Toraja People

The Torajans are believed to belong to the same Proto-Malay group as the Dayaks of Kalimantan and the Bataks of Sumatera. However, there are many similarities ethnologically betwen them and the people of ancient Annam, from where they could have originated, migrating to their homeland in waves, crossing the seas in their sailing boats which set the pattern for their tongkonan houses.

Toraja People - Toraja Traditional Clothes

From early times, the society war divided into classes with the nobles at the top of the social structure and the slaves, who were either hereditary or enemies who were captured in battle, lowest ranking.

Pa'Randing - Toraja War Dance

The caste system warp widely practised in Toraja and consisted of :
Tana' bulaan ; referring to the noble class who functioned as adat chiefs using titles such as puang, siambe' and ma'dika.
Tana' Bassi ; the lower noble class of assistant adat or traditional chiefs or members of the community councils.
Tana' Karurung, the commoners, among them priests.
Tana' Kua-Kua ; the lowest class of slaves and workers, including the death priests or tomebalun.

Still practised to some extent today, the caste system is adhered to during traditional rituals, particularly the death ceremonies for which no one can aspire to rites intended for a higher caste.

The social structure allows equal rights for men and women, especially in inheritance for which neither sex nor age is of any consideration. Division of inheritance depends wholly on service to the contributors made by members of the ramage, kinship group at the death ceremonies.



History of Toraja Name

by              : Ravenna  

In former times, Toraja was called "Tondok Lepongan Bulan Tana Matarik Allo". The name of Toraja begin in used in 17th century when the Torajan Community making relationship in trade with their neighbours especially with Bugis-Luwuk and Bugis-Sidenreng Kingdoms territory.

The Toraja was word based from Bugis language ("To" and "Riaja"). It's word to named the community that living at that highest place.
"To" that is peoples and "Riaja" meaning upper side or mountain range. Because of Toraja territorial was having the place higher than Luwuk and Sidenreng territorial and constitute mountain territory.

Toraja Comunity

Continuity, at the beginning of 20th century, the writer Kruyt and Adriani (Europe) use this name. Although in their books, they said thisToraja comprises large territorial of center Celebes that covering Pamona and Kaili ethnic groups that having different language and culture, but according to history of Toraja, they're not. The trully Toraja, they're having the same language and culture, e.g:
- Pantilang territorial and its environs.
- Tallu Lembangna territorial
- Tallu Batu Papan ( Enrekang and Duri territorial)
- Balimbing Kalua' and Tokalambunan territorial (West and North Side Tana Toraja county)
- Pitu Ulunna Salu territorial (Kondo Sapata' Uwae Sapalelean or Mamasa and
its environs)
- Makki and Galumpang territorial
- Seko and Rongkong territorial.
All of above using the same language family and culture was Toraja Culture that formerly called Tondok Lepongan Bulan Tana Matarik Allo.

One thing that important to know, although Toraja ethnic groups having the same language but consist of some groups with their respective dialects, e.g:
* Kesu' dialect (Makale-Rantepao)
* Duri dialect
* Mamasa dialect

Anyhow, there is still some opinion of Culture Expert about the name beginnings.

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