What's The Unique Custom That Toraja Have ?

category   : History and Culture, Tourism

There are many attraction you will find when visiting the great high land of Toraja, some of them just performed when the local society carrying out a big event of their custom such as
Mangrara banua (classified in Rambu Tuka'/ Gratitude Ceremonies) or when they do the Grieve Ceremony (Rambu Solo') that they usually called as pesta.

In these event always performed numerous unique attraction that still follow the
pure custom of their ancestors.

In addition you must know if these always done in period June - December or during the National Vacation in Indonesia, because in this time all the families can come together in a place.

So,what is Mangrara Banua ?

Banua was mean a house, and mangrara have mean purify with blood. After a Tongkonan House had been developed or renovation, must be ceremonied with a custom ritual as called as mangrara banua.

As the conviction (Aluk Todolo) belief if all material in the world have a spirit like a human, likewise Tongkonan (kindred House) have a spirit . In eternity, they are presence too. If Tongkonan in the real world good cared by the generation of the creator, so, the spirit of tongkonan will be good together with the spirit of the creator, and the generation who care for the house will be blessed by Puang Matua.

The process of Mangrara Banua :

Overall the event divided in two phases, i.e.:

1. During the begining of development

2. Gratitude to God after development is completed

Each activity preceded with a ritual that has been determined and always implement from one generation to the other, namely: Ma'pallin and Manglika ' Biang.

After the two ritual is done, continued with sacrificing a chicken or offering pigs.

Phase I: The sequence related to the ceremonial stage of development a Tongkonan, include:

1. Ma'Pallin ; drive away evil, do with sacrificing a chicken, that is self-consecration ritual ( purify of soul).

2. Manglika 'Biang ; ritual to invoke blessings and presence of Puang Matua and the gods, performed on the same day with Ma'Pallin, more chicken as a sacrifice.

3. Manglelleng Kayu ; ritual before felling down trees which is used for development Tongkonan. Sacrifice a rooster.

According to legend, when people still live in the sky and want to build the first house, the man went to the forest and chop down trees.Every times filled, the tree slide into the water and disappear. The trees appears again after Puang Matua give the advice to holds the ritual , it's like a ceremonial meal.

4. Ma'Patassu 'Kayu ; removing the timber from the forest, before the timber was taken, a rooster is needed to sacrificed.

5. Ma'Tamben ; assembling a simple design of the body house without pole (before construction begins). Sacrificed a chicken. Sometimes there is also a pig.

6. Mangrondon; dismantle old buildings Tongkonan (if the development is the renovation or repair of existing Tongkonan).

7. Manglo'po 'Patongkon; making holes at main pillar, that is a pillar of the middle (a'riri posi') as the first step of development. At this section, the building experts (to manarang) will butcher a pig.

8. Ma 'Pabendan ; Assembling the poles . This ritual do with a pig sacrifice.

9. MangOno ' ; Compiling material of the roof. It is a pieces of bamboo that split in two in order to easily installation process.

10. Ma 'Palumbang pata'; assembling the pata' (lengthwise wood in the middle of the house) that is placed above the pole (a'riri posi'), no sacrifice.

11. Ma 'kemun Rinding ; assembling the wall, no sacrifice.

12. Ma'Papa ; a pig sacrificed before the roof fited up. In addition to offering , some pigs butchered as a wage matters for workers who install the roof.

Phase II: The sequence of ceremony after the development is completed, which is known as mangrara banua. The ceremony began with the ritual:

1. Ma'Pallin

2. Manglika 'Biang

3. Mangrimpung or Mangrapu; all the family, together go to a place outside the area of Tongkonan, share the ritual offerings to the spirits of their ancestors, seeking prayer and blessing. Sacrifice a pig.

4. Ma'Pakande To Matua; feeding ritual (offering) to the ancestor in the west side of Tongkonan, a ceremony that is also always done in other ceremonies. When is held, the people believe if the ancestors presence and settle down in Tongkonan.

5. After that, Mangrara Banua begins. In this time, family and the guests who represent the other Tongkonan, already in the location of the ceremony.

6. On the first day, ma'tarampak implemented, its mean installing the roof symbolically, led by to indo '(= someone who regarded as a matriarchal in this society of a meaningful as the source of life, paddy / rice). Slaughtering one or two pig in front of Tongkonan , and the meat will be distributed by to indo'. In the night, passomba 'tedong (worship to the buffalo) will be do. But before starting, usually, manimbong and ma'dandan will be danced (and will be continued in the next day). The doer of Passomba' Tedong is a Toparengnge ' from a Tongkonan which is a pair of Tongkonan that is ceremonied. Usually in convey the words in passomba tedong there is a Tominaa who replaces To parengnge '.

Passomba Tedong preceded with ma'tambuli, which is seeking permission to the gods of the land , to serve patok in form of sandalwood in the North side (slightly to the East) to the chain Buffalo. The another doer of the custom is a Tomangrande Londong (which holds the rooster). This custom officer is standing on the side of Tominaa who revere the buffalo while tote a Sella '(the type of rooster with red-furred, white-legged and ear).

Passomba Tedong went on from twilight in the first day till the dawn is breaking on the perform day (aka.allona) because the script of family tree must be read and very long.

7. On the second day (The perform Day) held a ritual is called ma'papa.

The ceremony is led by Toparengnge Sokkong Bayu that praise (mangimbo) on page of Tongkonan.

[The mean of sokkong bayu actually the holder of the highest degree in a customary area (aka.lembang = village), which is recognized as a head of the customs, both as religious leaders and government. But understanding is also often refers to highest level of Tongkonan in a family of tongkonan so Toparengnge '(= indigenous stakeholders) from that Tongkonan regarded as a sokkong bayu].

