people and cultures – inspiring journeys
sharing meaningful discoveries in Asia


Torajaland (Tana Toraja):

tj1 tj2

The ancestors of Tana Toraja (Land of Toraja) arrived by boat and settled in the highlands of South Sulawesi (Celebes). They converted their boats into houses which today continue to serve as the center of community life. These houses known as Tongkonan are beautifully decorated with carvings and geometric designs. The number of buffalo horns hanging in front of a house indicates the status and wealth of the owner. Although many locals follow Christianity and Islam today, the Toraja people still maintain strong traditional rituals and elaborate funeral ceremonies. Cliff-side graves house effigies of the deceased called Tau-Tau while it is believed the soul of ancestors have departed back to the heavens. The Tongkonan roofs represent their ancestral boats turned upside down, symbolizing the ancestors descent into the material world and then rising back into the sky and land of eternity.

Learn more about this fascinating culture on:

Getting to Toraja:
Fly to Makassar also known as Ujung Pandang (UPG) Daily from Bali, Jakarta, or Surabaya.

Scoot flights  ( budget wings of Singapore Airlines) flies certain days of week from Singapore to UPG.
Air Asia fles from KL.

Then it is a full-day drive to the Toraja highlands.

Toraja Airport at Rantepao  ( TRT ) – See if small plane flights have resumed from UPG!

Lion Wings Air may be operating their small planes into Tana Toraja valley… but be prepared for unreliable schedules.

Copyright 2006 by all rights reserved.