The Cultural Base called Rantepao
In Tana Toraja Regency, there is a town called ‘Rantepao’ and it is famous for being the cultural center of an ethnic group called the Toraja. This is a Buginese word which means ‘people of the uplands’ from the language, this area has been developed since the 70s for tourism purposes and the Toraja people lives in the mountainous parts of South Sulawesi. Majority of them are Christians. In the capital, that is Rantepao, they do have a ‘Funeral Season’ between July and October. Their funeral is sort of different as the first one is black-clad family members are morning, and the second funeral being a celebration. This latter is to celebrate the dead’s life.
Tau-tau site or the cliff-grave, is where you can get to see the market day in Rantepao. Only happening once every six days, you can catch a bemo to Bolu seeing those makeshift tents. Arabica coffee beans in nice Torajan boxes is probably something you would like to bring home for your close friends as souvenirs. This is one of the best coffee in the region. Folding hills in the central highlands area, rituals, ceremonies and this place is full of religious believers. Most are animist and mainly they believe in the spirits of dead and the underworld. Here only rich people can have cave graves, elaborate funerals are prepared the highest is the status of the dead or the family. One of the ways they celebrate death is carving tau-tau which are spooky wooden effigies of the dead which is a very expensive act. To an extent, some families are even to have bankrupted to hold a good show for the funeral.
Tilanga and Londa
Tilanga is a five meters depth sort of fresh water pond that is about fifteen by twenty-five meters in area. Its water comes from the Sarira Mountain and you can often spot many locals enjoying this place over the weekends. Eels can be found between rocks and if you go southwest of Rantepao, walking a small road for about 2 kilometers will get you to Tilanga. There is an admission charge of about 10,000 Rp for tourists. A little further is the most atmospheric Londa where you can see hanging graves. Lots of coffins, tau-tau, winding corridors. If you are brave enough and willing and also want to explore this cave complex by crawling the ten metres, in small tunnel spaces, this is certainly an experience.