house, he is finally dead, his soul winging its way towards the afterlife. “Not […]