Rantepao Things to Do

  • Megaliths in Bori, north of Rantepeo
    Megaliths in Bori, north of Rantepeo
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  • Buffalo jaws lining balcony of meeting place, Bori
    Buffalo jaws lining balcony of meeting...
    by Daihappydai
  • Rock graves adjacent to megaliths in Bori
    Rock graves adjacent to megaliths in...
    by Daihappydai

Most Recent Things to Do in Rantepao

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    Tongkonan House

    by black_mimi99 Updated Jan 3, 2007

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    tongkonan - mi's

    The funerals might be the most infamous events in Tana Toraja, but the most obvious cultural objects are the houses. The tongkonan, as the traditional houses are called, are distinctively ornate in a way that makes the layered paddy fields of central Sulawesi unique in Indonesia: everywhere you look are houses whose roofs curve up at opposite ends, not unlike a water buffalo's horns, or a huge, thatched banana. It is a beautiful sight, an architectural study in symmetry and precision that could teach modern builders a thing or two: the wooden houses don't use nails, they are built so everything just slots together, and holds together through rain and shine.
    But, like everything the Torajans do, this wonderful tradition is tinged with something that smacks of idiocy to the casual observer. They don't live in these beautiful constructions, they live in normal crappy Indonesian tin-roof squats right next door, saving the tongkonan for special occasions, ceremonies and as a status symbol: size is everything in Tana Toraja, and if your roof doesn't curve at the right angle, you're a nobody. Then there are the rice barns, built in the same style as the tongkonan, and the more rice barns you've got, the richer you are – or, rather, the richer you appear, because if you build too many rice barns, you'll have precious little capital left over.
    All the houses face north, possibly because the Torajans came from the north, carrying their boats, and the theory goes that they then inverted these boats to make shelters, hence the curved shape.
    Oh, and one more thing about the houses. They each have a wooden carving of a water buffalo's head stuck on the front, as well as a collection of genuine buffalo horns tacked to the front beam, again as a show of fiscal superiority.

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    Kete Kesu

    by black_mimi99 Written Dec 22, 2006

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    tongkonan - mi's

    Kete Kesu village, located 6 km from Rantepao, still has the traditional characteristics. Seen from the front it is as though it lies in the middle of a sea of rice with a series of curve-shaped roofs and carved walls of their rice-barns that are pretty and fascinating. This village has four 'Tongkonan' or Toraja traditional houses. One of the houses in the middle, its lower part is made as a kind of small museum

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    londa (burrial cave)

    by black_mimi99 Written Dec 22, 2006

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    skulls - mi's

    Londa is a naturally occurring cave that's full of coffins, some extremely recently occupied, with a large collection of tau-tau guarding the entrance. One old man with kerosene lamps guide you through the winding corridors for a small fee, pointing out delightful sights such as the coffin that's broken open, allowing you to see the decomposing body inside, the skull that's still got a few tufts of hair stuck to it’
    Especially when there's a tiny tunnel through which you can crawl for ten metres to get from one side of the cave complex to the other. It seems we can add claustrophobia to the phobias that my traveling has evaporated, because even though the tunnel was so small in places that we had to crawl single file on our bellies, I didn't freak out – but almost run away!!!! And Chris keep smiling on me. Luckily I’m not solo traveler when come here.

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    Graves

    by black_mimi99 Written Dec 22, 2006

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    hanging coffins - mi's

    There are five types of Torajan graves:
    The first, the grave dug out of a cliff, is used when there is a convenient cliff in the vicinity;
    the second, the cave grave, is used if there is a handy naturally formed cave around;
    the third, the hanging grave, is when the coffin is hung from a suitably high spot, like an overhanging cliff that's too dangerous to dig a cave into and up which nobody will climb to steal the body;
    and the fourth is the house grave, used when none of the other three can be built: here a hollow is dug in the ground, the body placed there, and a miniature tongkonan house is built over the grave.
    And the fifth is the tree grave, used for the childrent under 5 years old, they dig into the tree, and put the baby there.

