The Toraja are an ethnic group indigenous to a mountainous region of South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Their population is approximately 1,100,000, of whom 450,000 live in the regency of Tana Toraja ("Land of Toraja"). Most of the population is Christian, and others are Muslim or have local animist beliefs known as aluk ("the way"). The Indonesian government has recognized this animist belief as Aluk To Dodo ("Way of the Ancestors"). The word toraja comes from the Bugis Buginese language meaning "people of the uplands". The Dutch colonial government named the people Toraja in 1909. Torajans are renowned for their elaborate funeral rites, burial sites carved into rocky cliffs, massive peaked-roof traditional houses known as tongkonan, and colorful wood carvings. Toraja funeral rites are important social events, usually attended by hundreds of people and lasting for several days. In this book produced by the Foundation for Torajan Culture and Tourism Development, a striking panorama of pictures and entrancing text transport you to Toraja, Indonesia's mountain Eden. Isolated for many centuries, they have managed to preserve its unique cultural traditions and way of life. Of great interest in Tana Toraja are its natural and man-made wonders like its spectacular stone artifacts, its hanging graves where the dead are interred even to this day, and its hot springs which are said to have miraculous curative effects. Its traditional house, the tongkonans, are a marvel of architectural design and ingenuity and have attracted visitors from all over. In the field of handicraft, Toraja enjoys a rich tradition involving bamboo and wood carving and weaving. Its culture is unique, a romantic and fascinating vestige of the past and a key to the immediate future.
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Book Description Times, 1988. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P119812040161