Funeral Ceremony in Toraja
Rambu Soloq (Rites of The Dead of Tana Toraja)
In Toraja society, the funeral ritual is the most elaborate and expensive event.
The ceremony is often held weeks, months, or years after the death so that the deceased's family can raise the significant funds needed to cover funeral expenses. Torajans traditionally believe that death is not a sudden, abrupt event but a gradual process toward Puya (the land of souls, or afterlife). It is based on a strong belief that the soul of the deceased travels to the land of the south and in this land of eternity, he will need all the requisites of everyday life in the hereafter just like when he was alive in this world.
During the waiting period, the body of the deceased is wrapped in several layers of cloth and kept inTongkonan. The soul of the deceased is thought to linger around the village until the funeral ceremony is completed, after which it begins its journey to Puya.In Toraja a person is not considered dead until this last ceremony and the soul is released to the heavens. It is this celebration that is so absorbing.
To Make a Dead Man Walk
the villages of Tana Toraja were still extremely isolated and difficult to visit, certain people had the power to make a dead man walk to his village in order to be present at his own funeral. In this way, relatives of the deceased were spared the necessity of having to carry his corpse
. One particular area, Mamasa.