Toraja Carvings







By   : L.T. Tangdilintin  [Tongkonan(Rumah Adat Toraja),1976]
Category     :  Art/Carving



Toraja carving (Passura') are complement of house building (Tongkonan), and as a symbol that has a specific meaning. Carving is a decorative and sculpture forms in Toraja architecture, which is divided into 4 groups according to the role and meaning of each of these carvings, which are:

Garonto' Passura' (Fundamental Carvings)
That have the role as a symbols of the basic life of Toraja people.
Consist of :

  • Pa' Barre Allo
Ukiran Toraja - Pa' Barre Allo

  •  Pa' Manuk Londong
Ukiran Toraja - Pa' Bulu Londong
  • Pa' Tedong
Ukiran Toraja - Pa' Tedong
  •  Pa' Sussuk
Ukiran Toraja - Pa' Sussuk


Passura' To Dolo (Head Carvings)
That symbolizes the life guidance, rules of life, worship and equipment for the ceremonies event; they are :

  • Pa' Erong
  • Pa' Ulu Karua
  • Ukiran Toraja - Pa' Ulu Karua


  • Pa' Doti Langi'
  • Pa' Kadang Pao
  • Ukiran Toraja - Pa' Kadang Pao
  • Pa' Barana'
  • Ukiran Toraja - Pa' Barana'
  • Pa' Lolo Tabang
  • Pa' Daun Bolu
  • Ukiran Toraja - Pa' Daun Bolu
  • Pa' Daun Paria
  • Pa' Bombo Uai
  • Ukiran Toraja - Pa' Bombo Uai
  • Pa' Kapu' Baka 


Ukiran Toraja - Pa' Kapu' Baka
    • Pa' Tangke Lumu'
    • Pa' Bungkang Tasik
    • Ukiran Toraja - Pa' Bungkang Tasik
    • Pa' Lolo Paku
    • Pa' Tangki' Pattung
    • Pa' Katik
    • Pa' Talinga Tedong, etc

    Passura' Malolle (Carving of Development)
    The carvings that symbolizes development and association of human life, that can be used in all part of place where the carved, like a house, barn, equipment and trappings in ceremonial.
    Also, most use in carved commonly house and Tongkonan that not have a custom role (Tongkonan Batu A'riri).

    The carvings that include of this group, are :
    • Pa' Sala'bi'
    • Pa' Tanduk Ra'pe
    • Pa' Takku Pare
    • Pa' Bunga Kaliki
    • Pa' Poya Mundan
    • Pa' Bulintang Siteba'
    • Ukiran Toraja - Pa' Bulintong Siteba'
    • Pa' Bulintang Situru'
    • Pa' Karrang Longa
    • Pa' Papan Kandaure
    • Passura' Passulan
    • Pa' Sepu' To Rongkong
    • Ukiran Toraja - Pa' Sepu' To Rongkong
    Passura' Pa'barean
    That symbolize the excitement and have a mass or plural motif, many used in ceremonial equipment and trappings in decorative arts of Toraja; consist of :
    • Pa' Manik Bu'ku'
    • Pa' Ara' Dena'
    • Pa' Komba Kalua'
    • Pa' Barra'-Barra'
    • Pa' Bua Kapa'
    • Pa' Gayang
    Those above, was part of types of Toraja carvings that estimated numbers is about 80 and not all at once installed in an object.
    But sometimes only a few of them are placed that significance in accordance with its function.

    There are still one type of carving that is not behind when installation, namely Pa' Bannangan. This type is stright line and serve as a barrier, or as section of any engraving.

    To sculpt with decorative Toraja multiformity, just take 4 kind of colors, as follow :
    - Malotong (black)
    - Mabusa (white)
    - Mararang (red)
    - Mariri (Yellow)
    and, these colors have meaning apart.
    ~o~



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    Why Buffalo Considered As Prominently Animals For Torajans?







    Category  : History and Culture 





    The Buffalo's (aka.''Tedong'' in Torajan language), that classified as water buffalo.

    "Tedong Toraja" - Water Buffalo




    When you visit Toraja, especially before you reached Rantepao (capital of North Toraja), for the first you will find the buffalo statue that called "Tedong Bonga". Located in Rura's area. The statue describing a man with pose was guided a buffalo. That's the symbol that choosen by local government to welcome their guests. As if want to give the best for the guest. 

    Rantepao [Toraja] - Tedong Bonga  Statue

    The Tedong Bonga was the best buffalo type in these society.
    So, why must be the buffalo?
    Toraja Buffalo - Tedong Bonga

    Toraja people consider buffalo as the symbol of prosperities. Thus, buffalo will always be subject property (Tedong Garonto'eanan)

    In former times, most assessments and transactions always votes with the value of buffalo. Sales and purchase activities, exchange of goods trade, in the value of legal marriage often votes with value of buffalo.
    Similarly, in social status to distinguish a person, be determined based on the number of buffaloes owned by someone.

    The most high status called Tana' Bulaan must has 24 buffaloes or more.
    Also, the buffaloes usually was animal that most major to sacrificed in both of kind of Toraja traditional ritual ceremonies, such as event of:

    However, sacrificing buffalo can only take place during the ritual worship to 'Puang Matua' ( The God), the ritual was called "Merauk_" and "Ma'bua'_". Whereas in "Deata" and "To Membali Puang" not be offered (religious of Aluk To Dolo)
    Nowadays, "Merauk_" and "Ma'bua'_" still running at ceremony when dedication of establishment or renewal Tongkonan (ancestral house).

    Rambu Solo' ritual
    According to the religious of Torajan traditionally, the soul of the deceased will need many buffalo to make the journey will be quicker to arrive at Puya (the land of soul). So, they slaugthering buffalo as symbol of sacrifice to respecting the deceased.

    [Toraja Buffalo] Ma'Tinggoro Tedong -  Ritual

    Here's a type of buffalo (water buffalo) that usually found in entire ceremony based on naming provided by Torajan.


    Each, have different price, depending on the skin color and shape of horn:
    • Tedong Bonga
    Tedong Bonga - Toraja expensive buffalo
    • Tedong Bonga ulu
    Toraja Buffalo - Tedong Bonga Ulu
    • Tedong Bonga Sorik
    • Tedong Todi'
    • Tedong Sambao'

    • Tedong Balian

    ~o~





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