Before you start reading this blog post I want to warn you that some of the pictures below can be offensive to some people. The pictures contain slaughtered animals and quite some blood. So if you’re a dedicated member of an animal protection group, there will be a chance you don’t like this post.
During my last summer in Indonesia I travelled through Sulawesi and more specific through Tanah Toraja and its capital Rantepao. The Toraja are an ethnic group indigenous to the mountainous area of South-Sulawesi. Most of them are christians or have animistic beliefs (Aluk to dolo – The way of the ancestors).
The Toraja still preserved a lot of the ancient rites. And this post will show pictures of one of those rites. To be more specific, the funeral or more commonly known the death feast.
The death feast is one of the most important rites of the Toraja. They believe that death isn’t an abrupt end. It is a process towards the afterlife. So they put a lot of effort and preparation into the funeral. It can take weeks or even months after the death before the actual funeral is being held. The feast itself can last up to several days, depending on the importance and wealth of the deceased. Visitors and family come from everywhere with presents to honour him.
The pictures beneath were taken during one morning of the feast. At this point the kerbau (a.k.a. water buffaloes), which were presented to the family, were being slaughtered and sacrificed.
If you want to read more about this subject just click Begraven we de toekomst van het verleden? Begrafenisrituelen bij de Toraja’s in Sulawesi (Dutch article).