There is still more to write about from last year’s trip to Tanah Toraja. This post shows some of the other burial locations we visited. My memory is not as good as it once was so I do not remember the names of these places.
Apart from cliff burials like the one at Lemo there are also several burials located within or attached to karst formations such as caves and rockshelters. These burials are usually older than the ones carved into the cliffs.
The cave floor is covered with scattered remains of bones and coffins are placed on wooden beams high above the floor.
At another location the coffins are placed on wooden beams inserted into the vertical wall of a large rockshelter. The ground is also here covered with human remains.
Like the first place these coffins contain the remains of whole families.
The coffins come in three shapes; buffalo, pig and house. These shapes represent the three classes of Toraja social assemblages.
At a third location we saw the burial location for infants. A hole is carved into a hollow tree and the dead baby is inserted into this hole which is sealed. After some time the hole is naturally sealed by the tree itself. If I remember correctly it is the belief that the dead baby’s soul merges with the tree and reaches the sky through the branches and leaves.