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grave at stone - Newest pictures
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Stone Grave,Tana Toraja-South Sulawesi

Mystical. This impression must instantly pop into your mind when you set foot on the last stage of the grave and you can see a dark and dusty skull inside the old Tongkonan (the stone grave). The picture of a body that was buried inside a Tongkonan for months, in fact for years, ambushes your mind, whenever your eyes are directed to one of the small rooms with halls as high as your waist in the corner of the Tongkonan. ‘The bodies usually lie there,’ said Limbong, the one who guided us on our trip to visit Ke’ te’ Kesu, a small traditional village in the Tana Toraja Regency (Tator) of Central Sulawesi. The region has eight Tongkonan, complete with a rice barn in front of every each one, indeed becoming one of the best destinations when you visit the Tator.
The location is really strategic, only around three kilometers from the highway or 20 minutes trip from the Rantepao Subdistrict, one of the centers of the bustling Tator. To reach this village is not difficult, you can use public transportation from Rantepao or use a bike taxi.
Approaching the location, you will see Tongkonan lined up in between the dense trees with rice fields in the foreground. We, as though as being forced, stopped for a moment to enjoying the beautiful scenery before walking to Ke’te’ Kesu’village. The entry fee is not too expensive, only IDR 5,000 for domestic tourists and IDR 100,00 for foreign tourists. Unfortunately, not many people visit this place. We saw that by looking at the visitor’s book provided by the guard. It was recorded that not more than 20 visitors come daily.
When you have the chance to look around, you will find the residents relaxing in their houses that are located behind the line of Tongkonans. While in the back and beside the last Tongkonan you can see two kiosks selling merchandise and two craftsmen busy finishing their carved paintings in each kiosk. In Ke’ te’ Kesu’, tourists can feel the life of traditional Toraja community. Of course its main attraction is the row of Tongkonans, one of them believed to be 150 years old. One of the markers is the bamboo roof that has been overgrown by wild plants.
It was indeed a stuffy atmosphere inside. The sunlight barely entered the grave from the small window that located was in the front, across the room to place the body. According to Limbong, this stone grave in Ke’ te’ Kesu is one of the oldest graves in Tator. The age of the stone grave was estimated to be more than 700 years old. When taking a step up to a higher place on the stone hill, wood statues as pictures of those who were buried there could be seen. There are many of these statues placed in a small hole, behind an iron door. The existence of the iron door, explained Gibson, is to prevent the theft of the wood statues.
The production of this stone grave is complicated and expensive. Martan Kararoh, a manufacturer of stone graves in the Megalit Kalimbuang Bori Complex said it would take 300 days just to make a 2-meter by 2-meter stone grave. The cost for this standard grave is IDR 14 million.
It is not surprising then that the biggest cost for the Toraja community happens when there is a death. You could imagine how much money must be spent to prepare the stone grave, not to mention the dozens of buffalo and pigs to be sacrificed.


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