Only one cup a day and even the dead alive

In the middle of the Indonesian island of Sulawezi, lost in the green mountains, live a people with very particular funeral customs. The beliefs surrounding the vision of life and death of this ethnic group differ in many ways from our Western traditions.

For the Toraja, death is not the end. Death affects only the physical body: it simply represents a stage where the spirit persists, and continues its journey elsewhere.

Only one cup a day and even the dead alive

In order to accompany the deceased whose souls continue to surround them, Toraja funeral rituals possess many fascinating and disconcerting features.

The funeral, tomaté, takes place up to three year after the death. It lasts seven days and is most sacred. During this one to three year interval, the deceased’s family watches over his body or coffin,

most often stored in a room in the family home, patiently waiting for the first day of a long ceremony to arrive. In some villages in northern Toraja, there is a ritual, the ma’néné or second funeral

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