Why should you play with a ball, if you can play with a buffalo head after they’ve been sacrificed?! 🐃 - The inspiring Torajan culture
When visiting Sulawesi, we were lucky to be able to attend a Torajan funeral. The Toraja culture is one of the most best kept ancient cultures in Indonesia and their views on the death will blow your mind. The lifes of the Toraja revolves around death. Our guide, Petrus, explained that you can make an excuse to not come to a wedding, but not to not come to a funeral. ‘After the day of the wedding you can see each other again, and again. After the funeral not’. After the family of the ‘sick person’, they see the deceased person as ill until the funeral and burial is done and, saved enough money the extravagant funeral ceremony takes place.
The buffalo is an important aspect of the Torajan funeral. Buffalos (alongside pigs) are sacrificed so that their souls can follow the soul of the ‘ill person’ into afterlife, the death is just one step in a long, long process. ‘A grand Torajan funeral is measured in the number and quality of buffalo, which serve as a form of currency.’ Quality depends on the size of the horns, the weight, and colour - An albino buffalo is the most expensive one, but even the price of a mottled buffalo goes much higher compared with a ‘normal’ buffalo. The price of just one buffalo can go up to €350.000! Petrus told us that at a funeral like the one we were attending an minimum of 20 buffalos will be sacrificed. Now you understand why it can takes months/years to save enough money for the ceremony 😅 And there is so much more to tell about this Torajan culture. ———————————————————————