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The most striking feature, perhaps, of Toraja is its houses. As you fly over Toraja, coming in via the South, you will see the small villages scattered in between the mountains covered with bamboo and veiled in mist. Most houses have the typical boat-shaped roofs, which, nowadays, are predominantly made of iron.
The roofs used to be made of bamboo and other natural materials. The making of such a house was very laborious. The houses that you will see in villages such as Ke’te’ Kesu’ (near Rantepao) are the so-called tongkonan (from the Toraja word tongkon, which means ‘to sit down’). These kindred houses are used for family purposes, and the construction involves the entire family clan.
According to myth, the first Toraja house was constructed in heaven by Puang Matua, the Creator (see: Religion). It was built on four poles, and the roof was made of Indian cloth. Next, Puang Matua ordered the construction of another house, on iron poles and a bamboo roof. When the ancestor of mankind descended to earth in the southern half of Toraja (in the area bordering the Regency of Enrekang), he imitated the heavenly house, and a big house ceremony was held for the occasion.
The former village founder of Toraja, an important figure in Toraja, was called Tangdilino’. Near Mengkendek (southern Toraja), a house was built that had a roof with its two ends bending upwards. This particular form is explained in various ways. The first story stresses resemblance to a boat – since, according to myth, the ancestors of the Toraja people came by boat from the Mekong Delta in South China – the second story claims that the arch-shaped roof looks like the sky. This is, indeed, reflected in some prayers by the ancient animistic belief Aluk Todolo.
Source & More info: http://www.toraja.net/culture/arcitecture/index...
Nikon D40, F/5, ISO 200, Lens Sigma 10-20mm.
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