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    Funeral ceremony

    by nabunay Written Jan 3, 2006

    The funeral ceremony is such an elaborated event! You will be able to witness the killings of the pigs and buffaloes, hear their traditional music and see their colourful traditional attire which is really a pretty sight.

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    Just walk.

    by nabunay Updated Jan 3, 2006

    It is really enjoyable to just take any bemo without a destination in mind. You could either sit through the whole journey or alight at any place which captures your liking and just walk.
    The place itself is so green and lovely , i honestly feel it shouldn't and couldn't be just any one spot.

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    A HIGHLAND CULTURAL TOUR

    by vee01 Written Nov 16, 2005

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    Kalimbuang Bori'
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    Out Bound activities :
    =================
    # Trekking
    # Rafting in Ma'iting River , Ma'dong, Sa'dan and Maulu'
    # Restoran Fast Food , dine in Makale dan Rantepao [batu Tumonga]
    # Gantole in Sopai, Ge'tengan, Ge'tengan, Sesean
    # Agro Tourism in Dende', Bolokan, Baruppu'

    Sightseeings:
    ============
    # Tongkonan : Traditional house / villages [place : Kete' Kesu, etc.]
    # Rante : Field area for burial ceremony symbolize with menhir/obelisque in BORI'
    # Simbuang : Symbol of the Highest Ceremony of Traditional ceremonial "RAmbu Solo"
    # Liang Lo'ko' : Cave burial and Stone burial in Londa,Tondon
    # Erong : Ancient burial/coffin [i.e.in Sipore /Siromba]
    # Liang paa' : Scluptured Stone burial {place :Lemo]
    # Patane : Burial House
    # Liang Pia/Passilirian : Burial for infants inside of tree [which had no teeth yet]
    PLACE OF SIGHTSEEINGS ARE SPREADS IN TORAJA AREA.

    cUSTOM TRADITIONAL CEREMONY:
    ==============================
    #rAMBU sOLO = ceremony for the death.
    #RAMBU TUKA = ceremony of newlyhost to TONGKONAN [traditional house in Toraja]

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel

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  • jantichm's Profile Photo

    Tongkonan: The traditional Torajan houses

    by jantichm Updated Nov 13, 2005
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    If you travel around Tana Toraja you will see lots of traditional houses. This is one of the most important identity symbols of the Torajan.

    Tongkonan used to be crowded together behind forests of enormous bamboos. The roofs of the houses and rice barns have boat shape.

    Tongkonan are built on wooden piles. Their houses keep certain similar with those from the inhabitants of other parts of Indonesia. Traditionally, the roof is constructed with layered bamboo, and the wooden structure of the house assembled without nails. Nowadays, zinc roofs and nails are used increasingly.

    The construction of a traditional house is time-consuming and complex, and requires the employment of skilled craftsmen.

    Toraja society is extremely hierarchical, comprising nobility, commoners and a lower class who were formerly slaves. Villagers are only permitted to decor their house with the symbols and motifs appropriate to their social status the wooden wall panels are decorated with geometric designs and motifs such as buffalo heads painted in red, white, yellow and black, the colours that represent the indigenous Toraja religion. Black symbolizes death and darkness; yellow, God's blessing and power; white, the colour of flesh and bone, means purity; and red, the colour of blood, symbolizes human life.

    The artists who decorated the house were traditionally paid with buffalo. The majority of the carvings on Toraja houses and rice barns signify prosperity and fertility, and the motifs used are those important to the owner's family. Circular motifs represent the sun, the symbol of power, a golden knife symbolizes wealth and buffalo heads stand for prosperity and ritual sacrifice.

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    • Architecture
    • Road Trip

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    SIGUNTU's Grandma

    by RoyJava Updated Jul 27, 2005

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    tongkonan-siguntu-toraja

    Like the Balinese, the Torajans generally have 2 funerals, one immediately after a death and the elaborate second funeral after some time to make the preparations and raise the necessary cash.

