Tana Toraja is a district in South Sulawesi Province. Makale is the center of the city but Rantepao is the busiest city in Toraja. Tana Toraja is very unique and rich in cultural traditions that are famous to foreign countries. Toraja has maintained their beliefs and traditions in the cycle of eternal life and death on Earth through various traditional ceremonies and rituals, one of which is the wedding party of Rambu Tuka and also the death ceremony of Rambu Solo. The death ceremony in Toraja was held for days by holding a large, festive event and could cost billions of rupiah. Toraja is identical with unique culture, history of ancestors, traditional houses, traditions, traditional ceremonies, buffalo, mystical, grave, skull, coffin & preserved corpse.
One of the most interesting to see in Toraja is its traditional house. TONGKONAN is the traditional house of the Toraja people. The roof is curved like a boat, consisting of a bamboo structure (currently some tongkonans use a zinc roof). At the front there are rows of buffalo horns. The inside of the room used as a bed and kitchen. Derived from the word tongkon (meaning to sit together). Tongkonans are divided based on their level or role in society (the social strata of the Toraja Community). The descendants of tongkonans describe the social strata of the people in Sillanan. Examples of Tongkonan Pangrapa (Kabarasan / holders of government power). If someone dies and 2 buffaloes are cut off, one buffalo head is taken to Tongkonan Pangrapa to be divided up of his offspring.
A buffalo head on the top of the Tongkonan house is not just a decoration. Buffalo head consisting of three colors, white, black and striped or commonly called Caucasians has the economic ability of the owner of the house. Every traditional ceremony in Tana Toraja must use buffalo as its sacrificial animal. So, the more buffalo horns in the house, the financial status of the family is the higher.
Rambu Solo ’is the most important traditional ceremony for the people of Toraja. Every year, in July or August, the funeral ceremony is often held and attracts many tourists all over the world. What makes Rambu Solo’ so unique when compared to other funeral ceremonies is the high cost of implementation. A nobleman in Tana Toraja can even spend billions of rupiah from the preparations to the peak of the very lively event. For the people of Tana Toraja, a person who has died will not get perfection if he is not yet buried in Rambu Solo. The inseparable component of the Rambu Solo ceremony is the presence of buffalo animals. For the people of Tana Toraja, the buffalo that is sacrificed will take the spirit quickly to its eternity in puya. The more buffaloes are sacrificed, the faster a spirit will be escorted to the puya. A person from a middle class family usually sacrifices up to 10 buffaloes while a wealthy family or a noble family can sacrifice up to hundreds of it. The people of Tana Toraja use striped buffalo which has a fantastic price reaching billions rupiah.
Rambu Tuka’ is a marriage ceremony, gratitude for the harvest or the inauguration of the Tongkonan house. In this event, all family groups will gather and at the same time become a place to strengthen relations between families. For the implementation time, the Rambu Tuka ceremony is conducted in the morning or before noon and takes place east of Tongkonan. At each of these thanksgiving events, it will be complemented by typical Tana Toraja dances such as Pa ‘Gellu, Pa’ Bonabella, Gellu Tungga’, Ondo Samalele, Pa’ Dao Bulan, Pa ‘Burake, Memanna, Maluya, Pa’ Tirra’, Panimbong and many more. There will also be traditional music such as Pa ‘Pompang, Pa’ Barrung and Pa ‘Pelle. The types of dances and music that are displayed are only for the Rambu Tuka’ event.