Duniart – Photography and Blog by Toine IJsseldijk

Lo’ko Mata – Tana Toraja, Sulawesi

The largest boulder in Tana Toraja has been turned into a huge burial site, with more than 20 burial chambers carved into the large rock. The burial chambers are aligned on four levels, closed off by a square door of about 1 meter. The chambers themselves are actually much larger and sometimes up to 10 coffins are buried inside.

The position of the burial chambers is important and denotes the importance of the person or family buried within. The higher the burial chamber the more important the person or family was. Simple bamboo ladders are used to place the coffins within the burial chambers on the top levels.
Scattered around the large stone boulder are carriers with a miniature Tongkonan house on top, used to bring the coffins to the grave site. Some of the tombs have a small balcony with wooden effigies of the deceased, called Tau-tau.

 

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