    At Siguntu we had the good fortune to see "Grandma"; a prepared TAU-TAU adorned for the ritual, wrapped in the best woven fabric, and several days afterwards covered with special cloth and prepared sitting down in a chair in a smaller Tongkonan pointing West. A few days later and we could have watched the ceremony ... unfortunatedly our Tanah Toraja trip was too short ...

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Road Trip
    • Arts and Culture

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    Beautiful PALAWA Views

    by RoyJava Updated Jul 27, 2005

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    palawa-tongkonan-toraja

    Sometimes tourists pass over the traditional village of Palawa. Though you can find here numerous tongkonan and rice barns, fine examples of Torajan domestic architecture. Palawa is built on terraces which rise, and as you climb the soaring rooftops it will remind you of the spires of spectacular cathedrals.

    Trekking in such a wonderful area all views will take your breath. When best season (May - July -> fewest tourists, September - December -> best time) the colours of nature are striking, included ot the flowers and the traditional tongkonan!

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    • Arts and Culture
    • Road Trip
    • Architecture

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    NANGGALA - 14 Rice Barns

    by RoyJava Updated Jul 27, 2005

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    nanggala-toraja

    Nanggala, this traditional village has a particulary grandiose traditional house (tongkonan) and an impressive fleet of 14 rice barnes! The best you'll see !!!

    Besides storing rice (on the 2nd floor), these structures are also used for ceremonies. The rice barns have a bizarre array of motifs carved into them including soldiers with guns, western women, and automobiles ...

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture

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    LEMO Burial Area

    by RoyJava Updated Jul 27, 2005

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    burial-caves-lemo-toraja

    12 km South of the main road to Makale is LEMO and, probably the most interesting burial area in Tanah Toraja. Rows of TAU-TAU peer down from balconies jutting out from 30 funerary niches carved out of the cliffs. White eyes and black pupils, outstretched arms and standing like spectators these realistic puppets lean on the railings. Some of the figures have traveling bags for their trip to the Land Of Souls ...

    It's a good idea to go early in the morning, otherwise the figures will be in the shadows (about by 10 AM). The region is fascinating and beautiful!

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Road Trip

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    Ujung Pandang - Makassar

    by RoyJava Updated Apr 28, 2005

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    ujungpandang-makassar-sulawesi

    When coming from the North to the Toraja Land it is a worth to travel to Ujung Pandang, the formerly named Makassar by the Dutch. The trip to this area in South Sulawesi is a tremendous one and some breath-taking views will catch your eyes. Find a "Pusat Informasi Wisata", a tourist office and get some info ...
    enjoy Ujung Pandang >>>

    Related to:
    • Singles
    • Backpacking
    • Adventure Travel

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    Original Wood Carvings

    by RoyJava Updated Apr 28, 2005

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    woodcarver-toraja

    Central Rantepao is small and easy to walk around. Trekking tours can be booked and organised. On the way to the villages ask for a visit to an original wood carving place. Mostly you'll pass these unnoted. We watched here an original wood-carver on the way to Ke'te Kesu' finishing a roof-decoration. The work is very dedicated, refined and just magnificent ...

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    • Arts and Culture
    • Road Trip

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    BORI & Menhir-Culture

    by RoyJava Updated Apr 28, 2005

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    bori-menhirs-toraja

    The village of Bori has one of the best and most splendid rante. Funerals are sometimes held at the rante, ie. "funeral sites marked by one or more remnants of megalith/stone menhir culture". The origins and purpose of these stone circles are unknown but the effort to raise even one stone was phenomenal and involved scores of men.

    See at Bori these stone menhirs dedicated to important ancestors ring a field reserved for Torajan funerals. Some are huge, some towering several meters high, very impressive and, enjoy the walk watching green paddy rice-fields.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Archeology
    • Architecture

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