Tau Tau In Toraja Culture System







category : History and Culture, Art
(Executive summary about tau-tau by Army Lenggo and M. Nur)


Torajan is a society Devotees Ancestors, and is often referred to as a museum of ethnography. Archaeological heritage, behavioral and philosophy are reflecting a traditional society with sincerity and continue maintaining its tradition from generation to generation, although its people professes Christianity and Islam. Cultural resistance is clearly defined at the tradition Rambu Solo ' , because in practice there is the habit of giving and receiving is considered a natural thing, and not a cultural conspiracy.

The resistance of Toraja Cultural more easily explained as a result of geographical isolation, causing the Toraja people became believer Aluk Todolo as beliefs that have been integrated with all aspects of life.
One of the interesting habits of mind and reflect the actual megalitic is making Tau Tau (ancestral statues made of wood) .



Tau Tau
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Making a statue or sculpture is a universal customs, both in Indonesia and the Pacific. But the statues built to worship the ancestors look different with Tau Tau found in Tana Toraja, generally these statues are made of stone while in Toraja made of wood.


Tau Tau made of Wood
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Until now no comprehensive studies about it and when the custom started. Clearly that the Toraja community in terms of archaeological does not have a high skill in the art of stone carving.

ToManurung ( The Advocate )

By Toraja society, mythology underlying making Tau Tau was Aluk Pitung Sa'bu Pitu Ratu’ Pitung Pulo Pitu (aka. Aluk 7777), the teachings brought by a figure from the Heaven called Tamboro Langi' (Drums of Heaven).

Tamboro Langi ' relied as To Manurung descended from Heaven to lead and teach his people. There are three places reliably to be the incarnation locations, Makale, Ullin and Kandora.

In Kandora, Tamboro Langi ' for temporary residence. Soon after, he married a beautiful woman who recounted suddenly emergence from swirl of water at the confluence of the rivers Sa'dan and Maulu. Beautiful woman named Sanda Bilik.

Prior to ascended back into the sky and leaving his wife on earth, Tamboro Langi ' stop at Mount Sinaji where there is a market called Sampean and that's where he gives strict orders, all the customary rules should be firmly held. One of the point that the abandonment is a matter of making Tau Tau.
The doctrine of Tamboro Langi’ about making Tau Tau based on the material, and can be divided into two types namely :
• Tau Tau Nangka’
• Tau Tau Lampa

Both types of Tau Tau is highly related to social stratification. Tau Tau Nangka’ created specifically for the high nobility (Tana' Bulaan), whereas Tau Tau Lampa intended for the medium (Tana' Bassi). The name of the ritual also distinguished, the ritual in making Tau Tau Nangka’ called as funeral ceremony Rapasan level, while the naming ceremony for making Tau Tau Lampa is called as Di DoyaTedong or Di Batang level.

The most fundamental difference between the two is the amount of the buffalo that sacrificed. Rapasan level should be more than seven buffalos and more shall depend on the family's ability, while for the level of Di Doya Tedong provided enough five to seven water buffaloes.

Very believed by the Toraja people that the party organization with a lot of animal sacrifice can earlier their ancestors became To Membali Puang (Deity).
By the community Toraja, Aluk To Dolo is a collective beliefs. The concept of collectivity is very strong in their spiritual life is at its largest portion of funeral rites. In the concept of death, the corpse does not represent own individual or family. Bodies are considered as belonging to the Toraja society in general. Giving and receiving is a must in the implementation of a ceremony of death.
Although already professes Christianity and Islam, the Toraja people still believe that the festive party will causing the body earlier reached to the other world (aka. Puya). A festive party requires expenditure of energy, goods, time and a great individual as well. Thus, the burden of ceremony can not be handled by the family of the dead.

Tau Tau that is one part of the procession must also contain the values of collectivity.



Tau Tau on The Cliff : Stone Graves
Pic Source :Click Here to see Full Size



Meaning in the placement and attitude of Tau Tau affirm the value of the collectivity. Placement Tau Tau at the carved cliff and facing the east (mountain Sinaji) which lies underneath the area of rice fields are intended as a request to the welfare of the community life. The fields must be productive and ancestral spirits would give fertility. After harvest, the people made offerings through ritual. It is an agreement between the Toraja people with their ancestors. Thus, Tau Tau as a manifestation of the ancestors is considered alive. Death is not understood as a death in the Islamic teachings. Toraja society like other megalithic people think that death is not a fundamental change for humans.

There are three functions of Tau Tau for the Toraja.
1. Tau Tau is the embodiment of the ancestors or relatives who have died
2. As a symbol of fertility and life
3. As fields and village guards

~o~








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