In Tongkonan, datu baine (the second Toparengnge') have a duty to say prayers of adoration all at once serving a ritual offering that put on banana leafs (called as ma'pesung).

If the previously rituals are basically done by the family who care for the Tongkonan (to untokei 'buria'), then at the ritual ma'papa whole the great family of Tongkonan come together and bring pigs to sacrifice.

The Stretchers (lettoan) of pigs are decorated and processed entrance to the location of the ceremony. The atmosphere is very gay. And usually, families divisible in groups according to the branch from the descendants of the founder of Tongkonan.

Division is visible ,both when entering the yard and at the time they were in the ritual location. Beside pigs as a form of donations, each group usually tries to bring the entourage of arts such as to ma'gellu ', to manganda', to ma'bugi ', and to manimbong.

In the morning, ma'gellu ' will be danced, a performance that can only danced on the ceremonies associated with life. In the midday, women form a line and sing along while their bodies form a swing nature dance experience (ma'dandan or ma'ore'-ore '). On the day, the pigs slaughtered, there is only slaughter one pig, there is also up to the hundreds. The pork chop distributed to the guests and the people who attend, and for the building experts (to manarang) and whomsoever involved in the ceremony (to ma'pesung, to mangimbo, to mano'bo and others) get a certain part .

8. On the third day held ma'bubung. Tomano'bo move back and forth above ridge while holding the torch. Crown made of leaves put on head and he was wearing long robe, other hand holding the machete . At peak of ritual, he will be throw the torch from the ridge into the tray on the ground. So after tomano'bo finished its work, actually finished entire ceremony of mangrara banua. Next ritual, which is mantanan sendana (implant the sandalwood), only to sign that has been held mangrara ceremonies for the Tongkonan that mentioned above.


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category          : History and Culture
Sub category  : Religion
(courtesy of Sejarah dan Budaya Toraja; by Andi Fatmawaty Umar)

Before Torajans profess Christianity, and Islamic, have been known a belief in animism that from their ancestors called Aluk Todolo.
After the entry of Christian in this region. The situation of community life gradually began to change, especially in attitudes and way of life, although not entirely leave the setting of a traditional life.

The presence of religion in people's lives still remain side by side with derived habits of their ancestors. Such as the belief about the good days and bad, belief in causal of catastrophe when get travel, to plant rice and do the ceremony.
In the plurality always visible religious harmony does not occur and the impact of religion and belief in it.
This is caused by the feeling of mutual understanding and respect at the same time respect the trust between them.
The mutual respect existence is also visible on the nature of mutual help, and they visit each other, especially in the feast.

Before insertion of religion, whether Christian or Islamic, Toraja people follow the belief that ancestors are inherited from generation to generation until now. The society believe that everything in this world have a life (Harahap 1952:16) even more human lives continue to live even though they have died, usually given food, drink and even have it delivered every day to eat.
This indicates that they believe as though the dead are alive because this always been the need to eat and drink or even have died (aka.ma'pakande tomate).

Spirituality hereditary and is considered a religious belief in original and better known by the name Aluk Todolo.
According to LT Tangdilintin , the meaning of Aluk Todolo; Aluk is religion / rules, and Todolo is the ancestor.
So Aluk Todolo means ancestor religion.
Aluk Todolo is a form of animism the belief that each thought that the stone or objects have any power, and is one of the religious system that has been traditionally held by the residents of Toraja since IX century– BC and are still inherited from generation to generation until now.
Rante (Menhir Stone) _ Inheritance of Aluk To Dolo Toraja

According Tangdilintin, Aluk Todolo is one of faith or conviction that is revealed by Puang Matua (the Creator).
Rules (aka.aluk) that passed on Datu Laukku which contains the religious rules that people and all the occupant of this earth must worship.
Worship is at Puang Matua , the Creator, as expressed in the form of a dish. Puang Matua as the Creator gives power to the deata-deata (the custodian).

Human practice is required in all the world and worshipPuang Matua and Deata-Deata . AlukTodolo teachings the cult to both supreme deities above.
In Aluk Todolo known three groups of deata, namely:

1. Deata Tangnga Langi '; affairs in the sky

2. Deata Kapadanganna; affairs of the Earth

3. Deata Tangngana Padang; affairs all over the land fill.

In addition to the three classes of Deata, Aluk Todolo teachings to follow provisions appropriate point in religion (aka.sukaran aluk), then people need to worship to the third rule, namely:

1. Puang Matua

2. Deata-Deata

3. To Membali Puang

Based on the third of Deata is mentioned above is clear that the Aluk Todolo teachings conseptual structure of the gods who arranged vertically.
Puang Matua on the one hand be seen as the supreme deity as the creator of all nature. Meanwhile, on the other hand deata- deata as caretaker, authority, arrange life of the creation of Puang Matua.

When Puang Matua as supreme deity or the deity who is considered the Creator of all nature is believed reside in the north side (aka.karopokna langi '), then the deata-deata considered reside in the eastern (aka.mata allo). This concept shows that Puang Matua not only have the function and role that is different from the deities, but the sit is different.

How to worship to them, by the Aluk Todolo done with the dish. With the offerings in the different way according to the levels of each:

a. Worship to Puang Matua (the Creator), as the highest ceremony with slaughtering the animals.

b. Tribute to the affairs that is intended to deata-deata (deities) and the present offering.

c. Offering to To Membali Puang (supervisor) made by his descendants to commemorate the spirit of the ancestors .

The three elements of worship as described above, based on the teachings and rules that apply. Rules and teachings orient on faith system.
In realization this ceremony supported by community group that passed on from one generation to the other.

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