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Ref ID: 23669
Ref Type: Book Section
Authors: Handini, Retno
Title: Menhir in the exoticism of Toraja, South Sulawesi: a living megalithic tradition
Date: 2008
Source: From <i>Homo erectus</i> to the living traditions
Place of Publication: Chiang Mai
Publisher: European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists
Notes: Choice of Papers from the 11th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists, Bougon, 25th-29th September 2006.
Abstract: Tana Toraja – located in South Sulawesi – has been known for a long time as a leading cultural monuments region in Indonesia, consists of dead as well as living megalithic monuments. One of them is the menhir, an erected stone, which has been used by the Torajans in the Rambu Solok ceremony –the ceremony of death-- since hundreds of years ago. The main function of menhir in Tana Toraja is to be a symbol of high social status of an aristocratic family, and it is erected during a certain ceremony in relation to the death of a family member as a remembrance. That is why only an aristocratic family can erect a menhir, in which at least 24 buffaloes are sacrificed. This paper will discuss the forms and functions of menhirs (local name = simbuang) during the Rambu Solok ceremonies that are still continue unto the present. It will include also the way of Toraja people search for the raw material, how they move the stone from its original place and made into a menhir, and how they pull it communally to the temporary burial before the corpse of the dead is buried permanently in cave shelters called patane. This paper will also talk about the Toraja people who still believe in Aluk Todolo, a tradition that underlines the importance of ancestor worship, which is the religious background in every menhir construction.
Date Created: 10/8/2008
Editors: Pautreau, Jean-Pierre
Coupey, Anne-Sophie
Zeitoun, Valéry
Rambault, Emma
Page Start: 273
Page End: 278